introduction
‘‘This Egypt of the West’’
making race and nation along
the american nile
‘‘For America, read Africa; for the United States, Egypt,’’ wrote Afr
Americanracetheorist,spiritualist,andamateurEgyptologistPaschal
erly Randolph in 1863: ‘‘change a few phrases into their required equ
lents, and in this account of a modern colony, you have the story of
old Nilotic
civilizations.’’1
In this, his signature treatise on history, c
nology, and the origins of races, Randolph sawa relationship between
countries of both metaphor and literal link: between Egypt and Ame
thereexistedasetofconnections,which,whenproperlyinterpreted,c
reveal signs and wonders of revolutionary importance. ‘‘We know
these palmy days stretch away vastly beyond the horizon of Time,’
wrote. ‘‘Little by little we are unravelling the tangled skein of Time
human
history.’’2
In its combination of racialized theorizing, biblical
troversy, historiographic melodrama, political urgency, speculative in
lectualism,andpopularEgyptology,Randolph’stextrepresentsaclust
consanguinated issues that this book will be concerned to trace. ‘‘Rea
2004.8.27
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