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Calls grow to cancel Kevin Hart's comedy show in Egypt over 'Afrocentric' views

Some Egyptians have taken to Twitter accusing the US comedian of 'Blackwashing' Egyptian history
US actor and comedian Kevin Hart and his wife Eniko Parrish arrive for premiere of "Me Time" at the Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles, California, on 23 August 2022 (AFP)

Egyptians have taken to social media, calling for comedian Kevin Hart’s debut show in the country to be cancelled over his past comments in support of Afrocentrism on Ancient Egypt.

A hashtag calling for Hart’s show to be cancelled or boycotted has become one of the top trending topics on social media in Egypt over the past few days.

One Twitter user said Afrocentrists "want to steal and attribute Egypt's civilization to Africans and tell modern Egyptians that we are occupying Egypt from them. We must all participate in the campaign to cancel Kevin's concert."

Hart, a popular US comedian, is a proponent of Afrocentrism, which advocates examining history through a lens that focuses on the role of Black Africans. Some followers say modern Egyptians have no claim to the country’s ancient history because they are the descendants of Arab invaders.

Modern Egypt was at various points in history part of the Greek, Roman and Arab empires. The country is an ethnically and religiously diverse nation of more than 100 million. Egyptians even claim ancestry from Circassians and Turks going back to the Ottoman Empire. There are also Egyptians of Nubian descent.

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Some schools of thought claim that Coptic Christians, who number between 10 and 15 percent of Egypt’s population, are the most direct descendants of ancient Egyptians.

When we were kings

Hart’s critics from across Egypt have noted an interview the comedian gave where they say he claimed Africans were the kings of Egypt.

”We must teach our children the true history of Black Africans when they were kings in Egypt and not just the era of slavery that is cemented by education in America. Do you remember the time when we were kings?”He allegedly stated. Though it's not clear where he made the comments. 

The remark has been slammed on Twitter. One user said: “You aren't welcome to Egypt. Egyptians aren't Africans. We're the real builders of the civilization, no one else." 

“The Afrocentric is just a lie. They're liars. Egypt is our land not the Africans.”

Youssef Othman, a popular Egyptian actor, even took to Twitter this week to explain his understanding of Afrocentrism and refute its position on Egypt.

Many Egyptians criticised Hart’s financial backing of an Afrocentric animation series by the company Black Sands Entertainment, which some have accused of "Blackwashing" ancient Egyptian history.

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