Howard University Alumnus Anthony Browder Shares Insights As First To Direct Egyptian Archeological Excavation Funded by African Americans
2018 Kemetamorphosis Conference to be held Dec. 7 — 9 in Washington, D.C.
WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 5, 2018) — Howard University alumnus Anthony Browder, Ph.D. has been leading groundbreaking work in Egyptian archaeology as the first African American to fund and coordinate an archaeological dig in Egypt. Browder is director of the ASA Restoration Project, which recently celebrated its 10th year, and is responsible for the excavation and restoration of the 25th dynasty tombs of Karabasken and Karakhamun in Luxor, Egypt. This year, his excavation team discovered 2700-year-old Kushite artifacts that were installed in the Egyptian Museum in Luxor on August 19.
"The ASA Restoration Project is named after Dr. Asa Grant Hilliard, III who was instrumental in shaping my development as a young man, father, and researcher," says Browder. "We've funded three quarters of a million dollars to fund archeological excavation in Egypt. Working in concert with the Egyptian government and Egyptologist Elena Pischikova, we have now proven that the 25th Dynasty, the only dynasty in Egyptian history that contemporary Egyptologists acknowledge as a "negro" dynasty, were responsible for innovations that were credited to the 26th and 27th dynasties."
Browder developed an interest in Egyptology on Howard University's campus over 30 years ago. Having earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design in 1974, Browder was fascinated by the art and craftsmanship of the King Tut Exhibit at the National Gallery of Art and took his first trip to Egypt in 1980. Seven years after graduating from Howard, Browder founded the IKG Cultural Research Center which he used to facilitate lectures on ancient Egyptian history and culture and conduct Egypt on the Potomac field trips that have taken nearly 30,000 students, tourists, educators, and others on a tour that explores connections to ancient Egyptian architecture across the Washington, D.C. monuments.
"In 1987, we started doing lectures at the Harambe House, which is now the Howard bookstore. We did our lectures there for about a year and a half until we outgrew the space," says Browder. "The Howard University Blackburn Center and other departments helped to coordinate tours for visitors and students. Another beautiful thing about the evolution of my career is that it really coincided with Howard University Television."
Browder explains how WHUT programming and the presence of African American journalists on Howard's campus who were impacting Washington, D.C. media helped facilitate a growing interest in the D.C. metropolitan area. Browder credits shows like "For The People" that aired on WHUT and publications like The Washington Afro-American newspaper for helping to promote a renewed interest in African-centered knowledge.
"In January 1993, we held a three-day event at Cramton Auditorium with a special tribute to Listervelt Middleton, the host of "For the People". We raised $40,000 cash from over 900 people," says Browder. "This was one of the highlights of my career and in my relationship with Howard. It definitely helped to increase my following, and helped popularize African American history."
In 2002, Browder's company began sponsoring annual Kemetamorphosis Conferences. The term "kemetamorphosis," was coined by Lisa Douglass and refers to the process of evolution and transformation through learning about Kemet (Ancient Egypt). Sharon Pringle, Howard University alumna and co-founder of the conference, co-hosted the very first conference at Howard's Blackburn Center after joining a study tour to Egypt with Browder in 2000.
"The trip to Kemet with Mr. Browder totally transformed my life," says Pringle. "The experience was like going thru the birth canal and being reborn. This knowledge of my African history and culture in Kemet empowered me. It gave me the freedom to evolve personally and spiritually. I experienced a kemetamorphosis when I realized that I was engaged in spiritual sharecropping and had to take this power back by expanding my understanding of Spirit and my understanding of Self. I owe all of this to my mentor Mr. Browder and the study tour."
The IKG Cultural Resource Center will sponsor the 2018 Kemetamorphosis Conference from Dec. 7 — 9 at the Thurgood Marshall Center in Washington, D.C. The conference will feature a powerful lineup of guest speakers including Browder and celebrity author, performing artist and human rights activist Jennifer Lewis.
"We have to be totally cognizant of the fact that Egypt is the oldest civilization known to mankind and the longest existing civilization in the history of humanity. It thrived for 3,000 years," says Browder. "Anyone who is a student of African American history knows that during the time of slavery it was illegal for people of African ancestry to read or write, and the past was erased. The work we are doing is modeling for ourselves and our children what we can accomplish when we choose to assume responsibility, to love ourselves and love our history."
Images provided by IKG Cultural Resource Center.
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About Howard University
Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. The University operates with a commitment to Excellence in Truth and Service and has produced four Rhodes Scholars, 11 Truman Scholars, two Marshall Scholars, one Schwarzman Scholar, over 70 Fulbright Scholars and 22 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on-campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, visit www.howard.edu.
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