The following is from an interview with Ethiopian Poet Laureate Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin.
Good advice IMO.
"Q. If we had someone here with us today, an American who had many Western ideas about Ethiopia, what would you tell him or her to give an idea of Ethiopia's historical importance and role?
A. You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. The cradle of man is here, the beginning of man is here, there is no refuting that. Archaeologists, geologists have dug everywhere and they have come up with the bones to prove that man started here. And that man was not sleeping, from the moment he was created he started creating. The heritage of that man, of the ancestor, is the heritage of the world.
You don't begin knowing yourself halfway. You don't start from Europe, because Europe started from Africa. It started in Ethiopia and Egypt.
Mythology started from Ethiopia and Egypt. Even the pope wears a double crown, as the pharaohs did 5,000 years ago. We practice the same cultures and yet we deny it.
I would tell an American friend to go to Washington for the July 4 celebrations, and see the Americans worshipping the temple of the sun at the Washington Monument [which looks like the Aksum obelisks]. America borrowed the temple of the sun from the Romans, the Romans borrowed it from the Greeks, the Greeks borrowed it from Ethiopia and black Egypt. It's the same temple of the sun, whether you call it black Egyptian, Aksumite, or Ethiopianthe bonfire for the temple of the sun is a black practice. It is my stone, my temple of the sun. A mutual heritage. So I tell the American friend that he came up with nothing new, you in the West simply repeated it with higher technology. You are still worshipping my temple of the sun, we are one. So, when he comes here, I will tell him to look for his heritage, for the heritage of the ancestors, for our mythology, to walk in the footprints of his ancestors. This land is a museum of man's ancient history. They look at us, they watch us, the Europeans, the Americans, the other nations, with this tremendous fascination. They are awestruck by the unique practices of our church, of our Islam, of our ancient pre-Judaic worship.
So I'll tell my European friend, my American friend, not to steal the Ark of the Covenant, which the slaves stole and say they received from a cloud. They didn't receive it from the cloud, they took it. And Solomon returned it, he didn't give it to me, he returned it.
This is the source, his source, this is his heritage, our heritage. He must come and walk in the footprints of the human ancestors. The American has gone to the moon and found dust, he's going farther away to look for other planets, very good. But know thyself first. That is what I would tell my American friend." http://ethiopianreview.homestead.com/Interview_TsegayeGMSep98.html