An Ode to Black Excellence

The Nubians of Northern Sudan and Southern Egypt find themselves the highlight of pop culture with references to the kingdoms they once ruled over. For me, however, the Nubians are more than just an ode to black excellence; they are the group to which I belong. I, a Sudanese American, have lived all my life surrounded by the towering Rocky Mountains of Colorado rather than the scorching sun of the Nubian Desert. But as I watch the culture of my people take on America, I cannot help but contrast it to the endangerment of Nubian culture in Africa. My Grandparent’s mother tongue was not Arabic, the official language of Sudan imposed by the Imperial British, rather it was an indigenous Nubian language. A language neither my mother or her children speak despairingly. With each visit to Sudan, I find myself enchanted by new aspects of Nubian culture I’ve become privy to. The distinct scarring of my Great Aunt’s cheeks, the traditional Nubian songs danced to in circles, and the pride that seems to not have withered a bit over centuries, are etched into my mind finding their way back with me to America. Unlike Nubian culture, victimised by Imperial British and the Sudanese Diaspora, Nubian pride has failed to surrender to time and distance. As I left home for Duke at Spring Break, I am reminded that I am presented with the perfect opportunity to further my appreciation of my Nubian heritage by sharing it with others and in return admiring the cultures of my peers.

Doha Ali