A black Cleopatra

Netflix streaming a documentary built around the hypothesis that Cleopatra was black.

Egyptian people are angry, it is talked about in France, any opinion ?

It is complete nonsense. Documentaries should aim for accuracy. Historians know Cleopatra was not Black, so it can’t be taken seriously. Nothing else really needs to be said.

Considering this entire website revolves around critical thinking and evidence based reasoning stating something is wrong is insufficient without providing your case regardless on how obvious it may be (or not).

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Ok let’s weigh the evidence.

Weighing the Evidence: Was Cleopatra Black?

Historical Controversy

Jone Johnson Lewis
Updated on January 29, 2020

That Cleopatra was an African queen is certain—Egypt is, after all, in [Africa]
(Geography of the Countries of Africa)—but was Cleopatra Black?

What? You think she was white, when she was an Egyptian? You do know Egypt part of northern Africa, don’t you? I’ve even met people from Egypt and I wouldn’t call them white. IMHO they range as light as Mediterranean, which is not white, but rather dark olive, to Black. Whatever the case, she was definitely dark complected and definitely not white.

Historians say otherwise. I’ll trust their expertise over your goofball opinions.



Cleopatra was of Macedonian/Greek descent, her ancestor being Ptolemy a general of Alexander the great, in a family where wedding brother/sister was common.

We have portraits and description of her. If she was black the Roman historians who hated her and the Greek ones would have told.

May be she has some black blood but she was mostly a white woman, may be olive skinned.

This exchange shows the foolishness of most racial classifications.

[Cleopatra race controversy - Wikipedia]

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She was definitely dark complected because that area is Mediterranean.

Because she was Mediterranean, she was definitely not white.

This is from the Time link. Thanks professor.

“To ask whether someone was ‘Black’ or ‘white’ is anachronistic and says more about modern political investments than attempting to understand antiquity on its own terms,” Rebecca Futo Kennedy, an associate professor of Classics at Denison University, tells TIME.


I fully agree

And i would add ( 20 signs rule) that my mother is a quarter Asian, nobody would know seing her, one of my friend is one quarter African and nobody would know seing him.

Now let’s be careful defining who is what. The habit of classifying people according their color of skin with every possible nuance, was/is an habit of racists.

Remember that for a racist, anyone who has even a drop of black ancestry is not a white.

[White Supremacist Learns He's 14% Black - YouTube]

Also the habit of defining people by where they were born. American racism is directly related to slavery, it developed to keep slaves in their place and continued after slavery was over, so when we say “black”, it’s mostly referring to descendants of African people who were brought here and owned by “whites”. It shows how stupid the whole thing is when someone judges a person with African heritage who is a 20th-generation French citizen or is Jamaican with African heritage. Both of them are less likely to have the issues of a father who couldn’t get a job because of racism or couldn’t own a home because of government-regulated racism.

Very true and someone who is 1/2 Native is white by law, but I don’t find any of this quite true. One can be a blue-eyed Native and not consider themselves white. While my older adult child is light complected, he is 1/2 Black and calls himself Black, yet he was technically raised “white” as he’s been told. Skin colour isn’t enough to tell what a person’s ethnicity is.

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You are either extremely sheltered or extremely dumb.

Mediterranean is not a race and Greeks are White.

That’s just a lame attempt to avoid the topic. By that logic we should not discuss ancient legal systems because they were too different from our own.

At any rate, it’s very easy to make sense of Cleopatra’s race. All evidence points to her being Greek and Greeks are White. Therefore, we can say she was not Black.

They are olive completed. That is hardly white or at least they weren’t Irish white. Far from it.

No Greeks aren’t, but OK if it makes you less racist towards that group of people, then by all means insist they are white all you want. I’m just totally sick of your racism and anything that keeps you from spewing racism towards others, then believe what you want.

There are a few paragraphs discussing this. How can the people studying it disagree, but it’s easy for you?

"Sources suggest that if she was not Macedonian, she was probably Egyptian. So by the time of Cleopatra’s grandparents, there may have been an Egyptian element.”

The thrust of it though, is “race” is completely non-scientific. You can’t “make sense” of something that doesn’t exist.

Some do. But the format is prone to allow one, or a few people, to state their point of view.

No, you’re extremely racist. While you talk race, which there is only one race, the human race, I talk complexion. So, I’m not the one who’s extremely dumb and being a mod, I could actually give you a warning for the abuse, which is a violation of the rules.

Who cares if they’re not “Irish White”? More than 1 skin tone is found among Europeans. You need to get out of your small town bubble.

This is completely bizarre. You aren’t making sense.