Ten professors, who are white or presumed to be white, have received death threats from a black nationalist organization that accuses them of “desecrating the tombs of Gods and Goddesses.”
Dr. Aimee Glocke, a white professor in California State University Northridge’s Africana Studies department, and eight non-black professors in Dartmouth College’s African and African American Studies program received the letters earlier this year. Glocke immediately recognized the unique language of the letter addressed to her and a colleague when she opened it in early January.
“Ref: Epistle to Shemitic and Japhetic Egyptologists and Scholars of Black History,” the five-page, single-spaced missive began. “I, Pharaoh Akhenaton-in-My-new-name-The Lord God AlphaKhenOmega find thee guilty of raiding My tombs.”
“Shemitic and Japhetic” refer to Jews and Europeans, based on a biblical interpretation that Noah’s three sons, Shem, Japheth and Ham, birthed the Asian/Semitic, European and African peoples, respectively. Dr. Glocke and her colleague are the only white (or perceived to be white) professors in CSU Northridge’s Africana Studies department, and that made them targets of the death threats.
The reference to Pharaoh Akhenaton is more esoteric, but Dr. Glocke recognized the ancient ruler as the founder of a sun-worshipping cult in ancient Egypt. The letter continues using this language, at times taunting its recipients (“Shemitic and Japhetic heirs … teach Me about Black History, African Studies – teach Me all about Ham!”) and proceeding to a series of threats (“May your death come speedily. May you never resurrect. … You are guilty of desecrating the tombs of Gods and Goddesses. For this you must be killed.”).
“This is obviously someone who’s very well versed in Kemetic [ancient Egyptian] cosmology, enough to be able to manipulate it, to try to use it in a way that is going to try to hurt somebody,” Dr. Glocke said.
At nearly the same time, the identical letter addressed to non-black professors at Dartmouth’s African and African American Studies program was reported to the Hanover, New Hampshire, police department, nearly 3,000 miles away from CSU Northridge.
At both colleges, when the death threats were reported, the targeted professors assisted officers with interpreting the letter’s Egyptian references. The investigating officer in Hanover got the impression that “the letter originated from a black supremacy group, probably on the fringe,” while Dr. Glocke had to explain in more detail to CSU Northridge police.
“‘I do not want you to not take this seriously because you do not understand it,’” she recalled telling a responding officer. “‘This is a death threat; they’re wishing me dead, and not only wishing me dead, but wishing I don’t have a rebirth and resurrection.’ Until I said that, he didn’t understand the urgency of the situation.”
The letter offered clues to its possible author and point of origin, and investigators (as well as some of the letter’s recipients) quickly traced it to AlphaKhenOmega Reading Research Mansion LLC, registered in an Atlanta suburb to a woman named Angela Powell. In October 2018, a notice appeared in a local newspaper announcing the intention of Angela Powell to change her name to Pharaoh Akhenaton. Powell did not respond to a detailed message left on AlphaKhenOmega’s voicemail that requested her response and comment for this story. An email to the address provided on AlphaKhenOmega’s website was returned as undeliverable.
Powell’s social media posts reveal an undercurrent of antisemitism common to black nationalist groups such as the Black Hebrew Israelites, Nuwaubian Nation of Moors and the Nation of Islam. Black nationalist groups are generally reacting to hundreds of years of oppression via white supremacy, and look to form their own institutions out of the mainstream. Most are anti-white, antisemitic and anti-LGBT, and some, like AlphaKhenOmega, profess that black people are God’s “chosen people.”
In one post, Powell refers to a Bible verse referencing the “synagogue of Satan,” which is often used to argue that Jews are the children of Satan.
An image shared by an AlphaKhenOmega-related account reads: “Hebrew/Israelites USURPING/Enslaving native Hamite/Egyptians. When White people want to deter Blacks from believing in their ancestry; and when they want to justify slavery, they show this pix and teach that Egyptians were Whites who hated Blacks. The truth is – YES, Hebrews were Whites from Ur of the Chaldees (which means a place of dark forces and occults). By the power of Devils, Hebrews/Greeks, etc., usurped Egypt and enslaved the native heirs of Egypt/Ham.”
After the line “For this you must be killed” in the five-page letter sent to CSUN and Dartmouth, it reads: “For this you must be cast into My Lake of Fire. For this ye shall not resurrect. … Your heaven is departed from ye all.”
“This is a huge distortion of what the Kemetians, or ancient Egyptians, had interpreted life to be,” Dr. Glocke said. “They must really have ill intentions if they’re trying to will somebody to death with Kemetic cosmology.”
At both colleges, safety plans were put into place for the targeted professors. Dr. Glocke said CSU Northridge police contacted the FBI about the death threats, and at Dartmouth, the sergeant investigating the incident said: “I am unable to go into specifics in terms of what actions were taken, but I can tell you that the case was taken seriously, and the recipient of the letter was satisfied with the response from law enforcement. This situation will continue to be monitored, as it is presumed that Ms. Powell’s group will continue on its mission.”
Photo illustration by SPLC