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The African Roots Of Mental Health

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Egyptian healer Imhotep is credited with discovering a scientific approach to diagnosis and treatment of mental health.  His approach blended spirituality with mental health. Imhotep was born in the 27th century BC in Memphis, Egypt. He was second in command to Pharaoh Djoser. Imhotep was an architect, scribe, religious leader, astrologer and healer.  He was so revered that after he was death, he was worshipped as a God.

Imhotep employed “temple sleep” to help people experiencing mental health distress.  Sleep therapy was a combination of exploring spiritual meaning of dreams. Many of his approaches to health and medicine were documented in the Ebers Papyrus document.  The document was written around 1500 BC and contained a chapter on mental health called the “Book Hearts”.  However it it includes sources that date back as far as 3400 BC.  The document also identifies depression as a condition of the The Ebers Papyrus foreshadowed today’s focus exploring the multiple ways that mental health is influenced/impacted by things such as gut health and the body’s other regulatory systems. 

Ancient Egypt was also the place where the brain was given its name and its composition was studied. Imhotep’s findings existed over 2,000 years before those of Hippocrates who is credited with being the “father of medicine”.   However, Hippocrates recognized the influence and accomplishments of Imhotep.  Hippocrates described himself as a “child of Imhotep” meaning that Imhotep was a pioneer and trailblazer long him.

Sources:

http://blackyouthproject.com/mental-health-treatment-is-a-black-tradition-white-people-just-took-credit-for-it/

Barber History: Roots In Ancient Egypt

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

Antique Barber Chair Types and Values | LoveToKnow

The barber profession originated in ancient Egypt, where razor blades from as early as 3500 BC have been discovered.  Barbers played important health care and spiritual roles.   Many people preferred to remain clean-shaven to avoid skin diseases.  It was also believed that evil spirits would enter the body through the hair and that the only way to remove the spirits was by cutting the hair.  Barbers would also frequently perform religious ceremonies such as weddings and baptisms as well. 

In the US during the 19th century, barbershops that were black-owned would often cater to white clientele exclusively because white patrons would not want to have their hair cut if the instruments had been used on black people.  This was also true in the north. Following emancipation, black barbers began to serve both black and white clients.  Over time, the barbershop would firmly establish itself as a place of community and connection for Black men.  The number of barbershops slowly began to decline as education requirements licensure requirements increased. 

Henry M. Morgan established Tyler Barber College in 1934, in Tyler, TX.  It was the first national chain of barber colleges for African Americans.  The school grew rapidly until close to 80% of all black barbers in America received training at Morgan’s schools.  In 1934, Henry M. Morgan established Tyler Barber College, the first national chain of barber colleges for African Americans, in Tyler, Texas.

Henry Miller Morgan Tyler Barber College Museum - Photos | Facebook
Henry Morgan Barber College
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