Khepera Charter School is a K-8 African-Centered Academy devoted to the Rebirth of Academic and Cultural Excellence. It is a tuition-free Philadelphia public charter school.
All of our classes are identified by African Nation names. Listed below are Khepera Nations and a brief history of each nation.
Nation Names and Ancestor Names
Zulu Grades K-2
The Zulu are best known for their beadwork and basketry. There have also been some figural sculpture questionably attributed to them. Zulu architecture is quite complex, and the dress or fashion of the Zulu has been carefully studied… The AmaZulu believe that they are the direct descendants of the patriarch Zulu, who was born to a Nguni chief in the Congo Basin area. In the 16th century the Zulu migrated southward to their present location, incorporating many of the customs of the San, including the well-known linguistic clicking sounds of the region. During the reign of King Shaka (1816-1828), the Zulu became the mightiest military force in southern Africa, increasing their land holdings from 100 square miles to 11,500. http://www.uiowa.edu/~africart/toc/people/Zulu.html
YORUBA Grades 3-5
The oral history of the Yoruba describes an origin myth, which tells of God lowering a chain at Ile-Ife, down which came Oduduwa, the ancestor of all people, bringing with him a cock, some earth, and a palm kernel. The earth was thrown into the water, the cock scratched it to become land, and the kernel grew into a tree with sixteen limbs, representing the original sixteen kingdoms. The empire of Oyo arose at the end of the 15th century aided by Portuguese guns. Expansion of the kingdom is associated with the acquisition of the horse. At the end of the 18th century civil war broke out at Oyo, the rebels called for assistance to the Fulani, but the latter ended up conquering all of Oyo by the 1830s. The Fulani invasion pushed many Yoruba to the south where the towns of Ibadan and Abeokuta were founded. In the late 1880s, with the help of a British mediator, a treaty was signed between the various warring factions. Yorubaland was officially colonized by the British in 1901, but a system of indirect rule was established that mimicked the structure of Yoruba governance. http://www.uiowa.edu/~africart/toc/people/Yoruba.html
KMT Grades 6-8
Kemetic foundation for our project is the obvious influence Kemet had on the Mediterranean civilizations outside Africa. Certain similarities between the culture of Kemet and that of the ancient Mesopotamian civilization of Sumer demand investigation. While the European archaeologists have tended to argue for a Mesopotamian cradle of civilization, thus challenging the tradition wisdom that bestowed that honor upon Kemet, the case for Kemetic influence on later Mesopotamian cultures and the remainder of the 'fertile crescent' is however hardly questionable. The cultural and military hegemony of the African nation resulted in several centuries of Kemetic preeminence in world affairs. The records of antiquity are replete with references to Kemetic tutelage of the various nations: Canaanites, Israelites, Hittite, Cretans, Babylonians and Greeks to mention a few. Even after the fall of Kemet, her influence continued to be awesome. The history of the early Christianity and Islam are indelibly marked with lower Nile Valley theological themes. Indeed, when one considers the continuous flow of intellectual self consciousness, one must conclude that history as well as civilization began in the Nile Valley. http://www.africawithin.com