Ankh becomes popular symbol of Black culture

With musical figures like Erykah Badu and Tupac Shakur, Egyptians signs have become increasingly popular, especially the ankh. Some say the sign has become a fad in society. The ankh symbol has influenced tattoos, jewelry and organizations associate themselves with the symbol, as a trademark.

The ankh is the Egyptian hieroglyphic symbol for life and eternity and

often referred to as the originally cross, where it represents the unity between male and female. The loop of the ankh represents the womb of a woman and the vertical line represents the male genital.

“The ankh has become more than a fad, or trend I’ve noticed over the past four years,” said John Paul, a tattoo artist at Capital City Tattooz in Tallahassee. It is extremely common among black women but only about 50 percent who come in to get the tattoo know the meaning of the symbol.”

Kim Casey, the ownerof What’s the point? Body piercing shop in Tallahassee, said the blacks have recently become interested in the symbol.

“There are two types of people who commonly wear ankhs, gothic kids who were probably influenced by an 80’s movie called “The Hunger” and until I worked at a record store I didn’t notice the African community become influenced by the ankh until Erykah Badu.”

Founded three years ago, S.I.S.T.U.H.S , a FAMU organization that prides itself on unity and strengths as females, uses the ankh as its symbol.

“Because the ankh represents the entire woman, it only befitted our organization,” said Kanika Frasier, a co-founder of S.I.S.T.U.H.S and senior public relations student from Miami. “We educate our members on the various meanings of the ankh as how it represents us.”

However, not everyone thinks the fad is such a bad thing.

“The ankh has been around for thousands of years. And it’s a great thing that is has become a fad because now it brings knowledge to African people,” said Abyssinia, owner of Aura a flea market vendor that comes to FAMU. “And in turn they get to learn about the stories of its origin and its meaning and how it belongs us as Africans.”