The Five Kinds Of Hotep

By Michael Harriot

Lately “Hotep” has become the de rigueur term to describe anyone wearing a dashiki or sporting an ankh as a necklace or tattoo. It is slowly morphing from adjective to pejorative, and because it has crossed the invisible bounds of Black jargon into the awareness of White America, there is a need for negrologists such as myself to lend clarity and nuance to the term, lest we soon see the phrase used in McDonalds commercials and Macklemore songs. The Urban dictionary (or–as I call it–the “White People’s Guide To Code-Switching”) lists three definitions for “Hotep:”

1. “Peace” or “I come in Peace” it is a common greeting with people well versed in true world history.

Hotep brothers & sisters, today we will discuss…

2. Black men who are only concerned about matters of social justice when it comes to black men and have little or no regard for the health and well-being of other members of the black race unless those people can serve to uphold their misogynistic societal ideas.

Hoteps are bitter black men who are somewhat progressive though undereducated on issues of racial prejudice and use pro-black rhetoric to support ideas that are clearly not in the best interest of all black people. These men are typically misogynists who display a particularly high level of disrespect for the thoughts, bodies and experiences of black women, black homosexuals and black children. These men regularly espouse anti-intellectual and anti-scientific beliefs about nutrition, women’s menstrual cycles and child development on social media.

Jay is always so outraged over the oppression of black men, but often posts derogatory memes about black women and gays on social media. I finally had to just stop talking to him because he is such a hotep.

3. One who thinks and talks enlightenment and has no idea what he or she is actually talking about. Found predominately in the African American culture. Hotep thinkers believe almost everything is a conspiracy against the black race while having no actual proof to back up said conspiracy.

“The real George Washington was actually black, but the white man doesn’t want you to know that” -Hotep talk.

While these explanations may clarify the term for some, any examination of the phenomena requires that we break the Hotep into scientifically defined categories based on observation and experimentation. As part of NegusWhoRead’s extensive collection of scholarly articles (which includes this one, and… ummm…) we will now share the specific classifications of Hotepness:

Hotep Neophytus – Just as every human being starts out as female, Neophytus is the embryonic stage of all Hoteps. Most Hoteps begin as bacon-eating, Eurocentrism embracing, regular-hair wearing norma people. Then they wake up. While the process of becoming “woke” is too extensive to dissect here, it usually involves realizing the “White man’s has purposely hidden our history” purchasing their first dashiki (Yes, according to the Hotep constitution, one must have a dashiki to be inducted into Hotepness. They’ll also stop eating pork. They always stop eating pork. I don’t know why, but they do. Except they call it “swine.”

Yes, most new Hoteps will suck on a Newport 100 with a Coca Cola in one hand and a 10-piece McNugget in the other (with barbecue sauce), but if you offer them a pork chop, they will boastfully tell you, “Nah, man… I don’t eat the swine.”

Hotep Follicus – This particular type restricts his or Hotepness to their hair. I’m sure you’ve seen the Follicus. They are the converts who believe their hairstyle has some connection to their Blackness. Hotep dudes grow dreadlocks, stop combing their beards and–that’s it. That’s as far as they go. They don’t try to learn anything new or change the world. Our research indicates that 68.21% Hotep Follicus dudes just want to have sex with female Hoteps. Another 12.4% just don’t have barbershop money.

Follicus women undergo the “Big Chop” and somehow in the middle of the night, the mythical Hotep fairy sneaks in their closets and replaces their clothes with a sandal-based Hotep uniform, which includes long flowing skirts, copper bracelets and headwraps. Lots of headwraps. Whenever another woman even slightly broaches the subject of hair, she demeaningly interrupts with “I don’t mess with the creamy crack…” To Follicus Hoteps, perm juice is the equivalent of swine. According to them, hair relaxers are really the sperm from Satan used to control the minds of Black people. If you want to be free–according to Hotep Follicus–you gotta get your hair back nappy.

Hotep Penitentiarius – All of us have a cousin or uncle who has graduated from the most successful Hotep conversion program ever created: Jail

Apparently all there is to do in prison is lift weights or read Message to the Black Man. The 2010 U.S. Census shows that 4 out of five men who complete prison terms over 5 years come out Hotep (The fifth one comes out dead). Of all the Hotep species, the Penitentiarius is the most dangerous because he is armed with the most incorrect “knowledge.” It’s probably because most state prisons aren’t known for their libraries. Or, it might just be because everyone is scared to tell the guy who just got out of prison for stabbing three people in a gunfight that he might be wrong about the fact that the Wright Brothers had a black slave who actually invented the first airplane, but the Illuminati doesn’t want you to know that so the Pope makes sure they keep it out of all books.

Hotep Supremium – This is the extreme Hotep. This Hotep believes homosexuality is a germ that Europeans are trying to spread to the original man by injecting it into our music and television and we were the original Gods of the earth and 12,000 years before Christ the Egyptians were cooking on George Foreman grills and watching cable TV and we must get back to our connections to the earth and the ancestors by eschewing European thinking, American values and deodorant. Supremiums usually refer to themselves as “Dr.” but don’t have degrees from accredited university, but will tell you that you can cure cervical cancer with a salve made from banana peels and rhinoceros urine, and that the Zika virus was created in a lab and they have the papers to prove it.

Oh, and they have a white girlfriend.

Hotep Originalis All of the previous species originated from this now-endangered subset. After the civil rights marcher and Black Power brothers walked the earth, they eventually evolved into the Originalis. There are a few of these species left. They are old-school Hoteps whose dashikis are faded and still wear picks with Black fists in their receding Afros. They love to quote obscure authors from books written by men with inauthentic African names, “…As Lumumba Afrika Baramba says…”

These are the forefathers who birthed the Hotep movement but they have slowly disappeared because of old age, disease, lifesyle, and of course… The pope.


About the author

Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot

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