Posted by: Dr. He should be considered as one of the greatest scientists after Darwin, as he demonstrated that Africa was the cradle of humanity; that everything started in Africa, and that Egypt and modern day Africans descended from the same ancestors, in other words, were the same people. Before Cheikh Anta Diop, the world, and Africans in particular, had been taught that Africa was nothing, and that Egypt and Egyptians were not Africans… that the great Egyptian civilization which gave so much to the world, could not have come from the dark brown Africans. Europeans refused to admit that although in Africa, Egyptians could be Africans i.
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Their sacred sites were in Upper Egypt, their true homeland. Their gods were there, and the heads of those gods were painted coal black. The Egyptians made no distinction of colour between themselves and the Nubians or other Black Africans. Herodotus says they were black and had woolly hair.
The Bible says it. And where Egyptians travelled North, they ruled: the earliest kings of Elam were Black, as their tomb paintings clearly show. The Canaanites, the Phoenicians, the Carthagianians were Black. In fact, Egyptology up to had been part and parcel of the ideology of scientific racism.
Some of these theories propose that the Egyptians came from the North, which is ridiculous, and others create White races with dark skin. Egyptologists had suggested that Indo-Europeans civilized the Egyptians and lightened them, but Egyptian civilisation pre-dates anything in Europe and Mesopotamia, and mixing was very gradual due to the small numbers of whiter peoples coming to Africa, while all the elements of the Egyptian civilisation were in place in the undeniably Black Old Kingdom. The pale folks who came to Egypt before it fell were usually prisoners of war who became slaves Egyptians could not be enslaved.
The country was never a slave economy — numbers were small or brought into the royal harem. Bounteous nature was unsurprisingly revered.
Meanwhile, the Indo-Europeans struggling to survive on the hostile steppes developed the patriarchal family and aggressive, opportunistic lifeways, devoid of respect for nature, which treated them harshly. CAD suggests that the Egyptians persecuted the Jews because of their horror of nomads. I am generally wary of this kind of psychological explanation-by-climate, but in some aspects this speculative description approximates a historical approach.
I have to object that this is part of racist, colonial ideology. Nor is this the only aspect of the text which needs further decolonisation. Unforgivably, CAD collaborates in antiblackness as it constructs black female gender. As Leena Abiballa a Sudanese writer explains in this article Too Black to be Arab, too Arab to be Black "race is a Western fantasy maintained by a daily, violent socio-political choreography.
So while I find the occasional descent into skull-measuring tedious, I recognise its necessity. What happens now is that nobody talks of the Egyptians as White or Asian, but the conception is not challenged, so people continue to picture them as such and reproduce the idea - it has its own self-sustaining life.
Hollywood antidotes please Firstly, this is insulting. Even on the grounds of the essentialist concept of race it propounds, it is incorrect. I think this is the most effective refutation. CAD has used white man epistemology and essentialism strategically. I know that in a way, a meaningful way, the objector is right, because in this volume CAD concludes with touching optimism that accurate or authentic objective anthropology will triumph, racism will be over!
But yes, a different epistemology is needed. History is important, emotionally. Stories have real power. While I was reading this, I asked some folks this question: What do you think the ancient Egyptians looked like?
The first answer I got was about their clothes This is avoidance of the uncomfortable. I said the Egyptians were Black, as in, you know, like Oprah. The last person is quite enlightened, he knows race is not a thing, but it seems to me that it is another way of avoiding an uncomfortable topic. The water got hot, so somebody jumped out.
The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality
It gained a much wider audience for his work. He proved that archaeological and anthropological evidence supported his view that Pharaohs were of Negroid origin. Diop showed above all that European archaeologists before and after the decolonization had understated and continued to understate the extent and possibility of Black civilizations. They show close cultural links between Nubia and Ancient Egypt, though the relationship had been acknowledged for years.