The African Origin of Civilization has ratings and 48 reviews. Zanna said: Soundtrack to this review – please listen:)The Ancient Egyptians, th. Cheikh Anta Diop was a great Senegalese historian, anthropologist, philosopher, physicist and politician. He should be considered as one of. Get this from a library! The African origin of civilization: myth or reality. [Cheikh Anta Diop] — From the Publisher: Edited and translated by Mercer Cook. Laymen .

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality by Cheikh Anta Diop.

Now in its 30th printing, this classic presents historical, archaeological, and anthropological evidence to support the theory that ancient Egypt was a black civilization. Paperbackpages. Published July 1st by Chicago Review Press first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The African Origin of Civilizationplease sign up. How to download this freely? Maserame This answer contains spoilers… view spoiler [By downloading using pdf hide spoiler ].

See 2 questions about The African Origin of Civilization…. Lists with This Book. Jul 27, Zanna rated it really liked it Shelves: Soundtrack to this review – please listen: Their sacred sites were in Upper Egypt, their true homeland. Their gods were there, and t Soundtrack to this review – please listen: 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 Canaanites, the Phoenicians, the Carthagianians were Black. Well, race isn’t a thing is it? It’s just junk in the mind of the racist, as one friend objected when I started talking about this book. 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. Hence such designations as ‘Hamite’ ‘Nilotic’ and so on, proliferate as the white Egyptologists scramble zfrican avoid the belief that the despised and enslaved Negro could be the antecedent and teacher of European culture.

CAD believes that there are only three ‘races’, ‘white, black and yellow’ and suspects that even the ‘yellow’ is really civilizwtion a mix of black and white, like the Semites and other ‘Mediterranean’ people, and the Egyptians today. Egyptologists had suggested that Indo-Europeans civilized the Egyptians and lightened chiekh, 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.


Affican 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. This isn’t a theory of racial superiority of course; the Egyptians’ social and cultural sophistication, asserts CAD, was nurtured by their environment and the need for cooperation imposed by the particular agricultural conditions around the Nile.

Bounteous nature was unsurprisingly revered. Meanwhile, the Indo-Europeans struggling to survive on the hostile chrikh 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. CAD accepts the idea that Black Africa has ‘regressed’ from the glory days of the pharaohs. 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 djop Black “race is a Western fantasy maintained by a daily, violent socio-political choreography.

Why am I greeting CAD’s project as near-heroic? 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. That’s why whites are cast as Egyptians in movies etc. Now I’m on the lookout for books and other art that presents ancient Egypt as Black. 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. To repeat a much abused revelation: White supremacy has been making out like a bandit on the back of this valid deconstruction for some time, pretending that since race does not exist, cheiku the white concept of racism is one of the master’s tools does not exist either, since Lincoln orkgin the slaves or whatever, now there’s a full meritocracy, level playing field etc: 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 clarified Civilizzation second reply from a knowledgeable person was that they had ‘Asian skin, almond eyes, long hair’ That is racist Egyptology at work.

I said the Egyptians were Black, as in, you know, like Oprah. The next reply was ‘I don’t think we should assign race to them, I never thought about it’ That is ‘colourblindness’ or raceblindness, which is diiop racism-blindness, isn’t it?


The last person is quite enlightened, he knows race is not a thing, but it seems oirgin me that it is another way of avoiding an uncomfortable topic. The water got hot, so somebody jumped out. Person 2 also said ‘Surely the Egyptologists were not all racist’ which is related to the objection ‘some old racist books claimed the Egyptians were white’ But this is not over, as person 2’s first response indicates.

The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality by Cheikh Anta Diop

cheikb They had ‘Asian skin’, so they were Asian? This is not over. We should not get over it. View all 18 comments. Dec 14, Donald rated it it was amazing. This book is full of information and facts exposing white washing of origins of Carthage, Egypt, etc.

Every person of African descent should read this book. African history needs to be claimed back and told from the perspective of the African. It is a definitive work without a doubt Highly recommended reading.

Jul 29, Ben rated it it was amazing. Jan 02, Jerry rated it really liked it Shelves: The author argues that the ancient Egyptians Anu were Negroes. Their gods Osiris and Isis were depicted as black. A bas-relief from the 18th Dynasty 16th century BC depicts the order of races known to the Egyptians: The Egyptians and Nahasi were different shades of reddish-brown. The leading Egyptologists of the 19th century argued against the Negro origin of Egyptians, and their theories of a white Egyptian race won ou The author argues that the ancient Egyptians Anu were Negroes.

The leading Egyptologists of the 19th century argued against the Negro origin of Egyptians, and their theories of a white Egyptian race won out regardless of the evidence. The Phoenicians and the elite of Carthage were also Negroes. The Phoenician traders brought white women from Greece to Egypt for the Pharaoh. Eventually the whites came to dominate; because of mixing of the populations, the Arabs, Jews, Italians, Spanish, and French have Negro blood.

Some cultural practices originating with the early Negro civilizations included totemism, circumcision and excision, and matriarchy. Jun 19, Katie rated it really liked it.

The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality

Let’s just say Elizabeth Taylor was not accurately cast as Cleopatra. Aug 13, Tracey rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Mar 24, Banole rated it it was amazing.

This highly technical and scholarly book is fast becoming a classic in the study of ancient African history. The book is actually an English translation of large parts of two of Dr. Diop boldly states his p This highly technical and scholarly book is fast becoming a classic in the study of ancient African history.