The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality by Cheikh Anta Diop
This book gives an outline of historical, archeological as well as anthropological facts that maintains the theory that Egypt is the origin of black civilization. According to Diop, civilization along with mankind began with the black race. He argues that Homo sapiens began in the African continent and later spread to and over Asia and Europe, taking the place of the Neanderthals. As time progressed, these black people in Europe began to get light -skinned thus looking like the persons living there today.
The primevals perceive that the Egyptians are interrelated to the Ethiopians. This led to Diop’s idea of the Negro myth. Diop argues that by 1500BC, the inhabitants living in the North Africa, Middle East as well as India were also dark-skinned. This is evident as the people in Ethiopia and India have not light-skinned as the whites in the Europe continent. These regions have overtime grown to be whiter as a wave of light-skinned barbarians have emanated from the north. He further argues that in places like India, natives have been separated into a group of light and dark skinned classes. In other regions, the individuals living there have mixed thoroughly. This was important to Diop in fighting the way the scholars in the European nations in 1800s had began distancing Egypt from the rest of the African continent.
Civilization having begun in Egypt was spread from the northern part of Sahara to Western Europe through Greece and to the south of Sahara to the western part of Africa by the Nubians. He is against the concept that civilization began in Mesopotamia and the Delta region. He bases his argument on the fact that it has not been proved scientifically that Egyptians were mostly of the white race when civilization occurred. To him, Egypt was highly deep-rooted in the African culture at the time of civilization. He uses this to argue against earlier perception of a Negro origin.
Diop feels that the Greeks have been credited for things they learnt from Egypt simply because they are whites. This makes the whites look better and people of higher worth than the Africans. According to Diop, this argument is enough proof that the whites deep down acknowledge that the Egyptians are not whites. He alludes that civilization arose from along the Nile because the persons who lived there have unique conditions that favored them and not because they were in no way better than the people who lived in other regions of the world.
From the text, I learn that the Greeks did not think themselves as whites. To them, the difference occurred due to the language they spoke and not due to their race. This is why they freely interacted with the Egyptians who to a greater extent were blacks. This perception is vital in solving global issues facing us today. When the persons in the world come together as one and put down their racial differences, a more cohesive nation we will become. At the time of Egyptian civilization, race was not a priority. It emerged late in a bid to create an invasion of racial inferiority.
Diop presented his ideas clearly. He seems to have been so well acquainted in matters of African origin as well as its civilization. His arguments are well ingrained in previous researches by European scholars. This makes him bring out his arguments candidly. He cites that studies convinced that western education has not been purposeful to the African scholars as it does not teach the African history perfectly.