The African Origin of Civilization Myth or Reality by Cheikh Anta Diop
In chapter one, the author lightly touches on the mystery surrounding the identity and race of the Egyptians. In the field of Egyptology, it is normal to whitewash Egyptian history. Because such a civilization itself gave the world so much and have been an influence and a foundation for many civilizations that came afterwards. So it is paramount that the race of the people of such calibre is defined, controlled and presented in a particular way to serve an agenda that stems from an era full of confusion itself.
According to Britannica, Egyptology, the study of pharaonic Egypt, from the time of 4500 BCE to CE 641 began when Napolean invaded Egypt from 1798–1801. The discovery of a Negro/Black Egypt made Naploean Bonaparte himself and his scholars, and followers uncomfortable. Since they come from a school of thought that believes only greatness can come from whiteness or association with whiteness.
Prior to the birth of Egyptology to divert the world from the truth. The ancient was wise and the race of man itself was not a determinant of intelligence, greatness and so on. Herodotus insisted on the identity of the Egyptian as stated, ''It is certain that the natives of the country are black with the heat. '' Diop., page 1).0 In addition, the people themselves called what is now known as Egypt, ''Kemit,'' Diop., page 7). The land and the people were one in the definition and appearance of blackness.
Herodotus continues with his honesty in this chapter by further affirming that ''Greece borrowed from Egypt all the elements of her civilization, even the cults of the Gods, and that Egypt was the cradle of civilization. '' Diop., page 4). He acknowledged that sharing and transferring of cultures, civilizations and so on were normal in the ancient world.
As we conclude the chapter it is hinted one of the clue to Egypt's eventual downfall as in a huge mistake was made when a Pharaoh Psammeticushus, ''commit the defense of Egypt to foreign troops and to introduce various colonies made up of dregs of the nation.'' Diop., page 5). The people of Ancient Egypt were so powerful and influential and as a result, assimilated people into their rich culture at the time.
After a while, the foreigners that have enjoyed ancient Egyptian hospitality decided to conquer the land. Greece was next door and it was no surprise that ''after the conquest of Egypt by Alexander, under the Ptolemies crossbreeding between white Greeks and Black Egyptians flourished.'' Diop., page 5). This resulted in the decline and whitewashing of Black native Egypt.
In the translator's preface by Mercer Cook in, ''African Origin of Civilization Myth or Reality, '' by Cheikh Anta Diop. He was given a proper and honourable introduction by Cook as follows below,
''Should give the reader a general idea of what Congolese author Theophile Obenga calls the, ''Historical Method and Conception of Cheikh Anta Diop.''
Dr Diop's methods is multi-faceted and reflects his varied background as ''historian, physicist, and philosopher.'' Obenga singles him out as ''the only Black African of his generation to have received training as a Egyptologist.'' As a Senegalese, he has had direct contact with oral traditions and social structure of West Africa.
From Andre Aymard, Professor of History and later Dean of the Faculty of Letters at the University of Paris, he has gained an understanding of the Greco-Latin world. As a student of Gaston Bachelard, Frederic Joliot-Curie, Andre Leroi-Gourhan, and others, he has acquired proficiency in such diverse disciplines as rationalism, dialetics, modern scientific techniques, prehistoric archeology, and so on.
''While pursuing his research, '' he told the First International Congress of Black Writers and Artists in September 1956, ''we have come to discover that the ancient Pharaonic Egyptian Civilization was undoubtedly a Negro civlization. To defend this thesis, anthropological, ethnological, linguistic, historical, and cultural arguments have been provided. ''
To conclude Cheikh Anta Diop has done his part in unearthing authentic African history. He has provided a huge body of work which we will explore one by one. He was born on December 29, 1923, in Senegal and has crossed into the ancestral realm on February 7, 1968. Rest in power, wise one.
Nyabuoy Gatbel is a South Sudanese Canadian currently living in Calgary, AB. She was born in Ethiopia in 1993 and moved to Canada as a refugee in 2002. She's currently a undergraduate student at the University of Calgary. Besides her studies she's a social entreprenuer focusing on the, ''Paarman Centre project,'' a fashion model, writer and author of the book, ''The Fire Within poetry in Thok Nath and English.''