“The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality” (1974) is a book by Cheikh Anta Diop, a Senegalese Egyptologist. It makes the case that both mankind and civilization started with black people. It argues that Ancient Egypt was largely Black African in race and culture during the first 2,000 years of its civilization.
Diop’s model goes like this:
- Homo sapiens began in Africa and began as black people. It was as black people that they spread over Asia and Europe, taking the place of the Neanderthals.
- The rise of different races: Over time black people in northern Eurasia became light-skinned and began to look like the people who live there today.
- As late as 1500 BC most of the people living in the region stretching from North Africa through the Middle East to India were still dark-skinned. Like the people in Ethiopia and southern India still are today. The Bible calls them the sons of Ham. The Greeks saw them as Ethiopians of one sort or other.
- Between 3000 and 1500 BC this region become civilized: Egypt, Canaan, Elam, Indus, etc.
- Since 1500 BC this region has become whiter over time as wave after wave of light-skinned barbarians over thousands of years have come down from the north. In India people were separated into light- and dark-skinned castes. Elsewhere they have mixed more thoroughly.
- Egyptian civilization spreads north of the Sahara to Western Europe by way of Greece and south of the Sahara to West Africa by way of Nubia.
I have written a post on each chapter:
- Diop: What were the Egyptians? - the ancients saw the Egyptians as closely related to the Ethiopians
- Diop: Birth of the Negro Myth - where the idea that black people are incapable comes from
- Diop: Modern Falsification of History - how European scholars in the 1800s began to distance Egypt from the rest of Africa
- Diop: Origination in the Delta? - Egyptian civilization did not start in the Delta
- Diop: An Asian Origin? - civilization did not come from Mesopotamia
- Diop: Egyptian Race Seen by Anthropologists - there is no proof from science that Egyptians were mostly white when civilization arose there
- Diop: Arguments for a Negro Origin – Ancient Egypt was rooted in African culture, not Asian or European culture
- Diop: Arguments Against a Negro Origin -Diop knocks these down
- Diop: Peopling of Africa from the Nile Valley - particularly from the country now called Sudan
- Diop: Evolution of Ancient Egypt - mostly about the whitening of Egypt
- Diop: Contribution of Ethiopia-Nubia and Egypt - the idea of “the Greek miracle” is rooted in a white racist reading of history
- Diop: Reply to a Critic - replies to French historian Raymond Mauny of the Sorbonne
- Diop: Early History of Humanity: Evolution of the Black World - how mankind started out black and stayed that way for a long time
Even apart from how right or wrong Diop is, the book is an excellent account of how whites twist history and science for their own ends and why blacks need to write and know their own history.