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

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

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“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:

1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Between -3000 and -1500, the region stretching from North Africa through the South West Asia to India became civilized: Egypt, Canaan, Elam, Indus, etc. People were dark-skinned, like they still are today in Ethiopia and southern India. The Bible calls them the sons of Ham. The Greeks saw them as Ethiopians of one sort or other.
4. After -1500 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.
5. 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.

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Description

“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:

1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Between -3000 and -1500, the region stretching from North Africa through the South West Asia to India became civilized: Egypt, Canaan, Elam, Indus, etc. People were dark-skinned, like they still are today in Ethiopia and southern India. The Bible calls them the sons of Ham. The Greeks saw them as Ethiopians of one sort or other.
4. After -1500 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.
5. 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.

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