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The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality [Paperback]

Cheikh Anta Diop , Mercer Cook
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 18.95
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Book Description

July 1 1989
Now in its 30th printing, this classic presents historical, archaeological, and anthropological evidence to support the theory that ancient Egypt was a black civilization.

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The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality + Precolonial Black Africa + Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology
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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
In contemporary descriptions of the ancient Egyptians, this question is never raised. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A masterful illumination of forgotten history June 24 2004
"Snowden approached...all of the writings of the 'classical writers' of Greece and Rome for the actual references made to Africa and Africans...Ethiopians were the yardstick by which blackness was measured...European family crests showing black faces and coarse hair are accompanied frequently by such African derivatives as Mawr, Moore, Moorehead, Morris, Morrison, Mora, Maurice, Mareau, Moretti, Muir, Mohr, meaning a person from Mauritania [the Moors]. Sometimes the label is more indirect with names such as Schwartz, Schwartzkopf, and Schwartzmann, which are German for Black, Blackhead and Blackman...
"...the physical evidence for a [Black African] presence in Greece and Rome is compelling and extensive...including photographs of carvings, pottery, paintings and is only because the racism of the present is projected by today's authors into an ancient world that did not know racism as we do, that we have become so misinformed about Africans, and therefore misinformed about history."
"Blacks in Antiquity: Ethiopians in the Greco-Roman Experience"
A review by Asa G. Hilliard
"A SCIENTIFIC revolution, according to Kuhn [the scientist/linguist author of THE THEORY OF SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTIONS], is not simply an addition to pre-existing knowledge. It is, within any field, 'a reconstruction of the field from new fundamentals'; a complete demolition of an old theoretical and conceptual structure and its replacement by a new one based on entirely different aims and premises. The old paradigm...attacked from the outside...cannot be defeated on the basis of its own rules for, as we have seen...
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very well done June 1 2004
I read this book as required reading for an African studies course that I took in college. I found it to be incredibly eye opening as did many of my fellow students, many of whom were white.
I would like for the readers of this silly debate to understand only a few key points, unleadened with philisophical and heady banter of the 'I'm-better-than-you-and-will-prove-it,' agenda's on both sides, black or white.
Our schools, in America, continue to teach nothing to young African-Americans, as far as thier origins. In fact there is no diversty in the telling of history in our country. When our nation moved forward in its infancy, the Europeans building it did not have Africans in mind, and how could they, for they were moving forward with thier own cultural model, the model held by them to be superior to any indigenous culture.
With that, how could a eurocentric history of Africa, regardless of any documentation-- reported only within the confines of the eurocentric point of view-- ever be comeletley credible if at all. How could white historians NOT lie to thier own children in order to keep a sense of superiorty going. They had to, and they DID. Is anyone suprised that a lie was told during the more awful periods of history. Does anyone think that these lies were told only in America during the 17 and 1800's?
It is so apparrent that this is the very pattern of any society that has ever sought to dominate another. Look at the old movies of American culture and you can see the hilarious and horrible assumptions of superiority that white people suffered as they tried to hold onto certain cultual beliefs, the edges of thier own propaganda.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nothing but the truth May 28 2004
All one has to do is to read this great piece of literary work to see what Diop is talking about. For thousands of years we have been cheated and lied to about our history, it is only through research that the truth can be revealed. There has never been a positive book about African history until African history is written by it's own...the African...Thank you Diop for daring to do what no man has ever done before. From the very onset of written history, the black has always been depicted as a simpleton, someone incapable of thinking for himself, someone dependent on 'massa' for dear life. Cheikh Anta Diop not only dispels these lies, he also brought to light the truth about black history...the glorious history of our ancestors from time unknown. Reading the book is so uplifting and so educating that one has to read it to experience our history. It is only normal to receive criticism on this wonderful piece. It is with great difficulty and pain that 'they' have to respond to save face. Even though Dr Cheikh Anta Diop is no more with us, his writings will do the talking. To all people of African decent, please read this book and find out what you have never been taught in school. To all the negative critics that hate to see anything positive about black people I'd say...EAT YOUR HEARTS OUT!!.
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By A Customer
The people who write bad reviews about this book are all 1: white rascists and 2: have never read this book or have an agenda that is something other than a fair critique. I am a black male who is not swayed easily by arguments just because they come from black people. I personally cannot stand to hear some idiot spouting off about nonsense about blacks being god or black space aliens or whatever. I have read some of the most idiotic books written by my people that make claims that have no basis in reality. This book however is nothing but the truth. Honestly before reading it I thought the claims of black egypt were laughable. Even after reading it I decided I had to do my own research. What I found was this: in southern Egypt today there are still people(not Nubians ) who would be considered black by the modern definition of the term. Archaeologist have found evidence that Nubian pharaohs pre date the first egyptian dynasty by at least 300 yrs for proof go here: [...] do a google search for the lost pharoahs of nubia) I have found that The semetic language belongs to an afroasiatic parent language that was spread by black people as they migrated north. I have read in the writings of Aristotle and Herodotus the physical description of the ancient Egyptians as "black skinned and wooly haired". I have seen a recreation of king tut's face done by European phorensic scientists: [...] I have seen on the front page of a national newspaper the recreation of nefertiti's face(do a google search). Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Product was just as described and arrived a lot sooner then I expected. I would order again.
Published on Nov. 5 2010 by kifo
3.0 out of 5 stars It's O.K
The book is O.K. The subject matter is interesting and the knowledge presented is needed. However this book failed to hold my interest. Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2009 by reading is breathing
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great one I loved it.
What can I say but at any price this book is a must have.
Published on March 16 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars A converted skeptic.
This book has obviously angered (a few) people, so much so that they have gone above and beyond the call of duty as reviewers to invent several screen names and post their... Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2004 by "kiku-chan"
4.0 out of 5 stars Repeat this......
This book has flaws like any other historical and scientific book. It would appear from reading many of the reviews that the same review(s) that slate this book are repeated many... Read more
Published on Jan. 7 2004
5.0 out of 5 stars The First Step
If you are of African descent this book is the first step in reclaiming yourself.
Published on Nov. 29 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Has this book changed how egyptology is taught?
I want to make only ONE POINT afrocentric extremist will argue that the Egyptians where black on the other side Nazi right wingers will argue that the Egyptians are European. Read more
Published on Oct. 18 2003 by Jeffrey Carey
5.0 out of 5 stars Read Before You Judge!
I truly suspect that the people who have given poor reviews and negative comments of this book have not read it at all or at least have not read it thoroughly. Read more
Published on Sept. 20 2003 by Babu
1.0 out of 5 stars I laughed
This revisionism belies the facts of HISTORY. How can we go forth in History when we are too busy revising this false and grand "past"? Read more
Published on Aug. 11 2003
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