The African Origin of Civilization A Myth or Reality


TheAfrican Origin of Civilization: A Myth or Reality

TheAfrican Origin of Civilization: A Myth or Reality

Thetheme of the book

Inthis book Anta Diop develops an outline of the social and politicaloutline of the Egyptian society. This book is centered on the beliefthat the cradle of civilization for mankind is in Africa. Dr. Diop inthe book bases his evidence on the historical, archeological andanthropological aspects to prove that the first man was African.

Hestates that there was no way man without pigmentation could havesurvived in the southern Equatorial region. It is for this reasonthat he believes that the first man was African. The other raceschanged due to adaptation. As the man moved out of the equatorialregion to more favorable climatic regions, his pigmentation changed.

Hisargument is that nature only creates once, and it is thus onlypossible that the first man was a Negro. Those who remained in Africalacked the potential to expand and leave the regions they lived in.Those who oppose this argument according to Dr. Diop do so because ofracist attitudes. He argues that the white and yellow races descendedfrom the earliest Homo Sapiens who was a negro. He further statesthat civilization began in Egypt and not in Europe.


  1. What were Egyptians?

Theargument presented in this chapter is that to the Greeks and Jews,the Egyptians were black who looked like the people from Ethiopia.They never thought of them to be white or Europeans.

  1. Birth of the Negro Myth

Themyth is that black people are inferior to the whites. This chapterdiscusses where this idea came from and how it developed. He arguesin this chapter that this myth has spread for a long time which makeseven the black population to believe in it.

  1. Modern falsification of history

Thischapter focuses on the European scholars. and how they influencedhistory by distancing Egypt from the rest of Africa. This was for thesole purpose of giving a false account of history. To them, the blackartifacts in Egypt belonged to the slaves.

  1. Could Egyptian Civilization have originated in the Delta?

Hedismisses the argument that civilization began in the delta. Heargues that even though this could be possible, there are no hardfacts to support this notion.

  1. Could Egyptian civilization be of Asian Origin?

Inthis chapter, Dr. Diop argues that there is no way that civilizationoriginated in Mesopotamia. He argues that there is no proof tosupport this notion, and that most factors in the EgyptianCivilization are much older than Asia.

  1. Egyptian race as seen and treated by anthropologists

Inthis chapter, Diop argues that there is no scientific evidence toshow that during the time that civilization began, Egypt waspredominantly black. He states that this is a false belief thatgenerations have been taught to believe.

  1. Arguments supporting a Negro origin

Thischapter argues that the culture in Egypt was that of most Africanstates, and not European nor Asian. This is the reason he believesthat Egypt was made of a black population.

  1. Arguments opposing a Negro Origin

Dr,Diop in this chapter dismisses any arguments that do not point to theNegro origin. He counters arguments such as mummies had straighthair, blacks were slaves at the time, and that the Egyptians paintedthemselves in red colors to indicate that the population was black.

  1. Peopling of Africa from the Nile Valley

Inthis chapter, Dr. Diop argues that the African people came from theSudan region along the Nile valley. He basis his argument on themigration stories at the time as well as the different names thatreappear in different African regions.

  1. Political and social evolution of Ancient Egypt

Inthis chapter Diop Argues that the reason that there were norevolutions in Egypt is because most Egyptians were not slaves andthere was need for a revolution.

  1. Contribution of Ethiopia-Nubia and Egypt

Here,the focus is on the Greek miracle which Diop does not term as amiracle. To him, it is just a racist perception.

  1. Reply to a critic

Inthis chapter, Diop replies to the criticism of Raymond Mauny, aFrench historian. He states that Mauny was judgemental withoutreading the book as a whole. Besides, the answers to his questionsare in the same book.

Ananalysis of the book

Theauthor of this book, Dr. Anta Diop presents precise and sensiblearguments to prove that civilization began in Africa and particularlyEgypt. He basis his argument on facts that he develop from historicalarguments, archeological evidence, as well as anthropologicalevidence.

TheSenegalese Egyptologist urges the reader to have an open mind when itcomes to learning about the origin of mankind. He urges the reader todrop racist attitudes and stereotypes, and not criticize just for thesake of it. It was a fascinating read that that gave me an insightinto the story of civilization from an African perspective. Theknowledge on adaptation can be used globally to improve the lives ofthe human population. People will no longer think that there arethose who are more superior to others. This is based on myunderstanding that by learning the story of civilization, we can usethe lessons from ancient communities to respond to current problems.


Diop,C., &amp Diop, C. (1974).&nbspTheAfrican origin of civilization: Myth or reality.New York: L. Hill.