Cheikh Anta Diop

Front Cover
Ivan Van Sertima, Larry Obadele Williams
Transaction Books, Jan 1, 1986 - History - 378 pages
1 Review

This book, the first in a series of work on Africans, whose life and thought have left a major impact on the world, is devoted to the Senegalese physicist, historian and linguist, Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop, who was born in Diourbel, Senegal on December 29, 1923, and died in Dakar on February 7, 1986. No figure in the field of African civilization studies has been more highly regarded in the French and English-speaking world than Diop. In 1966 the First World Festival of Arts and Culture attributed jointly to the late W.E.B. DuBois and Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop its "Award of the Scholar who had exerted the greatest influence on Negro thought in the 20th century." The book has nearly a hundred illustrations.

Great African Thinkers--Vol. 1., Chiekh Anta Diop features impressions of the man--"Conversations with Diop and Tsegaye" by Jan Carey; critiques of his major works "The Cultural Unity of Africa: the Domains of Patriarchy and of Matriarchy in Classical Antiquity" by Asa Hillard III, "The Changing Perception of Cheikh Anta Diop and his work" by James G. Spady, "Cheikh Anta Diop and the New concept of African History" by John Henrik Clarke; "The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality"--Review by A.J. Williams-Meyers; "Civilization or Barbarianism: the Legacy of Cheikh Anta Diop" by Leonard Jeffried, Jr. and "Diop on Asia: Highlights and Insights" by Runoko Rashidi; interviews "Africa's Political Unity," "Emancipation and Unity," "Negritude and the African personality" and "Ethnicity and National Consciousness" by Carlos Moore; "Dr. Chiekh Anta Diop" by Shawna Moore, "Meeting the Pharaoh" and "Further Conversation with the Pharaoh" by Charles S. Finch; the first authorized English translation of the introduction and two opening chapters from his last major work "Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology" by Edward G. Taylor; a selection of essays by Diop--"Origin of the Ancient Egyptians;" "Iron Metallurgy in the Ancient Egyptian Empire" a translation by Darryl Prevost; "Africa's contribution to the Exact Sciences" and a selection of lectures made during his first and only visit to the United States.

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

This book , edited by Ivan Van Sertima, offers a fascinating, informative and erudite introduction to the life and work of Dr. Diop. This book contains a number of important essays by Dr. Diop. There are contributions from Dr. Charles Finch, Dr. John Henrik Clarke, Dr. Leonard Jeffries, and a host of others.
The book also gives us very useful summaries, assessments and reveiws of Diop's monumental life's work. There are numerous excellent extended interviews with Dr. Diop. We learn of Dr. Diop's visit to the US. There are numerous illustrations.
One is amazed, as Diop explains and demonstrates that his native language, Wolof, is genetically related to the language spoken by the ancient Black Africans we now call "ancient Egyptians". Diop also points out the underlying unity of African culture,which has for so long been denied and obscured by dogmatic European/American intellectual formulations.
The attempt to separate ancient Black Egypt from the rest of Black Africa
rest on a deliberately distorted and perverted use of the historical records. To take Egypt out of Africa is to engage in myth making and the setting up of modern intellectual taboos that can only be challenged by offending the Gods of Westen Orthodoxy. Diop took up this challenge and struck death blows to Euro-centrism.......and oh how they laughed,screamed,slandered, sneered and finally grew silent, tense and weary. Facts are stubborn things!
The book will allow you to study how African scholars, such as Dr. Diop, are telling their own story, free of any intellectual masters.
There is a lot of information crammed into this book of 387 pages.
The contributors give various perspectives and interpretations of Diop's work and comment on how Diop's work has changed the writing of the history and culture of Africa .
I applaud the editors, Dr. Van Sertima and Larry Williams, for this master work in English on the life and work of Cheikh Anta Diop.
If studied seriously, one can learn a lot from this book.

Other editions - View all

About the author (1986)

Ivan Van Sertima (1935-2009) was professor of African studies at Rutgers University. He was visiting professor at Princeton University and lectured at more than one hundred colleges and universities. He edited the Journal of African Civilizations, which has greatly changed the way in which African history and culture are taught and studied.

Larry Williams is a co-convener and founding member of the Bennu Study Group of Atlanta Georgia. His articles have appeared in History, the Bible and the Black Man magazine, the Atlanta Voice newspaper, Return to the Source magazine, and Afrika Must Unite: A Journal of Pan-Afrikan Affairs. He is a frequent lecturer on Marcus Garvey and other subjects in the field of African history.

Bibliographic information