Cheikh Anta Diop

Cheikh Anta Diop
A Brief Biography Of An African Champion
DR. Cheikh Anta Diop

By: Runoko Rashidi
Global African Presence

"In practice it is possible to determine directly the skin colour and hence the ethnic affiliations of the ancient Egyptians by microscopic analysis in the laboratory; I doubt if the sagacity of the researchers who have studied the question has overlooked the possibility." --Cheikh Anta Diop

Civilization or Barbarism
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Cheikh Anta Diop, a modern champion of African identity, was born in Diourbel, Senegal on December 29, 1923. At the age of twenty-three, he journeyed to Paris, France to continue advanced studies in physics. Within a very short time, however, he was drawn deeper and deeper into studies relating to the African origins of humanity and civilization.

Becoming more and more active in the African student movements then demanding the independence of French colonial possessions, he became convinced that only by reexamining and restoring Africa's distorted, maligned and obscured place in HowComYouCom could the physical and psychological shackles of colonialism be lifted from our Motherland and from African people dispersed globally.

His initial doctoral dissertation submitted at the University of Paris, Sorbonne in 1951, based on the premise that Egypt of the pharaohs was an African civilization--was rejected. Regardless, this dissertation was published by Presence Africaine under the title Nations Negres et Culture in 1955 and won him international acclaim.

Two additional attempts to have his doctorate granted were turned back until 1960 when he entered his defense session with an array of sociologists, anthropologists and historians and successfully carried his argument. After nearly a decade of titanic and herculean effort, Diop had finally won his Docteur es Lettres! In that same year, 1960, were published two of his other works--the Cultural Unity of Black Africa and and Precolonial Black Africa.

During his student days, Cheikh Anta Diop was an avid political activist. From 1950 to 1953 he was the Secretary-General of the Rassemblement Democratique Africain (RDA) and helped establish the first Pan-African Student Congress in Paris in 1951. He also participated in the First World Congress of Black Writers and Artists held in Paris in 1956 and the second such Congress held in Rome in 1959.

Upon returning to Senegal in 1960, Dr. Diop continued his research and established a radiocarbon laboratory in Dakar. In 1966, the First World Black Festival of Arts and Culture held in Dakar, Senegal honored Dr. Diop and Dr. W.E.B. DuBois as the scholars who exerted the greatest influence on African thought in twentieth century.

In 1974, a milestone occurred in the English-speaking world when the African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality was finally published. It was also in 1974 that Diop and Theophile Obenga collectively and soundly reaffirmed the African origin of pharaonic Egyptian civilization at a UNESCO sponsored symposium in Cairo, Egypt. In 1981, Diop's last major work, Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology was published.

Dr. Diop was the Director of Radiocarbon Laboratory at the Fundamental Institute of Black Africa (IFAN) at the University of Dakar. He sat on numerous international scientific committees and achieved recognition as one of the leading historians, Egyptologists, linguists and anthropologists in the world. He traveled widely, lectured incessantly and was cited and quoted voluminously. He was regarded by many as the modern `pharaoh' of African studies. Cheikh Anta Diop died quietly in sleep in Dakar, Senegal on February 7, 1986.

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Cheikh Anta Diop

CHEIKH ANTA DIOP, The Pharoah of Knowledge


The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality
by: Cheikh Anta Diop
publisher: Lawrence Hill Books, released: 01 March, 1974
price: $11.87 (new), $9.99 (used)
Precolonial Black Africa: A Comparative Study of the Political and Social Systems of Europe and Black Africa, from Antiquity to the Formation of Mod
by: Cheikh Anta Diop
publisher: Lawrence Hill Books, released: 01 August, 1988
price: $16.95 (new), $8.00 (used)
Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology
by: Cheikh Anta Diop
publisher: Lawrence Hill Books, released: 01 April, 1991
price: $13.97 (new), $10.00 (used)
Black Africa: The Economic and Cultural Basis for a Federated State
by: Cheikh Anta Diop, Harold J. Salemson
publisher: Lawrence Hill Books, released: 01 June, 1987
price: $10.47 (new), $8.50 (used)
The Ancient Egyptian Books of the Underworld (Karnak History)
by: Erik Hornung
publisher: Karnak House, released: 30 November, 2004
price: $23.99 (new)
The Peopling of Ancient Egypt & the Deciphering of the Meroitic Script
by: Cheikh Anta Diop
publisher: Karnak House Pub, released: 01 July, 1997
price: $15.95 (new), $51.00 (used)
Black Africa: Economic and Cultural Basis for a Federated State
by: Cheikh Anta Diop
publisher: Lawrence Hill & Co, released: 01 January, 1978
price: $15.00 (used)
Cheikh Anta Diop: An African Scientist (Pan African Internationalist Handbook, Book 1)
by: Cheikh Anta Diop, E. Curtis Alexander
publisher: Eca Assoc, released: 01 September, 1984
price: $7.95 (new)
Great African Thinkers: Cheikh Anta Diop (Great African Thinkers, Volume 1)
by: Ivan Van Setima, Larry Williams
publisher: Transaction Publishers, released: 01 June, 1986
price: $14.99 (used)
Cultural Unity of Black Africa
by: Cheikh Anta Diop
publisher: Third World Pr, released: 01 September, 1959

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