Book Review: The African Origin of Civilization Myth or Reality, Book Review by Kyle Phoenix

Book Review: The African Origin of Civilization Myth or Reality
This is an important book to society.  To all societies.  I often have discussions with my students and when I'm in my own classes, my professors and classmates about this system of race that has been created and foisted upon us.  Even more often I hear adults of color tell younger people that Black people built the pyramids.  What they're trying to do is engender a sense of historical pride and identification with a viable, valuable and incredible creation.  This is good.  The problem often comes when the younger people don't want to know or don't care/identify with this model.  This too is natural.  The psychology of people of color is divided with a part of the older generation still residing in the challenge, perspectives and concepts of the Civil Rights Movement.  More, more than 50%, of the newer generations don't see, want, nor have the same value attitude towards this information.  This too is natural.  Why?  Because our society has shifted, as societies do, and integration means that we're no longer segregated in our self-perceptions.  Bluntly, race, while evident is not the totality of my and younger generations self perception because we've been more integrated into the overall society than our parents our grandparents.  But this doesn't mean that there still shouldn't be a deeper origin of humanity that includes all of the segments that we have now isolated down to "race".

Cheikh Anta Diop (29 December 1923 in Thieytou, Diourbel Region–7 February 1986 in Dakar) was a historian,anthropologist, physicist, and politician who studied the human race's origins and pre-colonial African culture.  He applied his scholarship to the examination of Africa and it's historical place and the racial impact upon the world.  The African Origin of Civilization was first introduced to me passing back and forth in front of my parents' bookcases as a child.  I didn't read and engage it until my undergraduate Teacher's Asst. position for Carlene Hatcher Polite.  Every semester she would set this book and another as the text for Black Literature 300 level classes.
Later visiting my parent's home I would see that we always had this book, I was just the only one in the family who hadn't read it.  Why does this matter?  I think it matters because when I look at my parents who were members of the Black Panther Party and the Black Liberation Army, I come from revolutionaries.   Who were informed and strengthened in revolutionary thought.  Therefore I am comfortable in my self, my identity, my sexuality, my religious and political views being revolutionary.  This context of parents and mentors passing onto me such an important book allows me to one day sit with my children and teach them about events thousands of years ago,traceable step by step, like a pre-cyberspace Twitter feed, to the root, the Kunte Kinte, as Carlene would say, of who they are.

This is another piece of literature that falls into that special category I tell my students about, a Patience Book.  Take your time with this, tracing through history, past the often repeated perspective of American history, ack past European history and see that there was a full, vibrant, intelligent, viable world thousands of years before.  We often exclude African and Asiatic history  opting to allow ourselves to believe that Earth, time, civilization began in a manger between a couple who are the ultimate Maury Povich, who's my baby daddy episode, instead of piercing the veil and seeing.  Not merely looking but truly seeing the culture, the languages, the foundation materials from Africa of what we now deem a good civilization.

Thank you,
Kyle Phoenix
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