The Importance Of Chiekh Anta Diop

The Importance Of Chiekh Anta Diop

The importance of Chiekh Anta Diop lies in his contribution to the Scientific foundations for an Afrocentric view on the origins of Civilization based on his work in books such as The African Origins Of Civilization: Myth Or Reality, in which Cheikh Anta Diop makes the argument that the origins of world Civilization can be found in the Black Civilization of Ancient Kemet or Egypt.

Cheikh Anta Diop, was a Senegalese Scholar who despite being important for the Thesis that the origins of Civilization can be traced to a Black Ancient Kemet or EgyptDiop was also a Physicist who studied at the Curie Laboratory in Paris.

Chiekh Anta Diop also made in important contribution to Science by translating parts of Einstein’s Theory of Relativity into his indigenous Wolof language. In addition to Physics, Diop also conducted research on African History, Egyptology, Linguistics, Anthropology, Economics as well as Sociology all of which informed Diop’s important ideas on the African Origins of Civilization.

Diop’s Thesis that the origins of Civilization are in Black Africa ran contrary to the popular view that the roots of modern Civilization are in Ancient Greece.

According to Cheikh Anta Diop, it is only logical that Civilization began in Africa since standard Anthropology and The Theory Of Evolution both accept that the Human race itself began in Africa.

Secondly, further proof that the origins of Civilization are in Africa is evident in the fact the Greeks themselves like Herodotus who was an eyewitness acknowledged that their Knowledge was obtained out of a Black Egypt inhabited by a people with Black Skin and Woolly hair whom the Greeks referred to as the Colchians and Ethiopians.

There are also numerous other referrals in Greek literature as to the Black race and color of the Ancient Egyptians that gave birth to Civilization from many Greek writers like Aeschylus, Aristotle and Strabo who all validate the comments of Herodotus.

In reality, the fact that the Ancient Egyptians were Black Africans was treated as self-evident  by the Ancient Greeks, and to the Greeks the African origins of Egyptian Civilization was an indisputable fact not even worthy of debate.

Furthermore, modern Egyptologists like E.A.W. Budge also concluded that the origins of Civilization were to be found in an Ancient Egypt which was Black after finding linguistic and cultural similarities between the Culture of Ancient Egypt and that of the African people of Ethiopia and Sudan.

According to Budge, Ancient Egypt could be properly understood by reference to Africa and there was nothing essentially Asiatic about Egyptian society. In 1920, Budge published his conclusions in the “Egyptian Hieroglyphic Dictionary,” which challenged a 100-year tradition in Egyptology by classifying Ancient Egyptian Civilization and language as African rather than Semitic.

In addition to the above, further evidence in favour of an African origin of Egyptian Civilization comes from the Egyptians themselves.

The Ancient Egyptians called their land “Kamit,” i.e., “the Black Land,” and also called themselves by the name Kamiu,” which translates essentially as “the Blacks.”

The Ancient Egyptian word for the African lands to the South of them was “Khenti” which meant the Sudanic peoples that lived there.

Furthermore, whenever Ancient Egyptian inscriptions recalled the origins of the Egyptian Civilization, the Ancient Egyptians referred to the Land of Punt located in present-day Somalia and parts of Northern Kenya as their Ancestral Black Homeland.

Also important to note is that the Black Egyptians referred to the African Interior as Ta-Neter or “the Land of the Gods.”

Thus the Black African interior continued to be a source of inspiration and memories for the Ancient Egyptians who did not denigrate the people of the African interior since they regarded the African Interior as their Ancestral Homeland.

The Bible itself is also a source of evidence for the Black Origins of the Egyptian Civilization when it refers to the Geneaology of Noah in Genesis.

In Genesis Noah’s 3 children are Ham, Shem and Japeth, the forefathers of the 3 main branches of humankind according to the Old Testament.  

Ham is specifically recognised as the Ancestor of the Black race. Ham’s name comes from the Egyptian “Kam” or “Black.”

Furthermore, Ham’s children were Misraim (Egypt), Cush (Ethiopia), Canaan (Palestine) as well as Phut (Punt or East Africa).

Cheikh Anta Diop further established the African origins of Civilization by challenging the description of old Egyptians as a “dark red” or “Mediterranean” race when he demonstrated that many individuals throughout Africa such as the Masai of Kenya have a reddish-brown Skin complexion.

Diop also analysed the Melanin content of Egyptian Mummies and his investigations revealed that Egyptian Mummy Skin contained dark Melanin pigment similar to that of Sub-Saharan Africans which also supported Cheikh Anta Diop’s Thesis that the origins of Civilization lie in Ancient Egypt which was a Black Civilization.


Cheikh Anta Diop is important because his Thesis on the African Origins of Civilization is based on convincing Scientific evidence that the Egyptian Civilization which influenced Greek and Western Civilization was Black.

Other writers and researchers such as Ivan Van Sertima, John Henrik Clarke, Yosef Ben Yochanan, Chancellor Williams and George James have also conducted their own research and produced work which further supports Diop’s Thesis on the Black African Origins of Civilization based on the understanding of Ancient Egypt as a fundamentally Black Civilization.

Cheikh Anta Diop has since passed away but Diop’s important contribution to the study of Ancient Egypt and the contributions of Black people to world Civilization remain important and may one day serve as the basis for the African Renaissance he intended to see.




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