Negro Nations and Cultures, bible of African history.

cheikh Anta Diop

The book “Negro Nation and Cultures” is the fruit of phenomenal research, carried out by Cheikh Anta Diop, to restore the history of black Africa, which has long been obscured.

At that time, scientific racism, carried by eminent figures, was rooted in Western society, and had attributed to white the Cartesian being par excellence, the father of all civilizations, and defined black as a primitive, emotional being, incapable of the slightest logic.

The ancient Egyptians were black

It is in this torrent of racist certainties that Cheikh Anta Diop, a young man 27 years of age, is going to take the dominant ideology to the task, by asserting that the ancient Egyptians, precursors of civilization and science, were black. He not only asserts it, but he also proves it.

This thesis had the effect of an earthquake, and since it was bothersome, he had to be silenced.

You can’t hide the sun with a finger, as the African proverb says. Even if the Sorbonne University rejected his thesis in 1951, Présence africaine published the book in 1954.

Notwithstanding the evidence that is not lacking in his book, prejudiced scientists will try by all means to bring his work into disrepute.

Deemed too revolutionary, some African intellectuals found it difficult to adhere to the ideas conveyed in the book. Aimé Césaire was one of the few to support it. In ” Discourse Against Colonialism “, he will describe Cheikh Anta Diop’s book as ” the most audacious book a Negro has ever written “.

It was only until the 1974 Unesco colloquium that most of his theses were finally recognized” in its way of writing, its culture and its way of thinking, Egypt was African”, these were the conclusions of this summit.

Evidence of the negritude of ancient Egypt

statue of Montouhotep II Egyptian National Museum, Cairo, Egypt. Photographic Rights held by The The Bridgeman Art Library

The fight was a long one, and yet long before it, the fatherhood of Egyptian civilization had been attributed to the black race.

 In the testimonies of Greek scholars such as Herodotus, Aristotle, who were eyewitnesses, the black skin and frizzy hair of the Egyptians were mentioned.

Aristotle called them “agan malane” to describe their skin, which meant excessively black.

In the 18th century, the Count of Volney, a French historian, faced with overwhelming evidence, drew the same conclusions:

 “The Copts are therefore properly the representatives of the Egyptians, and there is a singular fact that makes this acceptation even more probable. Looking at the faces of many individuals of this race, I found a peculiar character that caught my attention: all of them have a yellowish and smoky skin tone, which is neither Greek nor Arabic; all of them have puffy faces, swollen eyes, crushed noses, big lips; in a word, a real Mulatto figure.  

I was tempted to attribute it to the climate when, having visited the Sphinx, its appearance gave me the key to the riddle. On seeing that head, typically Negro in all its features, I remembered the remarkable passage where Herodotus says, “As for me, I judge the Colchians to be a colony of the Egyptians because, like them, they are black with woolly hair” In other words, the ancient Egyptians were true Negroes of the same type as all native-born Africans.”

One of the other irrefutable proofs of the Negro character of the ancient Egyptians was the color of their gods. Osiris and Thoth, to name but a few were black.

The dark representations of the pharaohs and the hairstyles they wore also support the negritude of ancient Egypt. (See MENTOUHOTEP II and NEFERTARI).

The analogy goes beyond the physical and capillary features.

Ancient Egyptian values such as totemism are still present in Black Africa,

A comparative linguistic study highlights similarity between Egyptian and African languages such as Valaf and Serere (non-exhaustive list).

  In light of these arguments, the conclusion is final: The invention of writing, of science, we owe it to blacks. The Greek culture which inspired the Roman culture draws its sources from Negro Africa. “Pythagoras spent 22 years in Egypt, from 558 to 536 BC. Plato stayed there from 399 to 387 B.C… It was therefore there, at the feet of the Egyptian priests, that they drew the knowledge that made their glory. Pharaonic Egypt which was their teacher for so long is part of the heritage of the Black World. It is itself a daughter of Ethiopia. And “in its way of writing, its culture and its way of thinking, Egypt was African”.

Giving the black man his rightful place in the history of mankind 

The fact that this part of the history of mankind was brushed aside was linked to the need to justify colonization. The barbarian negro was then invented and culture was brought to him.

This propaganda found it difficult to accept that African society was structured and advanced before the arrival of the settlers. That the emancipation of women was not a problem. As African society is matriarchal, women held positions of responsibility long before this was the case in Europe.

The goal that Cheikh Anta Diop had in restoring this truth, was to give back to the forgotten continent its letters of nobility. It was not a question of awakening underlying hints of a superiority complex that could lead to forms of Nazism. […] the civilization he [the Negro] claims to have created could have been created by any other human race – as far as one can speak of a race – which would have been placed in such a favorable and unique cradle” [Cheikh Anta Diop, Negro Nations, and Culture, op. cit. 4th edition, p. 401].

Far from being a racist as his detractors wanted to describe him, Cheikh Anta Diop was a great humanist, who was recognized as such.

His work aimed to combat scientific racism and to prove that intelligence is in no way linked to skin color. He challenged the conception of the dominant race, which can be considered a significant contribution to the history of mankind.

The Legacy of Cheikh Anta Diop

Years laters, How do we contribute to the propagation of the colossal legacy left by Cheikh Anta Diop?

He advocated for a united Africa, gathered together, after having forged a strong identity, which would serve as a solid foundation. Where are with pan-Africanism? With the adaption of our languages to the realities and sciences as he experienced with the Valaf in the book? With the decolonization of mentalities?

It must be said that these subjects remain topical.

It is our duty to contribute to the emergence of our continent, which will first and foremost be cultural.

In the field of education, we must implement textbooks adapted to our realities.

Let us adapt our languages to modern realities. It is not a question of banishing the colonial languages acquired, but of revaluing our own and adapting them to modern science.

It is with feet firmly anchored in its roots, free from alienation, detached from the yoke of the colonial, and from the alienation of the colonized, that Africa will know its true value, and that it will be able to take its place on the world chessboard.

This re-foundation, which should not be done in a belligerent manner, will generate Africans proud of their origins, who will take their destiny into their own hands.

Help! African youth are drowning in the Mediterranean!

 Every year, thousands of migrants from Africa are swallowed up by the Mediterranean Sea, trying to reach the European continent.

This unfortunate phenomenon is reminiscent of the fact that Africans were already being kidnapped from their land in the 15th century to serve as free labour in the West. In the recent case, this migration is not a priori forced.

But are these young people leaving the cradle of humanity voluntarily?

Let us read the story of RM (name modified by the editorial staff) a young Ivorian who arrived in Europe on a boat from the Libyan coast.

“The horror described is true… but leaving was the only way out”

 “From the outset, I can tell you that everything you see on TV is true” was the first sentence to come out of his mouth.

 What do you mean by “everything”?

“The dead, the pregnant women, the children, the horror described is true. “he pursued with a serious look.

 RM was born in Côte d’Ivoire, into a low-income family.

After studies, which led him to his senior year of high school, he wanted to take an administrative exam to join the civil service to have a guaranteed salary and be able to help his family. 

To say that bribing,  is an integral part of ivory coast entrance exams, would be to reveal an open secret.

His father refused to comply with this requirement, so RM went from one failure to another.

It was in this hopeless scenario that Europe came into play.

Some friends of his had tried the adventure and it was clear that their situation was better than his.

He then decided to try the Europe route, for lack of anything better.

Unfortunately, his path crossed that of a scammer who abandoned him to his fate in Morocco.

As he could not return to his country, he decided to go to Algeria.

There, he heard about the sea route. Reluctant at first, he finally gave in.

From his account, it is clear that the network of smugglers is very structured

If the candidates for exile have no assurance that they will arrive safely, the smugglers are assured that they will receive their money regardless of the outcome.

The cost of the journey: 550 euros and RM was not the only one.

A true warrior’s journey

They reached Ghadames in Libya by night on foot, and thus made their way into hiding. They will almost no longer see daylight and will be transported in car trunks.

First stopover, Tripoli, where the financial transaction between Algerians and Libyans takes place.

If, however, the Algerian smuggler avoided his task, the Libyan trap would close on the migrant who was reduced to slavery.

From Tripoli, they left for Sabratha, where they were housed in a dump with pregnant women and children.

 “The toilets were so dilapidated and dirty, that no one dared to use them. As for the food, we had dry bread and water, but I wasn’t hungry. I was praying to leave Libya alive. We were given instructions We should stay inside, because outside we were in danger of being kidnapped.

On D-Day, we were taken to the coast.

There were about a hundred of us.

The smugglers asked if any of us were able to steer the boat.

A volunteer from Gambia came forward. Being able to drive a boat was an advantage because not only did it guarantee a place, but the migrant did not have to pay the transport costs.

At the sight of the sea, a feeling of fear invades me. I didn’t know how to swim. In the event of a fall into the water, my fate was sealed. Faced with this eventuality, I almost gave up on my project, but turning back was no longer a possibility.

When I saw that pregnant women were the first to board the boat without fear, I thought to myself that I couldn’t get cold feet. I had to get on board and come what may.

On the boat, there was a heavy silence. Even the children were calm. The situation was serious and we all understood it.

The only problem we faced during our trip was when the engine stopped. Panic reactions almost caused the boat to capsize.

The majority did not sleep a wink we waited for the deliverance that which was slow to come, the seconds seemed like eternities,

A Spanish boat that spotted us came to our rescue.

 Finally, on this boat, which was a symbol of our arrival at the port, tensions eased.

We had made it! We were alive!

I had a thought for my family. I wanted to have them on the phone to reassure them.

“if you had to do it again?…”

 

“I can’t tell you, I never imagined in my life to reach Europe by boat, but caught in a spiral, I took this path against my will.

If I had a job, I would never have left my country.

Europe is far from being Eldorado, but I will continue to work hard. My dream is to go back home and make things happen.

To all those who are thinking of coming to Europe, I will be the last to discourage them, but I advise them to avoid the sea route if possible because it is really dangerous.”

Concretely, what are we doing?

To believe that individuals are willing to face the sea monster at the risk of their lives, without the need to do so, is to be cynical without limits.

Even if the chains are not visible, the constraints are no less present, whether economic or political.

The awareness campaigns, the solutions we propose, from our ivory tower to ease our consciences, do not seem to have a significant impact on this devastating scourge.

The figures of the IOM (International Organization for Migration) puts us in front of our inability to retain our youth.

The evils which have plagued our countries since the independence of the facade are not only not fought but maintained by successive regimes. Corruption, mismanagement, to name but a few, and they are part of what drives our youth to flee.

What are the concrete solutions proposed by our governments?

What is Europe doing besides building itself into a fortress?

What can we say to our youth if staying or leaving is for death?

A splash of Blue to blanket the Sudanese red blood

Credit:Umit Bekta

A splash of Blue to blanket the Sudanese red blood

On June 03, we witnessed the monumental horror of an emerging dictatorship. The peaceful protest of the Sudanese people was brutally and viciously repressed by the military junta. More than 100 people were killed, excluding rapes and kidnappings.

#Blue for Sudan

The answer in response to this barbaric attitude was the birth of the hashtag #Blue for Sudan. Social media donned blue sheets to support the brave Sudanese.

And yet a few weeks earlier, amidst the fast-food media and the ensuing “follow-others blindly”, we celebrated the dismissal of Omar al-Bashir, which was but ringing the bell of deceit, heralding our naive belief that the troubles of the Sudanese have come to an end. We soon found another piece of ephemral distraction to munch on.

While we were devoting our time and attention to our mundane occupations, the Sudanese — under other conditions, were still vigilant and servaillant. A great depiction of the old saying “That who was bitten by a snake is wary of the caterpillar”. Bashir had indeed been removed from power, but power was not yet in civilian hands, a sine qua non condition for achieving democracy.

Revolution of awareness

An awareness-raising revolution has been set up to bring the military into compliance. The Sudanese people, stood up in unisson against the military and evinced their defiance to the soldiers, who, short of arguments, brutally reprimanded them.

How is it possible to conceal such schizophrenia among the soldiers who massacre a people they claimed to support?

Perhaps the thirst for power? Perhaps we ought to allow the Sudanese a chance to speak out for themselves — and to better assess the big picture?

The Voice of a Sudanese

Mugtaba is 25 years old. He graduated from Sudan University’s Faculty of Science and Technology with honors in Engineering in 2015. Last year, he had to travel to the Arab Emirates after being unable to secure a job in Sudan.

For the first time during a revolution, he was outside his country. Sudan has experienced several resistance movements. Mugtaba was involved in those of 2013 and 2016. Unhappy with his position as a spectator, he became active on social media 24 hours a day to share and spread news. Since the Egyptian revolution, social media have proven to be a significant catalyst for shaking up lines. It is no coincidence that Internet access has been disrupted in Sudan. # internet blackout sudan.

I spotted him thanks to his online dynamism. Without hesitation, he agreed to answer my questions.

Mugtaba’s brother was held in Sudanese jails a few weeks ago before being released.

“The military and Omar al-Bashir are both sides of the same coin. They overthrew him for the sake of power instead of supporting the people.” declared Mugtaba. “We are not fools and we will not let them succeed” he continues.

“We have no desire for Bashir nor his henchmen. The Sudanese people will never compromise their fundamental rights.”

The resilience of the Sudanese people is apparent judging by my discussion with Mugtaba. A people weary of tyranny that neither rape, kidnapping nor murder can stop in their quest for freedom.

“It’s a peaceful revolution… to secure justice”

“It is crucial to emphasize on the peaceful nature of this protest” hammers out Mugtaba Despite the bullying, we will only respond with peace as a sole weapon. “The blood of the Sudanese people has already been spilled enough and we will do everything we can to prevent it from spreading further.”

“If a protester dares to brandish a stone, he/she is sidelined, to guns, we reply with flowers.” continues Mugtaba. Change takes place in non-violence.

In response to the question of what the Sudanese people expect from this revolution, he replies: “Justice, democracy, peace. This is a revolution of awareness. The people no longer want a military regime and want the freedom to shape their own destiny We have not stood up to Omar al-Bashir to stop at this point.”

Supporting the Sudanese revolution

This is such a noble cause that you can only want but to be part of it. However, in what way?

“Everyone can help in their own way by reporting the unfortunate situation, sharing information about the revolution, making people aware of the plight of the Sudanese people” says Mugataba

“We are moved by the support we receive from all over the world. We hope to see this continue. We on our side will not surrender. Even if the world has only one Sudanese left, he will carry the torch of the revolution.” add Mugtaba.

Mugtaba made it clear during the meeting that he was not interested in being allocated any space from the article. I had to insist in order to mention his name. It is not out of fear of retaliation : “between death and losing his soul” his choice is free from ambiguity. Rather lest stealing the spotlight from the revolution as he wants it to be the star of the topic. “I want us to talk about the Revolution, it’s the biggest breakthrough. I can’t simply overshadow it by my presence. It is the revolution and not myself that needs to be the focus of attention.” he concluded.

Sudan, our collective well-being

Our eyes must not drift away from the fate of the Sudanese people.

Setting it free must be a our responsibility. Sudan is our common heritage.

By immersing ourselves in the dense history of this country, we realize first-hand that it should occupy a prominent place in the hearts of all Africans.

Formerly Nubia, this great African country not only because of its vastness but also because of its history, which has sheltered the most glorious part of the black civilization. From its core emanated the greatest kingdoms, Kush, Kerma, Napata, Meroe, a dynasty of black pharaohs like Piye, Taharka and a bloodline of kandaces, the famous warrior queens.

The Meroitic empire was highly evolved with a model of gender equality that would make modern feminists blush in shame. Women had the right to lead on an equal basis with men. In light of this system, great queens like Amanirenas were able to rise. This article alone is unable to cover the rich history of Sudan… This is but a preliminary sketch to demonstrate that Sudan is the cradle of our long-denied civilization… Supporting this country means protecting our heritage.

Contributing to a successful outcome of the revolution by disseminating information is our common duty. The Sudanese people’s blood will not be spilled in vain.

Let us all carry their message!

Together, let us support them!

This is My Sudan, Your Sudan, His Sudan, Her Sudan, Their Sudan, Our Sudan.

#SudanUprisin
#ImTheSudanRevolution
#Watch_sudan_in_30june
#Internet_blackout_in_sudan
#BlueForSudan
#civil_disobedience_in_sudan