Cheikh Anta Diop, a Senegalese historian, anthropologist, physicist, and politician, lived from 29 December 1923 to 7 February 1986. He focused on pre-colonial African civilization and the history of the human race.
Despite the fact that Diop never identified as an Afrocentrist, his work is regarded as being fundamental to the philosophy of Afrocentricity. The postcolonial turn in the study of African civilizations was significantly influenced by the problems he raised concerning cultural bias in scientific inquiry.
African people, according to Diop, share a cultural continuity that is more significant than the varying linguistic and cultural development of many ethnic groupings across time.
Some of his theories have drawn criticism for being founded on outmoded information and a dated understanding of race. Others have defended his work against what they see to be pervasive distortion.
Early life of Cheikh Anta Diop
Diop was a Senegalese Muslim Wolof who was raised in an aristocratic Wolof family and attended a traditional Islamic school. He was born in Thieytou, in the Diourbel Region of Senegal. According to Diop, athe Mouride brotherhood was the sole independent Muslim fraternity in Africa.
Before traveling to Paris to pursue a degree, he earned the colonial equivalent of the metropolitan French baccalauréat in Senegal.
In 1971, Diop was a member of the UNESCO International Scientific Committee for the Drafting of a General History of Africa and penned the General History of Africa’s introductory chapter on the history of the ancient Egyptians.
In this chapter, he provided anthropological and historical evidence in support of his theory that the ancient Egyptians shared a close genetic affinity with Sub-Saharan African ethnic groups.
These examples include the B blood group shared by modern Egyptians and West Africans, “negroid” body proportions in ancient Egyptian art and mummies, microscopic analysis of the levels of melanin in mummies from the lab of the Musée de L’Homme in Paris, firsthand accounts of Greek historians, and shared cultural linkages between Egypt and Africa in areas of totemism and cosmology.
What is Dr Cheikh Anta Diop known for?
His three most well-known books are Towards the African Renaissance: Essays in African Culture and Development, 1946-1960 (1978), The Cultural Unity of Black Africa (1978), and The African Origin of Civilization: Myth or Reality (1974).
Was Cheikh Anta Diop a mathematician?
Born in Diourbel, Senegal; Cheikh Anta Diop was a scientist, mathematician, and historian/anthropologist. He was a well known African historian, who authored many books on African and world history, and dispelled the myth of Egypt being non-African.