Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop
Senegalese-born Cheikh Anta Diop (1923–1986) received his doctorate degree from the University of Paris and was a brilliant historian, anthropologist, physicist and politician and one of the most prominent and proficient Black scholars in the history of African civilization.
Contrary to the long-standing European myth of a Caucasian Egypt, Diop’s studies into origins of the human race and precolonial African culture established that ancient Egypt was founded, populated, and ruled by Black Africans; the Egyptian language and culture still exists in modern African languages (including his own Wolof language); and that Black Egypt was responsible for the rise of civilization throughout Africa and the Mediterranean, including Greece and Rome.
Diop also pioneered techniques of scientific research, such as carbon dating as a means of dating artifacts and remains, and the melanin dosage test he used to verify the melanin content of Egyptian mummies. Forensic investigators later adopted this technique to determine the “racial identity” of badly burned accident victims. Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal, is named after him.
Dr. John Henrik Clarke
Dr. John Henrik Clarke (1915–1998) was a Pan-Africanist writer, historian, professor, and a pioneer in the establishment of Africana studies in professional institutions in academia starting in the late 1960s. He was a professor of African world history, and in 1969 he became the founding chairman of the Department of Black and Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College of the City University of New York. He also was the Carter G. Woodson Distinguished Visiting Professor of African History at Cornell University’s Africana Studies and Research Center.
He challenged the mostly white academic historians and attributed their reluctance to acknowledge the historical contributions of Black people as part of the systematic and racist suppression and distortion of African history.
Clarke asserted: “Nothing in Africa had any European influence before 332 B.C. If you have 10,000 years behind you before you even saw a European, then who gave you the idea that he moved from the ice-age, came all the way into Africa and built a great civilization and disappeared, when he had not built a shoe for himself or a house with a window?”
Dr. Marimba Ani
Dr. Marimba Ani is an anthropologist and African studies scholar best known for her book “Yurugu,” a comprehensive critique of European thought and culture. She completed her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Chicago, and holds masters and doctorate degrees in anthropology from the Graduate Faculty of the New School University.
In her ground-breaking work, “Yurugu: An Afrikan-Centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior,” Ani uses an African perspective through the myths of the Dogon people and the language of Swahili to examine the impact of European cultural influence on Black people and the world. She developed a framework that methodically debunked the belief that Western civilization was the best, most constructive society ever built, and instead she pointed out its inherent destructive tendencies.
Dr. Amos Wilson
Dr. Amos N. Wilson(1941–1995) was a social caseworker, psychological counselor, supervising probation officer and training administrator in the New York City Department of Juvenile Justice. He was also an assistant professor of psychology at the City University of New York.
In his book “Black-on-Black Violence: The Psychodynamic of Black Self-Annihilation in Service of White Domination,” Wilson discredited the pervasive myth that Blacks are inherently criminal.
Not only did he chronicle the vast history of violence that was pervasive in American culture, but he also demonstrated how Black-on-Black violence and Black male criminality in the United States was a politically and economically engineered process designed to maintain the subservience and relative powerlessness of Black people and Black communities worldwide.
However, Wilson contended that bringing an end to Black-on-Black violence and criminality is the sole responsibility of all Black people. In his book he lays out practical and theoretical ways of eradicating it.
Ivan van Sertima
Dr. Ivan Gladstone Van Sertima(1935–2009) was a Guyanese-born associate professor of Africana Studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey. He was best known for his work “They Came before Columbus,” which provided a pyramid of evidence to support the idea that ancient Africans were master shipbuilders who sailed from Africa to the Americas thousands of years before Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus, and that the Africans traded with the indigenous people, leaving lasting influences on their cultures. In one example, Van Sertima presents evidence that Emperor Abubakari of Mali used these “almadias” or longboats to make a trip to the Americas during the 1300s.
Van Sertima methodically demonstrates that these Blacks were not slaves, but traders and priests who were honored and venerated by the Native Americans who built statues — Olmec heads — in their honor. In the closing of the book, he decried the notion of “discovery” by Columbus.
In 1987, Van Sertima testified before a United States congressional committee to oppose recognition of the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ “discovery” of the Americas. He said, “You cannot really conceive of how insulting it is to Native Americans … to be told they were discovered.”
Dr. Frances Cress Welsing
Dr. Frances Cress Welsing (1935–2016) was an African-American psychiatrist practicing in Washington, D.C. She was noted for her books the “Cress Theory of Color Confrontation” and “The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors,” which explore and define the global system of white supremacy.
In “The Isis Papers,” Welsing contradicts the notion that white supremacy was rooted in an idea of genetic superiority. Instead, she presents a psychogenetic theory suggesting whites fear genetic annihilation because their genes are recessive to the majority of the world’s population, which consists of people of color — the most threatening being black. Therefore they established white supremacy to prevent people of color from diluting their genes and subsequently rendering them extinct.
Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan
Dr. Yosef Alfredo Antonio Ben-Jochannan, also known as Dr. Ben, (1918–2015) was an Ethiopian-Puerto Rican writer, historian and Egyptologist. Ben-Jochannan earned a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering at the University of Puerto Rico in 1938, and earned his master’s degree in architectural engineering from the University of Havana, Cuba in 1938. He received his doctoral degrees in cultural anthropology and Moorish history from the University of Havana and the University of Barcelona, Spain, respectively.
Ben-Jochannan was the author of 49 books, primarily on ancient Nile Valley civilizations and their impact on Western cultures. One of Dr. Ben’s most thought-provoking works, “African Origins of the Major ‘Western Religions’” (1970), highlights how the roots of Judaism, Christianity and Islam originated in Black Africa. He also argues that the original Jews were from Ethiopia and were Black Africans, while the European Jews later adopted the Jewish faith and its customs.
Dr. Anthony Martin
Dr. Anthony Martin (1942–2013) was a Trinidadian-born professor of Africana Studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts. He was a lecturer and prolific author of scholarly articles about Black history and was considered the world’s foremost authority on Jamaican Black nationalist leader Marcus Garvey. Martin authored, compiled or edited 14 books, his earliest work being “Race First: The Ideological and Organizational Struggles of Marcus Garvey and the Universal Negro Improvement Association” (1976).
In his works on Garvey, Martin used his scholarship to counteract attempts by the mainstream to mischaracterize and deny Garvey’s true legacy as one of the greatest Black leaders of all time.
When Martin detailed the role European Jews played in the transatlantic slave trade in his book, “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews,” the professor found himself the subject of a character assassination campaign.
Dr. Chancellor Williams
Dr. Chancellor Williams (1893–1992) was an African-American sociologist, historian and writer. His best known work is “The Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race from 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D.,” for which he was awarded honors by the Black Academy of Arts and Letters.
In “Destruction of Black Civilization,” Williams chronicles how high civilization began in Black Africa, contrary to what mainstream historians have espoused to the world. He meticulously lays out the history of Africa in great detail and demonstrates that the continent’s current underdevelopment came after thousands of years of consistent onslaught by Eurasians, and not because Africans made no significant contributions to the world.
Dr. George G.M. James
Dr. George Granville Monah James (unknown–1954) was a well-regarded historian and author from Georgetown, Guyana. He’s best known for his 1954 book “Stolen Legacy,” in which he presented evidence that Greek philosophy originated in ancient Egypt. He gained his doctorate degree at Columbia University in New York, became a professor of logic and Greek at Livingstone College in Salisbury, N.C., for two years, and then taught at the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff.
In “Stolen Legacy,” James painstakingly documents the African origins of Greco-Roman philosophical thought. He asserted that “Greek philosophy” was not created by the Greeks at all, instead it was borrowed without acknowledgement from the ancient Egyptians.
James even challenged the foundations of Judaism and Judeo-Christianity and argued that the statue of the Egyptian goddess Isis with her child Horus in her arms is the origin of the Virgin Mary and child.
He mysteriously died shortly after publishing Stolen Legacy.