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 which 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 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?”