Remembering Cheikh Anta Diop



By Sainey Faye

Born: December 29, 1923 …….Died : February 7, 1986…….On this date he passed away and joined the ancestors.He was one of Africa’s greatest thinkers of the twentieth century. 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. Probably, he more than any other historian on Egypt; defended and provided evidences of Egyptian civilizations Africaness. He authored many books on it, along with Africa’s contributions to world civilization in general.

He challenged the theory of the inferiority of the Black/African race; and championed the restoration of ‘African historical and cultural consciousness’ until his last days. In Senegal, he championed and fought fiercely for democracy and good governance, by working with other progressives in forming two political parties – (1.) NSF in 1961, and (2.) RND in 1976 against President Leopold Senghor, and Abdou Diouf.He was an active political activist in spite of his busy schedule and research at Cite University, where he founded IFAN which was a top scientific research laboratory in Africa.

He even published a newspaper called ‘Siggi’, which later became ‘Taxaw’ purposely to educate the masses of the political rights and the democratic processes enshrined in their constitution.He was a well known revolutionary Pan-African intellectual, who wrote, spoke, and fought for African Liberation, independence and redemption.Elsewhere in the western hemisphere, his books and writings are being utilized in colleges and universities, in African history and Afrocentric studies.Some even have area studies in disciplines on “Diopian’ philosophy, and are working with (UCAD) University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar, Senegal.


“The general problem confronting African history is this: how to recognize effectively, through meaningful research, all of the fragments of the past into a single ancient epoch, a common origin which will reestablish African continuity… If the ancients were not victims of a mirage, it should be easy enough to draw upon another series of arguments and proofs for the union of the history of Ethiopian and Egyptian societies with the rest of Africa. Thus combined, these histories would lead to a properly patterned past in which it would be seen that (ancient) Ghana rose in the interior (West Africa) of the continent at the moment of Egyptian decline, just as the Western European empires were born with the decline of Rome.”

“The generation that followed did not have the same concerns; none of its members attempted to follow the example of the past generation. There was no longer anyone with the noble determination to get to know the great men of the world, or if there were some individuals consumed with this curiosity, they were few in number. From then on, there remained only vulgar minds given over to hatred, envy and discord, who took an interest only in things which did not concern them, gossip, slander, calumny of one’s neighbors, all those things which are the source of the worst of our troubles.”

― Cheikh Anta Diop, Precolonial Black Africa

“….the line of ill-intentional Egyptologist, equipped with a ferocious erudition , have commited their well known crime against science, by becoming guilty of a deliberate falsification of the history of humanity.

Supported by the governing powers of all the Western countries , this ideology, based on a moral and intellectual swindle, easily won out over the true scientific current developed by a parallel group of Egyptologist of good will, whose intellectual uprightness and even courage cannot be stressed stronly enough.

The new Egyptological ideology , born at the opportune monment, reinforced the theorectical bases of imperialist ideology. That is why it easily drowned out the voice of science, by throwing the veil of fasificacation over historical truth. This ideology was spread with the help of considerable publicity and taught the world over, because it alone had the material and financial means for its own propagation.

Thus imperialism, like the prehistoric hunter, first killed the being spiritually and culturally, before trying to eliminate it physically. The negation of the history and intellectual accomplishments of Black Africans was cultural, mental murder,which preceded and paved the way for their genocide here and there in the world.”

― Cheikh Anta Diop, Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthropology

Sources ;- ” Nation Negres et Culture and Anteriorite des Civilizations Negres’ and ‘ The African Origin Of Civilization :

Myth Or Reality.’

FEBRUARY IS ALSO KNOWN AS BLACK / AFRICAN HISTORY ……..See if you or your kids can ace this quiz !!!

  1. According to C.A.Diop, .”no thought, and particularly no philosophy, can develop outside of its historical terrain.”

  2. Several African queens ruled kingdoms and empires, in Nubia, Ethiopia, Angola, and the Congo.But no woman ever ruled Greece or Rome with full authority.

  3. Africa is the cradle of humanity, and civilization; and the first to experience the early rise of human intelligence, according to scientists.

  4. When Egypt was conquered by the Romans in 47 B.C., Caesar altered their calendar by introducing the readjustment every 4 years ( leap year ), and that is the origin of the present -day calendar.

  5. C.A.Diop (Cheikh Anta Diop), notes that in our history; there are two types of stratified societies in Black Africa; one without the idea of castes namely in in South and Central Africa, and the other with castes includes West Africa, namely the ancient kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, Singhai, the upper Nile etc.

6.In the ancient Cayor (Senegal); he notes ” the Cayorian royalty, where the woman could not reign in the place of the damel (king), the matriarchal system was subjanet; but only an inside observer could be aware of this.Maternal kingship remained predominant.”

  1. Neo-Colonialism was first introduced into Africa, before Colonialism………True or False ?

  2. The Trans-Saharan slave trade gave birth to the Trans-Atlantic slave trade…….True or False ?

9 “Kemet” is another name for ancient Egypt……..True or False ?

10 In the West African African country of the Gambia, some ancient raised stones or carved rocks (stone circles) at Kerr Batch and Wassu; are much older than some pyramids of Egypt or Nubia……….True or False

  1. African culture, like any other culture in the world; have a common language, religion, place of origin, shared values, and a sense of bonding.Thus, there is no superior or inferior culture.

  2. In terms of culture, how you define yourself is much more important than how society defines you…….True or False ?

  3. There is little, if any difference at all; between a Pan-African and a Black nationalist…….True or False ?

  4. C.A.Diop maintains that ” Insofar as Egypt is the distant mother of Western cultures and sciences, most of the ideas that we call foreign are oftentimes nothing but mixed up, reversed, modified, elaborated images of the creations of our African ancestors, such as Judaism,Christianity, Islam, dialectics, the theory of being, the exact sciences, arithmetics, geometry, mechanical engineering, astronomy, medicine, literature (novel, poetry, drama), architecture, and the arts.”

ANSWERS : – (1) T )(2) T (3) T (4) T (5) T (6) T (7) F (8) F (9) T (10) T (11)T (12) T (13) F (14) T



  1. Luntango Suun Gann Gi

    Great Man indeed Sainey. Spent much time around the University and Avenue named after him. I am glad he is not here to see the mess our continent is in – it would break his heart.

  2. A great man among many great Africans and people of African descent…It is sad that even after Independence, our education systems, as a continent and people, continue to omit such illustrious sons and daughters from the curriculum…

    Because generations of African Leaders assumed political office, without fully comprehending the magnitude of the complexity of Africa’s predicaments…Many were, and are still content to “flow with the currents” and maintain the status quo, becoming the new class of indigenous “masters”, wittingly or unwittingly serving the interest of the original “masters”…And the masses are duped into a false sense of “Independence” because the “White Man” (Master) has long departed…

  3. Luntango Suun Gann Gi

    Bax, say it again Bro. In 1997 I turned up to teach History at Marina International School – and brought with me Gideon S Were’s “East Africa through a thousand years”, “West Africa through a thousand years” and “Southern Africa through a thousand years”.The Marina Principal simply said: “Mr. Halake, you will be teaching the same History you were teaching in London – GCSE”!!! The Literature syllabus was British too – as was the Sociology. We are a lost people Bro!