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Afrocentrism Historiographical Paper - Essay Example

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In conflicting theories about the origins of Greek culture, Martin Bernal and Mary Lefkowitz are at odds over the influence of African culture on Greek development. The theories differ on points of origin, specifically, in regard to whether the foundation to Greek philosophy…
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Download file to see previous pages In searching for the origins of Greek civilization, the Western world is in search of its identity. However, in the act of separating the world into a Western and an Eastern world, theories surrounding origins are biased by the desire to belong to the foundational race. In examining such theories, an observance can be made about the way in which ’truth’ is defined within the framework of scholarly theory.
The origin of the Afrocentric movement of theories can be traced to the 19th century when “an approach that explicitly sets out to redress the negative images which have often been developed of Africans and to promote positive constructions of African heritage”(Ancient Egypt 2003, 7) was determined to be needed for cultural authenticity.
The work of Cheikh Ante Diop, a Senegalese national who studied in Paris, and became an historian, an anthropologist, a physicist and a politician, studied histories of origin in order to support his theories and determined that “it was Europe that depended on Africa . . . Far from having no history at all, as European scholars had been assuring themselves, Africa was now recognized as no less than the source of mankind”(July 1987, 137).
Martin Bernal’s theory of the origins of Greek civilization has created a great debate in the academic community. The basis of this theory is that a correction in accepted European revisionist theories on the origins of Greece must be made. Greece culture, according to Bernal, was borrowed from the civilizations of Egypt and Phoenicia, not from the northern Indo-European cultures. He contends that this theory of Indo-European influence is a result of theories produced out of prejudice that are created to diminish the influence of African cultures on modern thought. Bernal (1994) states the Greeks were fiercely opposed to the idea that any other culture had ever been involved in the creation of their society that they were superior to ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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