FROM MOLEFI K ASANTE – HUMAN ORIGINS IN AFRICA – AND CHANCELLOR WILLIAMS, THE DESTRUCTION OF BLACK CIVILIZATIONS – “BREAKING LOOSE FROM THE “OLD LINE” SCHOOL OF HISTORIANS”

Molefi K Asante and Mark Mattson, Historical and Cultural Atlas of African Americans (1992):
Chapter 1:
“Africa is an incredibydiverse continent. As a geographical region it contains almost every type of topograpohy found on the earth. There are deserts, the largest being theSahara, but both the Kalahari and the Namib are formidable features of the continent’s landscape. … Rivers crisscross the vast surface of this second largest continent. The Great Nile, mother of African civilization, has carried ideas, concepts, and people, from near the Mountains of the Moon in Uganda-Zaire to the Mediterranean, the longest distance of any river, since time immemorial. … The storied Niger, witness to caravans of faith, gold merchants, and ancient cities suh as Timbuktu and Jenne, traverses the colorful and artistic West African region, while laying claim to its place as one of the most majestic riversof the world.
“ / … Archaeological and biological evidence point to an East African origin of the modern human as well as the earliest human society. Research by Louis Leakey and other anthropologists has established in a series of impressive discoveries that the oldest known human remains in the world are in East Africa. Indeed Leakey’s pioneering work in the Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania near Lake Rudolph in Kenya, and near the Omo river in Ethiopia has shown that African hominids were using tools in this area more than 2 million years ago.
“The early humans in East Africa were the first to use the hand=axe although the name most often associated with the implements, Acheulean, refer to similar tools found in Western Europe. Anthropologists now know that the African sites in the Olduvai Gorge region have revealed the oldest tools known to humans.
“Donald Johanson, an American paleoanthropologist, contends that the skeleton known as Lucy which he discovered in 1974 at Hadar, Ethiopia, and other fossilized bones found in both Ethiopia and Tanzania belonged to a single hominid species called Australopithecus afarensis. According to Johanson afarensis was the common ancestor of Australopithecines and humans. The data for these fossils was put at 3.5 million years ago, about 1.2 million years after the divergence of humans and apes. Hominid activity in the East African region predates any such activity in the world.
Chancellor Williams, in The Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race From 4500 B.C. to 2000 A.D. (1976) in The Preview stated:
“In the View From the Bridge and the final chapters I make a more definite break from the “old line” school of historians. To be objective and scientific, this school insists, the research scholar should do no more than present the comprehensive and fully documented results of his investigation. There should be no “subjective commentaries, no editorializing. Just present the factual data and leave the work to the readers to interpret or evaluate as they choose. This may not only be the correct viewpoint, but it is even beautiful for historians (Note: Mary Lefkowich !) who represent the already arrived people who control the world. They can well afford the luxury of historical knowledge for knowledge’s sake—the great satisfaction that comes from just knowing how things came to be.
“But the black historian, member of a race under perpetual siege and fighting an almost invisible war for survival, dare not follow in these footsteps of the master. Quite the contrary, after faithfully researching and piecing together the fragmented record of the race’s history, the task of critical analysis and interpretation should begin.What were our strengths in the past? In what respects were we most vulnerable? Where did we go wrong? And all this, like the study of history itself, must be for the express purpose of determining (Chancellor Williams’ emphasis) WHAT TO DO NOW. In short, the purpose of determining WHAT TO DO NOW. In short, the Black historian; if he is to serve his generation, must not hesitate to declare what he thinks the results of his studies mean.For even when our history shows us where we have been weak, it is also showing us how through our own efforts, we can, become strong again.”

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About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student
This entry was posted in DESTRUCTION OF BLACK CIVILIZATION GREAT ISSUES OF A RACE, KNOWLEDGE FOR KNOWLEDGE'S SAKE, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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