Believing in Ethiopians

Maghan Keita

in African Athena

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199595006
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731464 | DOI:

Series: Classical Presences

Believing in Ethiopians

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  • Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)


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This chapter discusses contributions of African American intellectuals to the debates inherent to Martin Bernal's controversial thesis on the origins of Western Classical Civilization. Pre‐dating Bernal, before the American Revolution and through the late twentieth century, a case is made for the historical development of Africa‐centered histories and historiographies that were both nuanced and varied. Here, the prototypes for a serious and multifaceted set of intellectual inquiries now conventionally called “Afrocentrism” were lodged in the works of black luminaries such as Phillis Wheatley, David Walker, Frederick Douglass, Drucilla Dunjee Houston, William Leo Hansberry, and Frank M. Snowden, Jr. Each showed different approaches, perspectives, and biases in regard to a black presence in the Classical Age, yet each was assured that such a presence was historically grounded and consequential for all of humanity.

Keywords: African American intellectuals; Afrocentricism; Classical Age; Historiography; Phillis Wheatley; David Walker; Drucilla Dunjee Houston; William Leo Hansberry; Frank M. Snowden, Jr

Chapter.  8083 words. 

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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