This Blog is about ancient scripts and deciphering ancient scripts. My interest in linguistics and ancient languages began back when I was a preteen living on the Southside of Chicago. At this time I lived near a Moorish Science Temple on 47th Street.
At this temple many of the people spoke Arabic. I often talked to the Moors and they taught me Arabic.
This experience had a great affect on me. It taught me that I could learn languages easily. As a result, I decided to learn French in High School. I studied French for four years.
At DuSable High School they had one of the first Afro-American history programs in the late 1960s. I enjoyed studying history so I decided that I would be a High School History teacher specializing in African and Afro-American history.
In the fall of 1969 I began study at the University of Illinois-Urbana. At the U of I-Urbana I graduated with both my B.A. and Master's Degrees in June 1973.
At UofI I took just about every African history course and I earned an unofficial minor in African studies. My History professor was Charles Steward.
Dr. Steward taught every African history course at the University back in the early 1970's. He specialized in Islamic history. My background in Arabic and French allowed me the ability to read many of the primary documents relating to African Islamic History. This also encouraged me to learn more about the Arabic language.
As a student at Illinois I worked for the Student Affairs Department. One of my duties was to organize programs for Afro-American students living in the dorms.
One of my major projects was publishing a literary magazine for Afro-American students called Yombo. In this magazine I wrote many articles on ancient Black History. My most important article was on Africans in ancient America. In this article I discussed all the evidence of Africans living in America before Columbus came to the New World.
It was while writing this article that I became familiar with the work of Leo Wiener's Africa and the Discovery of America. Reading this book introduced me to the Mande influence in Mexico, and the possibility that the Olmec introduced writing to the Mexicans as evidenced by the Tuxtla statuette.
I was especially interested in East African history, so I minored in Swahili for my Master's Degree and decided I would become a specialist in East African History. I chose this area because of the fact John Williams in his book: The man who Cried I am, mentioned the fact that knowledge of Yemeni textual material may allow one to understand why the Africans and Chinese shared many cultural items and traditions. My Master's Thesis was titled Zanj to Zanj: Blacks in the Countries Bordering the Indian Ocean.
It was while writing this thesis I began to learn about the Dravidians in India. Having read the work of Anta Diop and Th. Obenga in French , I knew the Dravidians and Africans shared cognate cultures and languages. Th. Obenga even talked about an Indo-African family of languages.
After College I taught High School and wrote articles for a Swahili language magazine. The article I wrote for Yombo regarding the Pre-Columbian Blacks and my Master's thesis have been the inspiration behind my interest in ancient scripts. These works led to my interest in the literature of Blacks in ancient Asia and the Americas.
Later I learned that the Mande speaking people had created many writing systems. Wangara mentioned that the Mande probably left inscriptions in the Americas--via the Vai syllabary. Once I saw the Vai script and learned about the Vai tradition that it was invented in ancient times I studied the Vai script and found that I could use it to read the inscriptions on the LaVenta celts.
My linguistic studies indicated to me that the Dravidians, Mande, Sumerians and Elamites spoke cognate languages that share a genetic linguistic connection. Given the fact that the Mande and Dravidians spoke cognate languages I hypothesized that the Indus Valley writing might also be deciphered using the phonemic values of the Vai signs, but reading the signs in Tamil. This hypothesis was correct and I deciphered the Indus Valley writing.
Since then I have went on to decipher the Proto-Sumerian, Meroitic and Minoan A scripts. In the following pages we will explore the literature these Blacks left mankind over the millennia.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
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