Thursday, October 22, 2009

Book Review: Not out of Africa

Although Lefkowitz teaches classical studies her research methods leave a lot to be desired. She declares in Not Out of Africa that , "there is no archaeological data to support the notion that Egyptians migrated to Greece during the second millennium B.C. (or before that)" .

This statement is untrue. There is an abundance of evidence that the Egyptians had long settled many parts of ancient Greece.

In the ancient writings of the Greeks, the Egyptians were called Melampodes or "blackfeet". The Egyptians were also called Danaans in Greek history.

According to Hyainus in Fabula , and Appollonius, when the Danaans came to Greece they were called 'blackfeet'. This view is supported by the discovery of an inscribed stone in the Peloponnese that had Egyptian writing on it dating to the 5th Dynasty.

This short review of the Classical literature relating to the African identity of the Egyptians suggest that the views held by Lefkowitz in relation to an Egyptian presence in Egypt may not be correct.Numerous archaeologist have found abundant evidence of Egyptians settled in Greece long before the coming of the Indo-European-Aryans to Anatolia.

Cecil Torr in Memphis and Mycenae , discussed the inscriptions of Amemhotep found in a Mycenaean tomb at Ialysos in Rhodes and an 18th Dynasty scarab dating to the same period. As a result of the discovery of these artifacts Torr speculated that there were relations between Egypt and Greece between 1271 and 850 B.C.

The discovery of Torr was only the tip of the iceberg. Since the discovery of these artifacts in the 19th Century, archaeological evidence of Egyptians in Greece during the 2nd millennium has also been reported by J.D.S. Pendlebury, William A. Ward, and S.W. Manning .

Pendlebury provides a detailed discussion of the Egyptian material found at Laconia, Argolid, Thebes in Boeotia, and Athens. Pendlebury like Torr, believes that there were close relations between Greece and Egypt between the 12th and 7th centuries B.C.

Pendlebury's Aegyptiaca, has been excellently followed up by N. J. Skon Jedele, in her recent dissertation on Egyptian artifacts found in Greece. This dissertation provides even more examples of Egyptian artifacts found in Greece than those recorded by Pendlebury over sixty years ago.

Manning gives a well balanced discussion of the Egyptian material found in the Aegean area dating between the Old Kingdom and Dynasties 10 and ll. The work of Hankey and Warren indicate that there is archaeological evidence for Egyptians in ancient Greece, contrary to the false claims of Lefkowitz in Not Out of Africa.

The question must be asked, if there is this abundance of literature relating to an Egyptian role in ancient Greece, Why does Lefkowitz fail to discuss this literature? This question must be answered by Lefkowitz.

The failure of Lefkowitz to discuss this relevant knowledge base is inexcusable given her position at a prestigious Eastern University. The existence of a rich literature on the presence of Egyptians in ancient Greece makes Lefkowitz's claims about the ancient Greeks patently false.

End Notes

1. Lefkowitz, Not out of Africa, p.157.

2.Cecil Torr, Memphis and Mycenae, (London: Cambridge University Press, 1896) p.61.

3.Ibid., pp.64-65.

4. J.D.S. Pendlebury, Aegyptica: A catalogue of Egyptian objects in the Aegean Area, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1930.

5. William W. Ward, Egypt and the Mediterranean World 2200- 1900 B.C., Beirut: American University of Beirut. 1971.

6. S.W. Manning, The absolute chronology of the Aegean Early Bronze Age, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press.


Book Review: Afrotopia

Wilson J. Moses in Afrotopia, writes a tale of falsehood .. Looking at his body of work which I have not read it would appear that he has written extensively on Afro-American thought. But it appears that he sees much of this as myth.

It appears that where Afro-Americans talked about separation he believes they wanted integration. Although this is his opinion I believe that this book was written by Moses to assure Europeans that they have nothing to fear from what Moses sees as "restless" Afro-Americans.

Given this background I believe that Moses wrote the present book so he could get free press from the media by presenting himself as a safe "coconut", one who is brown on the outside but possessing a "Eurocentric" mindset. Moses presents himself as a safe negro who through his book, will hopefully corral those radical "urban Afro-American males" who believe in Afrocentrism.

The first thing you have to understand is that writing history is not neutral. Writing history is a means to situate one class over another.

Michael Parenti, History as Mystery(SanFrancisco, CA,1999) p.198 noted that:

“To conclude, history is not just what the historians say it is,corporate publishing conglomerates, chain store distributors,
mass media pundits, editions, reviewers, and other ideological gatekeepers want to put into circulation. Not surprisingly, the deck is stacked to favor those who deal the cards” .

Stephen Howe’s Afrocentrism:Mythical Pasts and Imagined Homes, and Wilson J. Moses’ Afrotopia: The Roots of American Popular History attempts to explains the research traditions of the Afrocentric scholars via the demerits of Martin Bernal’s Black Athena. As a result, they fail to realistically discuss the contentious discourses surrounding the ancient Afrocentric historical memory and detail the methods and paradigms associated with this pedagogy.

The works of Moses and Howe fails to fulfill the anxious expectations of many readers of their books who had hoped these works would be balanced and situated on the evidence. Moses and Howe see the study of ancient Afrocentric historical themes as a tradition of dissent rather than a field of study with its own tradition of normal science. These authors without supporting evidence devalue ancient Afrocentric historical education. Moreover, the most exasperating aspect of their writing is that its critics use Bernal's Black Athena, as an Afrocentric history text, and then proceeds to use criticism of this work to "disconfirm" the Afrocentric ancient history discipline.

In the africalogical social sciences, researchers look at the history and society of African people from an African centered or Afrocentric perspective. The Afrocentrist connects Africans in America and elsewhere to thousands of years of history and civilization.

There are three problems with the books of Howe and Moses. These problems include 1) the failure to discuss the research of Afrocentric scholars critically; 2) they present the Afrocentric study of ancient history as a recent development ; and 3) the major reason proffered for their attacks on Afrocentrism is that the “academy” rejects the discipline.

Howe and Moses fail to proffer and outline the major Afrocentric ancient history text. Afrocentric scholars make hundreds of detailed archaeological, historical and linguistic claims, which have not been systematically refuted or discussed by the authors of Afrotopia and Afrocentrism . The fact that these scholars ignore the historical research of the Afrocentric scholars makes their work narrow and unrepresentative of the discipline. In general, these scholars have dismissed Afrocentrism due to external factors such as “race thinking”, “personal prejudices”, “social and political pressures” and “ideology” rather than disconfirmation of Afrocentric

Moses in Afrotopia argues that Afrocentrism should be rejected because:

1) it was founded by white scholars to vindicate enslaved blacks ;

2)it is an ideology of culturally improvised, illiterate urban Afro-American males;

3)it is not recognized as historically valid by “establishment” historians so it should be rejected solely on this basis (p.225).

These arguments are presented without any citations and counter evidence.

My major complaint, is that these books fail to add any critical analysis of the goals of the Afrocentric curriculum and pedagogical methods. The critics of the ancient Afrocentric field make hasty rejections of the ancient Afrocentric history enterprise. They declare, without any citation to the evidence, that it lacks canonical, methodological and theoretical traditions that represent the normal routines of scholarly life.

Unfortunately, Howe and Moses fail to focus on the Afrocentric history literary canon. This neglect to confront Afrocentric historical claims founded on the rigorous nature of Afrocentric scholarship, makes their contribution to this debate another entry in the contest between elitism and a curriculum developed and supported by scholars outside Euro-male dominated “academy establishment” by a member of the status quo, rather than an objective review of Afrocentrism. Consequently, the arguments they present in support of their rejection of Afrocentrism are based on the method of authority, rather than actual historical and anthropological evidence rejecting the varied Afrocentric historical hypothesis. This failure to confront the mounds of evidence, which support the African origin of Grecian, Egyptian, Sumerian and the Indus Valley civilizations ,is a sad commentary on Afrotopia and Afrocentrism. These books cannot provide the reader with any reliable debate on the paradigms encompassing the Afrocentric ancient historical memory.

Howe and Moses are unashamed to admit that their books were written to defend the modern research university from dissenting voices to “establishment” claims of American intellectuals. The real objective of these books is not a search for a “true” vision of history, or a review of the evidence presented by Afrocentrists supporting their historical claims.

Moses reaffirms the establishment view that history should be written by “professional historians” who have professional credentials of “expert knowledge” and affiliation with white universities (pp.225-233). In his opinion Afrocentrism is mainly an ideology of lower class urban Afro-American youth, especially males.

Moses makes it clear in Afrotopia that he has no real clue about Afrocentrism. In his opinion Afrocentrism was developed during the 1930’s by the Jewish American scholar Melville Herskovits (pp.11-12). This view is wrong. It is clear that Afro-American scholars such as Frederick Douglas and Alexander Crummell, not Euro-Americans, first wrote Afrocentric history.

Moses, like Howe boldly explains that Afrocentrism is based on Egyptocentrism and represents Afro-American vindicationist sentiment. He describes Afrocentrism as “ a historiography of decline based on the idea that the African race had fallen from its past greatness”(p.16). Having made this claim he never presents any historical evidence to refute the paradigms of ancient Afrocentric history. Moreover, he fails to explain how scholars like W.E.B. DuBois and George Wells Parker made it clear in their writings that Blacks probably founded civilization in Greece and China in addition to Egypt.

In conclusion, the basic function of the works of Howe, Baines, D'Souza, Lefkowitz and Moses is to silence heterodox voices without any argument or hypothesis testing. Science relies on observation and hypothesis testing, not rational thought alone. Using logic singly to deny the Afrocentric ancient historical memory is unacceptable because their personality, tradition, values and habitual methods of thinking can taint the expectations of historians.

The authors of Afrotopia and Afrocentrism present no evidence in support of their critique of Afrocentrism. This invalidates their theory. You cannot prove true things to be true, but something that is false cane be proven to be false. The failure of Moses and Howe to present “empirical validation” in support of their rejection of Afrocentrism makes their claims pure fiction.

Due to the absence of “positive proof” to disconfirm Afrocentric hypotheses, reveal that the intellectual discourse of Howe and Moses is predetermined by a conformity to a conservative elitist political ideology. An ideology which summary nullifies Afrocentric ancient historical themes simply by the method of authority ( i.e., “establishment historians” say it is false, so it is false) rather than critical reading of the Afrocentric text and hypotheses testing.

Afrotopia and Afrocentrism fail to provide a realistic and critical rendition of the Afrocentric historical memory of the ancient world. These works will not benefit anyone reading these books seeking an actual and true discussion of ancient Afrocentric history as a mature social science. These books represent feel good scholarship for racist whites who want to continue to believe that African history begins and ends with the slave trade.

It is a shame that some coconut Euronuts hate themselves so much that they will write any garbage to cater to Eurocentrist. They hope that by writing this falsehood they will be allowed to join the "club" as full partners in keeping Black people in their "place" as consumers of a history made by Europeans , light skinned Arabs and Asians. But this will never happen for people like Moses, since Eurocentrists will never fully accept a coconut to their ranks, because coconuts fail to respect themselves and their history.

Book Review: Stephen Howe’s Afrocentrism:Mythical Pasts and Imagined Homes

Stephen Howe’s Afrocentrism:Mythical Pasts and Imagined Homes , purportedly explain the research traditions of the Afrocentric scholars via the demerits of Martin Bernal’s Black Athena. As a result, they fail to realistically discuss the contentious discourses surrounding the ancient Afrocentric historical memory and detail the methods and paradigms associated with this pedagogy.

Howe fail to fulfill the anxious expectations of many readers of the books who had hoped his work would be balanced and situated on the evidence. Howe sees the study of ancient Afrocentric historical themes as a tradition of dissent rather than a field of study with its own tradition of normal science. Like D'Souza and Leftkowitz this author without supporting evidence devalue ancient Afrocentric historical education. Moreover, the most exasperating aspect of Howe's writing is that he uses Bernal's Black Athena , as an Afrocentric history text, and then proceeds to use criticism of this work to "disconfirm" the Afrocentric ancient history discipline. This book is not an Afrocentric primer.

In the africalogical social sciences, researchers look at the history and society of African people from an African centered or Afrocentric perspective. The Afrocentrist connects Africans in America and elsewhere to thousands of years of history and civilization.

There are three problems with this book of Howe . These problems include :

1) Howe fails to discuss the research of Afrocentric scholars critically;

2) Howe presents the Afrocentric study of ancient history as a recent development ; and

3) the major reason proffered for his attacks on Afrocentrism is that the “academy” rejects the discipline.

Howe fails to proffer and outline the major Afrocentric ancient history text. Afrocentric scholars make hundreds of detailed archaeological, historical and linguistic claims, which have not been systematically refuted or discussed by the author Howe . The fact that Howe ignores the historical research of Afrocentric scholars makes his works narrow and unrepresentative of the ancient Afrocentric history discipline. In general, we have to dismiss Howe’s work, due to alledged external factors such as “race thinking”, “personal prejudices”, “social and political pressures” and “ideology” rather than disconfirmation of Afrocentric hypotheses.

Howe never presents any historical evidence to refute the paradigms of ancient Afrocentric history. Moreover, he fails to explain how scholars like W.E.B. DuBois and George Wells Parker made it clear in their writings that Blacks probably founded civilization in Greece and China in addition to Egypt is based on the latest historical and anthropological evidence available to these authors during this time. This is important, because if the researches of these scholars was fraudulent Howe and his cohorts should be able to present opposing evidence which disconfirms the researches of DuBois, Parker and the other Afrocentric scholars? But alas, there is no evidence presented to disconfirm the research of these Afrocentrists.

Howe acknowledges the long history of Afrocentric research and provides his readers with a series of negative comments made by critics of Chiek Anta Diop without any concern with checking their accuracy. Then in the next breathe Howe explains that much of the work of Afrocentric scholars like Chiek Anta Diop, cross so many disciplines that he is unable to expertly assess the Afrocentric initiatives/propositions of ancient Afrocentric history. And as a result, he cannot grasp the impressive synthesis of scholarship found in the work of Afrocentric scholars.

This admission negates Howe’s basic premise that Afrocentric research is “untrustworthy”, his lack of expertise in the cross-disciplinary procedures of the Afrocentric scholars make it clear that he is unable to expertly assess and evaluate the initiatives/propositions of ancient Afrocentric history. Consequently, he cannot grasp the impressive synthesis of scholarship found in the works of Afrocentric scholars.

Howe claims that Afrocentric history is reverse-racism because Afrocentric researchers have used the classical, historical ,anthropological and linguistic literature to illustrate the African/Black origin of many of the River Valley and Grecian civilizations (p.48). Yet Howe fails to provide crucial examples of the falsification of the sources used by Afrocentric scholars. This makes the claims of Howe that Afro-American contributions to ancient history are either non-existent or irrelevant, groundless.

Howe’s interpretations of Afrocentric researchers are contradictory and confusing. For example, on the one hand he claims that Dubois’ book the The Negro , “overall, his account avoided the sensationalism and special pleading, being a solid reflection of the state of knowledge at that time” (p.52), and therefore acceptable to the “academy”, yet in general DuBois’ work is romantic. How can a work be both factual and “romantic”. Clearly, Howe’s opinion about DuBois’ work is based more on his personal bias rather than evidence.

Howe asks us to reject Afrocentric research based on “authority”. He makes a number of claims about the inadequacy of the ancient Afrocentric historical memory, but he does not provide critical analysis of the historical claims he disputes. For example, Howe claims that Diop failed to prove his connections between West Africa and Egypt eventhough, he provides a 200-page lexicon of hundreds of cognate Wolof-Egyptian terms. He said that:


The basic flaw [ of Parente genetique ]is that in order to trace the history of languages, to identify shared roots, patterns of evolution and divergence, it is entirely inadequate simply to list similar-sounding or possibly related terms in different languages (p.178).


This comment by Howe, on Diop’s work, would seem to be a reasonable analysis of one of Diop’s major works. But anyone who has actually read Parente genetique de l’egyptien pharanique et des langues negro-africaines, knows that Diop spent the first 200 plus pages of this book discussing in detail the grammatical and structural affinities of Egyptian and African languages. The failure of Howe to discuss this fact leads one to assume that he purposely avoids mentioning this fact so as to imply that Diop was an incompetent scholar.

At the base of Eurocentrism is the doctrine of white supremacy. This ideological foundation aims to thwart the Afro-Americans' search for manhood and self-assertion, when ever they encounter intensified prejudice by white Americans.

This major component of Eurocentrism is the notion of African-American intellectual inferiority. As a result, European scholars can write and research the history of any people on earth. But, African Americans on the otherhand, are believed to lack the intellectual capacity to research, let alone write ancient history.

Fighting C.A.I.D.S.

Due to the alleged intellectual inferiority of Africans it is believed that they are unsuited to write ancient history, international affairs, or archaeology. This may result from several factors especially racial bias and social position. These factors are important ,because of the fact that formerly persons writing ancient history themes usually came from well-to-do or middle-class families that could provide them with the capital to undertake research activities abroad. This belief has ghettoized many African American scholars and authors , to writing only about slavery, the slave trade and/or the cycle of poverty typified by life in the urban centers of the United States.

Little has changed in the past 100 years, Howe asserts that Afro-Americans should reframe from writing about ancient history because “their ideas, like cultural nationalism in general, quite simply have nothing at all to say about the most central problem facing Afro-Americans: the conditions of economic marginality, insecurity and underprivileged under which most of them exist” (p.14). It is obvious from this statement that establishment historians wish to constrain the intellectual inquiry of Afro-American scholars.

Howe’s major contribution to the study of ancient Afrocentrism is criticism of Diop’s use of dated references in many of his works. But this criticism is nebulas because nowhere in Afrocentrism does Howe disconfirm the sources used by Chiek Anta Diop. The failure to disconfirm the research of Chiek Anta Diop and the other Afrocentric scholars mentioned in his book makes Howe's Afrocentrism deeply flawed.

This book by Howe does not refute research conducted by Afrocentric scholars. It is a feel good book for Europeans who want to ignore the long history of African people.

It is shame Euronuts are so jealous of the history of African and Black people.


Afrocentrism a Mature Social Science

Afrocentrism, is a mature social science that was founded by Afro-Americans almost 200 years ago.

These men and women provided scholarship based on contemporary archaeological and historical research the African/Black origination of civilization throughout the world. These Afro-American scholars, mostly trained at Harvard University (one of the few Universities that admitted Blacks in the 19th Century) provide the scientific basis for Afrocantrism and the global role played by African people in civilizing the world.

Afrocentrism and the africalogical study of ancient Black civilizations was began by Afro-Americans.

Edward Blyden

The foundation of any mature science is its articulation in an authoritive text (Kuhn, 1996, 136). The africalogical textbooks published by Hopkins (1905), Perry (1893) and Williams (1883) provided the vocabulary themes for further afrocentric social science research.

The pedagogy for ancient africalogical research was well established by the end of the 19th century by African American researchers well versed in the classical languages and knowledge of Greek and Latin. Cornish and Russwurm (1827) in the Freedom Journal, were the first African Americans to discuss and explain the "Ancient Model" of history.

These afrocentric social scientists used the classics to prove that the Blacks founded civilization in Egypt, Ethiopia, Babylon and Ninevah. Cornish and Russwurm (1827) made it clear that archaeological research supported the classical, or "Ancient Model" of history.

Edward Blyden (1869) also used classical sources to discuss the ancient history of African people. In his work he not only discussed the evidence for Blacks in West Asia and Egypt, he also discussed the role of Blacks in ancient America (Blyden, 1869, 78).

By 1883, africalogical researchers began to publish book on African American history. G.W. Williams (1883) wrote the first textbook on African American history. In the History of the Negro Race in America, Dr. Williams provided the schema for all future africalogical history text.

Dr. Williams (1883) confirmed the classical traditions for Blacks founding civilization in both Africa (Egypt, Ethiopia) and West Asia. In addition, to confirming the "Ancient Model" of history, Dr. Williams (1883) also mentioned the presence of Blacks in Indo-China and the Malay Peninsula. Dr. Williams was trained at Howard.

A decade later R.L. Perry (1893) also presented evidence to confirm the classical traditions of Blacks founding Egypt, Greece and the Mesopotamian civilization.

He also provided empirical evidence for the role of Blacks in Phoenicia, thus increasing the scope of the ASAH paradigms.

Pauline E. Hopkins (1905) added further articulation of the ASAH paradigms of the application of these paradigms in understanding the role of Blacks in West Asia and Africa.

Hopkins (1905) provided further confirmation of the role of Blacks in Southeast Asia, and expanded the scope of africalogical research to China (1905).

This review of the 19th century africalogical social scientific research indicate confirmation of the "Ancient Model" for the early history of Blacks. We also see a movement away from self-published africalogical research, and publication of research, and the publication of research articles on afrocentric themes, to the publication of textbooks.

It was in these books that the paradigms associated with the "Ancient Model" and ASAH were confirmed, and given reliability by empirical research. It was these texts which provided the pedagogic vehicles for the perpetuation of the africalogical normal social science.

The afrocentric textbooks of Hopkins (1905), Perry (1893) and Williams (1883) proved the reliability and validity of the ASAH paradigms. The discussion in these text of contemporary scientific research findings proving the existence of ancient civilizations in Egypt, Nubia-Sudan (Kush), Mesopotamia, Palestine and North Africa lent congruency to the classical literature which pointed to the existence of these civilizations and these African origins ( i.e., the children of Ham= Khem =Kush?).

The authors of the africalogical textbooks reported the latest archaeological and anthropological findings. The archaeological findings reported in these textbooks added precision to their analysis of the classical and Old Testament literature. This along with the discovery of artifacts on the ancient sites depicting Black\African people proved that the classical and Old Testament literature, as opposed to the "Aryan Model", objectively identified the Black\African role in ancient history. And finally, these textbooks confirmed that any examination of references in the classical literature to Blacks in Egypt, Kush, Mesopotamia and Greece\Crete exhibited constancy to the evidence recovered from archaeological excavations in the Middle East and the Aegean. They in turn disconfirmed the "Aryan Model", which proved to be a falsification of the authentic history of Blacks in early times.

The creation of africalogical textbooks provided us with a number of facts revealing the nature of the afrocentric ancient history paradigms. They include a discussion of:

1) the artifacts depicting Blacks found at ancient sites

recovered through archaeological excavation;

2) the confirmation of the validity of the classical and Old

Testament references to Blacks as founders of civilization in Africa and Asia;

3) the presence of isolated pockets of Blacks existing outside Africa; and

4) that the contemporary Arab people in modern Egypt are not the descendants of the ancient Egyptians.

The early africalogical textbooks also outlined the africalogical themes research should endeavor to study. A result, of the data collected by the africalogical ancient history research pioneers led to the development of three facts by the end of the 19th century, which needed to be solved by the afrocentric paradigms:

(1) What is the exact relationship of ancient Egypt, to Blacks in other parts of Africa;

(2) How and when did Blacks settle America, Asia and Europe;

(3) What are the contributions of the Blacks to the rise, and cultural expression ancient Black\African civilizations;

(4) Did Africans settle parts of America in ancient times.

As you can see the structure of Afrocentrism were made long before Boas and the beginning of the 20th Century.In fact , I would not be surprised if Boas learned what he talked about from the early Afrocentric researchers discussed in this post.

As you can see Afro-Americans have be writing about the Global history of ancient Black civilizations for almost 200 years. It was Afro-Americans who first mentioned the African civilizations of West Africa and the Black roots of Egypt. These Afro-Americans made Africa a historical part of the world.

Afro-American scholars not only highlighted African history they also discussed the African/Black civilizations developed by African people outside Africa over a hundred years before Bernal and Boas.

Your history of what you call "negrocentric" or Black Studies is all wrong. It was DuBois who founded Black/Negro Studies, especially Afro-American studies given his work on the slave trade and sociological and historical studies of Afro-Americans. He mentions in the World and Africa about the Jews and other Europeans who were attempting to take over the field.


There is no one who can deny the fact that Leo Hansberry founded African studies in the U.S., not the Jews.Hansberry was a professor at Howard University.

Moreover, Bernal did not initiate any second wave of "negro/Blackcentric" study for ancient Egyptian civilization. Credit for this social science push is none other than Chiek Diop, who makes it clear that he was influenced by DuBois.


These scholars recognized that the people of Southeast Asia and Indo-China were dark skined, some darker than African and Afro-American people. But when they discussed Blacks in Asia they were talking about people of African descent.

In conclusion, Afrocentrism is a mature social science. A social science firmly rooted in the scholarship of Afro-American researchers lasting almost 200 years. Researchers like Marc Washington, Clyde Winters and Mike are continuing a tradition of scholarship began 20 decades ago. All these contemporary researchers is doing is confirming research , that has not been disconfirmed over the past 200 years.

Aluta continua.....The struggle continues.....


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The Olmec are not indigenous native Americans

Some researchers claim that I am wrongly ruling out an “indigenous revolution” for the origin of the Olmec civilization. This is their opinion—the archaeological evidence, not I, suggest that the founders of the Olmec civilization were not “indigenous” people.

In the Olmec World: Ritual and Rulership (1995), (ed.) by Carolyn Tate, on page 65, we find the following statement”Olmec culture as far as we know seems to have no antecedents; no material models remain for its monumental constructions and sculptures and the ritual acts captured in small objects”.

M. Coe, writing in Regional Perspective on the Olmecs (1989), (ed.) by Sharer and Grove, observed that “ on the contrary, the evidence although negative, is that the Olmec style of art, and Olmec engineering ability suddenly appeared full fledged from about 1200 BC”.

Mary E. Pye, writing in Olmec Archaeology in Mesoamerica (2000), (ed.) by J.E. Cark and M.E. Pye,makes it clear after a discussion of the pre-Olmec civilizations of the Mokaya tradition, that these cultures contributed nothing to the rise of the Olmec culture. Pye wrote “The Mokaya appear to have gradually come under Olmec influence during Cherla times and to have adopted Olmec ways. We use the term olmecization to describe the processes whereby independent groups tried to become Olmecs, or to become like the Olmecs” (p.234). Pye makes it clear that it was around 1200 BC that Olmec civilization rose in Mesoamerica. She continues “Much of the current debate about the Olmecs concerns the traditional mother culture view. For us this is still a primary issue. Our data from the Pacific coast show that the mother culture idea is still viable in terms of cultural practices. The early Olmecs created the first civilization in Mesoamerica; they had no peers, only contemporaries” (pp.245-46).

Richard A. Diehl The Olmecs:America’s first civilization (2005), wrote “ The identity of these first Olmecs remains a mystery. Some scholars believe they were Mokaya migrants from the Pacific coast of Chiapas who brought improved maize strains and incipient social stratification with them. Others propose that Olmec culture evolved among the local indigenous populations without significant external stimulus. I prefer the latter position, but freely admit that we lack sufficient information on the period before 1500 BC to resolve the issue” (p.25).

Pool (17-18), in Olmec Archaeology and early MesoAmerica (2007), argues that continuity exist between the Olmec and pre-Olmec cultures in Mexico “[even]though Coe now appears to favor an autochthonous origin for Olmec culture (Diehl & Coe 1995:150), he long held that the Olmec traits appeared at San Lorenzo rather suddenly during the Chicharras phase (ca 1450-1408 BC) (Coe 1970a:25,32; Coe and Diehl 1980a:150)”.

Pool admits (p.95), that “this conclusion contrasts markedly with that of the excavators of San Lorenzo, who reported dramatic change in ceramic type and [b] argued on this basis for a foreign incursion of Olmecs into Olman (Coe and Diehl 1980a, p.150).”

The evidence presented by these authors make it clear that the Olmec introduced a unique culture to Mesoamerica that was adopted by the Mexicans. As these statements make it clear there was no continuity between pre-Olmec cultures and the Olmec culture. The Mokaya culture was on the Pacific coast. The Olmec lived in the Gulf region.

African Skeletons in Mexico

Dr. Wiercinski (1972) claims that the some of the Olmecs were of African origin. He supports this claim with skeletal evidence from several Olmec sites where he found skeletons that were analogous to the West African type black. Wiercinski discovered that 13.5 percent of the skeletons from Tlatilco and 4.5 percent of the skeletons from Cerro de las Mesas were Africoid (Rensberger,1988; Wiercinski, 1972; Wiercinski & Jairazbhoy 1975).

Diehl and Coe (1995, 12) of Harvard University have made it clear that until a skeleton of an African is found on an Olmec site he will not accept the art evidence that the were Africans among the Olmecs. This is rather surprising because Constance Irwin and Dr. Wiercinski (1972) have both reported that skeletal remains of Africans have been found in Mexico. Constance Irwin, in Fair Gods and Stone Faces, says that anthropologist see "distinct signs of Negroid ancestry in many a New World skull...."

Dr. Wiercinski (1972) claims that some of the Olmecs were of African origin. He supports this claim with skeletal evidence from several Olmec sites where he found skeletons that were analogous to the West African type black. Many Olmec skulls show cranial deformations (Pailles, 1980), yet Wiercinski (1972b) was able to determine the ethnic origins of the Olmecs. Marquez (1956, 179-80) made it clear that a common trait of the African skulls found in Mexico include marked prognathousness ,prominent cheek bones are also mentioned. Fronto-occipital deformation among the Olmec is not surprising because cranial deformations was common among the Mande speaking people until fairly recently (Desplanges, 1906).

Many African skeletons have been found in Mexico. Carlo Marquez (1956, pp.179-180) claimed that these skeletons indicated marked pronathousness and prominent cheek bones.

Wiercinski found African skeletons at the Olmec sites of Monte Alban, Cerro de las Mesas and Tlatilco. Morley, Brainerd and Sharer (1989) said that Monte Alban was a colonial Olmec center (p.12).

Diehl and Coe (1996) admitted that the inspiration of Olmec Horizon A, common to San Lorenzo's iniitial phase has been found at Tlatilco. Moreover, the pottery from this site is engraved with Olmec signs.

According to Wiercinski (1972b) Africans represented more than 13.5 percent of the skeletal remains found at Tlatilco and 4.5 percent of the Cerro remains (see Table 2). Wiercinski (1972b) studied a total of 125 crania from Tlatilco and Cerro.

There were 38 males and 62 female crania in the study from Tlatilco and 18 males and 7 females from Cerro. Whereas 36 percent of the skeletal remains were of males, 64 percent were women (Wiercinski, 1972b).

To determine the racial heritage of the ancient Olmecs, Dr. Wiercinski (1972b) used classic diagnostic traits determined by craniometric and cranioscopic methods. These measurements were then compared to a series of three crania sets from Poland, Mongolia and Uganda to represent the three racial categories of mankind.

In Table 1, we have the racial composition of the Olmec skulls. The only European type recorded in this table is the Alpine group which represents only 1.9 percent of the crania from Tlatilco.

Table 1.Olmec Races

The other alleged "white" crania from Wiercinski's typology of Olmec crania, represent the Dongolan (19.2 percent), Armenoid (7.7 percent), Armenoid-Bushman (3.9 percent) and Anatolian (3.9 percent). The Dongolan, Anatolian and Armenoid terms are euphemisms for the so-called "Brown Race" "Dynastic Race", "Hamitic Race",and etc., which racist Europeans claimed were the founders of civilization in Africa.

Table 2:
Racial Composition:

Poe (1997), Keita (1993,1996), Carlson and Gerven (1979)and MacGaffey (1970) have made it clear that these people were Africans or Negroes with so-called 'caucasian features' resulting from genetic drift and microevolution (Keita, 1996; Poe, 1997). This would mean that the racial composition of 26.9 percent of the crania found at Tlatilco and 9.1 percent of crania from Cerro de las Mesas were of African origin.

In Table 2, we record the racial composition of the Olmec according to the Wiercinski (1972b) study. The races recorded in this table are based on the Polish Comparative-Morphological School (PCMS). The PCMS terms are misleading. As mentioned earlier the Dongolan , Armenoid, and Equatorial groups refer to African people with varying facial features which are all Blacks. This is obvious when we look at the iconographic and sculptural evidence used by Wiercinski (1972b) to support his conclusions.

Wiercinski (1972b) compared the physiognomy of the Olmecs to corresponding examples of Olmec sculptures and bas-reliefs on the stelas. For example, Wiercinski (1972b, p.160) makes it clear that the clossal Olmec heads represent the Dongolan type. It is interesting to note that the emperical frequencies of the Dongolan type at Tlatilco is .231, this was more than twice as high as Wiercinski's theorectical figure of .101, for the presence of Dongolans at

The other possible African type found at Tlatilco and Cerro were the Laponoid group. The Laponoid group represents the Austroloid-Melanesian type of (Negro) Pacific Islander, not the Mongolian type. If we add together the following percent of the Olmecs represented in Table 2, by the Laponoid (21.2%), Equatorial (13.5), and Armenoid (18.3) groups we can assume that at least 53 percent of the Olmecs at Tlatilco were Africans or Blacks. Using the same figures recorded in Table 2 for Cerro,we observe that 40.8 percent of these Olmecs would have been classified as Black if they lived in contemporary America.

Rossum (1996) has criticied the work of Wiercinski because he found that not only blacks, but whites were also present in ancient America. To support this view he (1) claims that Wiercinski was wrong because he found that Negro/Black people lived in Shang China, and 2) that he compared ancient skeletons to modern Old World people.

First, it was not surprising that Wiercinski found affinities between African and ancient Chinese populations, because everyone knows that many Negro/African /Oceanic skeletons (referred to as Loponoid by the Polish school) have been found in ancient China see: Kwang-chih Chang The Archaeology of ancient China (1976,1977, p.76,1987, pp.64,68). These Blacks were spread throughout Kwangsi, Kwantung, Szechwan, Yunnan and Pearl River delta.

Skeletons from Liu-Chiang and Dawenkou, early Neolithic sites found in China, were also Negro. Moreover, the Dawenkou skeletons show skull deformation and extraction of teeth customs, analogous to customs among Blacks in Polynesia and Africa.

This makes it clear that we can not ignore the evidence. I have tried to keep up with the literature in this field over the past 30 years and I would appreciate someone reproducing on this forum citations of the articles which have conclusively disconfirmed the skeletal evidence of Wiercinski.

The fact remains African skeletons were found in Mesoamerica. This archaeological evidence supports the view that the Olmec were predominately African when we examine the anthropological language used to describe the Olmec skeletons analyzed by Wiercinski. See:


Carlson,D. and Van Gerven,D.P. (1979). Diffussion, biological determinism and bioculdtural adaptation in the Nubian corridor,American Anthropologist, 81, 561-580.

Desplagnes, M. (1906). Deux nouveau cranes humains de cites lacustres. L'Anthropologie, 17, 134-137.

Diehl, R. A., & Coe, M.D. (1995). "Olmec archaeology". In In Jill Guthrie (Ed.), Ritual and Rulership, (pp.11-25). The Art Museum: Princeton University Press.

Irwin,C.Fair Gods and Stone Faces.

Keita,S.O.Y. (1993). Studies and comments on ancient Egyptian biological relationships, History in Africa, 20, 129-131.

Keita,S.O.Y.& Kittles,R.A. (1997). The persistence of racial thinking and the myth of racial divergence, American Anthropologist, 99 (3), 534-544.

MacGaffey,W.(1970). Comcepts of race in Northeast Africa. In J.D. Fage and R.A. Oliver, Papers in African Prehistory (pp.99-115), Camridge: Cambridge University Press.

Marquez,C.(1956). Estudios arqueologicas y ethnograficas. Mexico.

Rensberger, B. ( September, 1988). Black kings of ancient America", Science Digest, 74-77 and 122.

Underhill,P.A.,Jin,L., Zemans,R., Oefner,J and Cavalli-Sforza,L.L.(1996, January). A pre-Columbian Y chromosome-specific transition and its implications for human evolutionary history, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA,93, 196-200.

Van Rossum,P. (1996). Olmec skeletons African? No, just poor scholarship.

Von Wuthenau, Alexander. (1980). Unexplained Faces in Ancient America, 2nd Edition, Mexico 1980.

Wiercinski, A.(1969). Affinidades raciales de algunas poblaiones antiquas de Mexico, Anales de INAH, 7a epoca, tomo II, 123-143.

Wiercinski,A. (1972). Inter-and Intrapopulational Racial Differentiation of Tlatilco, Cerro de Las Mesas, Teothuacan, Monte Alban and Yucatan Maya, XXXlX Congreso Intern. de Americanistas, Lima 1970 ,Vol.1, 231-252.

Wiercinski,A. (1972b). An anthropological study on the origin of "Olmecs", Swiatowit ,33, 143-174.

Wiercinski, A. & Jairazbhoy, R.A. (1975) "Comment", The New Diffusionist,5 (18),5.


Did the Original Negrocostachicanos come from Melanesia

It is clear that Blacks along the Pacific coast the Negrocostachicanos are descendants of the original Blacks who lived in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala for thousands of years. The Blacks along the Gulf are mainly of African Slave origin.

When you look at the nose bones worn by these Guatemalans make you wonder if some of these folk came from Melanesia.

Negrocostachicanos created the civilizations of Kaminaljuyu and San Bartolo

After 800 BC the Olmec entered Western mexico. At this time it appears that the Mokaya were “Olmecizied”. At this time we see the introduction of Olmec ceramics, culture items and writing.

It is becoming increasingly clear that the Olmec played a prominent role in the rise of Mayan civilization. In Guatemala, we find jaguar stucco masks on the pyramids of EI Mirador Structure 34, Cerros Structure 5C-2nd, E-VII Sub at Takalik Uxaxatun, and Structure 5D 22-2nd at Tikal. These jaguar masks are identical to Olmec jaguar masks: Stela C Tres Zapotes, the La Venta Sarcophagus, and Monument 15 La Venta. In this presentation, we test the hypothesis that there is a correlation between the pre-Classic Guatemalan writing and the (Epi)Olmec writing of Mexico. The purpose of this project is to compare these symbols to fully decipher the inscriptions of Guatemala, and to learn more about the religious and political system of the pre-Classic Guatemalans.

Most researchers have assumed that this pyramid was built by the Maya. Although this is the popular view, this pyramid was probably built by the Olmec. And the Maya probably built a new pyramid over the original Olmec pyramid.

Under many pyramids found in Guatemala and Belize we find stucco-modeled jaguar pyramids. These pyramids with jaguar mask and large earrings predate all the Mayan pyramids. They are found at Uaxactun, Tikal and Cerros.

Most researchers have assumed that this pyramid was built by the Maya. Although this is the popular view, this pyramid was probably built by the Olmec. And the Maya probably built a new pyramid over the original Olmec pyramid.

Under many pyramids found in Guatemala and Belize we find stucco-modeled jaguar pyramids. These pyramids with jaguar mask and large earrings predate all the Mayan pyramids. They are found at Uaxactun, Tikal and Cerros.

We see new Black civilizations rise along the Pacific coast after 500 BC. Between 500-200 BC Guatemala was a center of Black civilizations. Some of these civilization include San Bartolo, Izapa and Kaminaljuyu. The founders of these civilizations were probably the ancestors of the Black Costa Chicas the negrocostachicanos.

The Negrocostachicanos are responsible for the pre-Classic pyramids the Maya built their pyramids upon. They left us numerous inscriptions on artifacts from Izapa, San Bartolo and Kuminaljuyu they may provide us with keen insight into their history and civilization.

Stone head From San Bartolo

The San Bartolo, Guatemala murals are very beautiful they were discovered by William Saturno of the University of New Hampshire. These murals were found in an unexcavated pyramid. Entering a looter’s trench Dr. Saturno dug into the pyramid and discovered the murals. Much of the mural was destroyed when the Maya built another pyramid over the original structure.

King Kali

The San Bartolo pyramid has two murals. One of the murals is of a procession of people on a boat . The other mural is of King Tali, sitting on his pyramid.

On the boat there are a number of figures. Moving from right to left we see four standing figures nearest the end of the boat. These figures are carrying bundles raised above their heads.

In front of these figures we see several symbols. These symbols provide context to the procession.

There are a number of female figures on the boat. The woman near the Corn God has writing symbols on their faces. The kneeling figure holding the vase on the far left side toward the end has the words gyo ti “righteous cult specialist” on her cheek.

The standing female figure in front of the last three symbols placed in front of the person carrying gifts has the words ti i “she is righteous” written on her cheek.

Another Black chiefdoms was situated at Kaminaljuyu.

It is clear that Blacks along the Pacific coast the Negrocostachicanos are descendants of the original Africans who lived in Mexico, Belize and Guatemala for thousands of years. The Blacks along the Gulf are mainly of African Slave origin.


Ancient Blacks in Mexico Before the Olmecs

The Black Costa Chicas or negrocostachicanos in a region where numerous artifacts have been found that indicate that Black cultures trives in Western Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala almost 2000 years before the Olmec sailed to mexico from Africa and landed on the Gulf coast of Mexico.

Below are many artifacts from Chiapas Mexico. These Blacks predate the Olmec by 100s of years.

In Belize , around 2500 B.C., we see evidence of agriculture. The iconography of this period depicts Africoids. And at Izapa in 1358 B.C., astronomer-priests invented the first American calendar. In addition numerous sculptures of blacks dating to the 2nd millennium B.C, have been found at La Venta, Chiapas, Teotihuacan and Tlatilco.

Chiapas Blacks

The earliest culture founded by Blacks in the Pacific coats region was the Mokaya tradition. The Mokaya tradition was situated on the Pacific coast of Mexico in the Soconusco region. Sedentary village life began as early as 2000BC. By 1700-1500 BC we see many African communities in the Mazatan region. This is called the Barra phase or Ocos complex.

During the Barra phase these Blacks built villages amd made beautiful ceramic vessels often with three legs. They also made a large number of effigy vessels.

The figurines of the Ocos are the most significant evidence for Blacks living in the area during this period. The female figurine from Aquiles Serdan is clearly that of an African woman.

Ocos Female

The Blacks of the Mokaya traditions were not Olmec. The civilization of the Mokaya traditions began 700 years before the Olmec arrived in Mexico.


In most history text the Ocos are presented as the original founders of Mayan civilization. As you can see from the art they do not look like native Americans they look negro like other Africans.

Vase from Chama Guatemala

Vase from Chama Guatemala

A cursory examination of the vase makes it clear that the Mayan and Black personages are different. It ios interesting to note that the Mayan chiftain is painted black--but down around the chin area you can see that the personage was read skinned like the other Mayan personages.

Both Ekchuah and the Mayan people have elongated heads and they still don't look alike.


Negrocostachicanos :Descendants of the Original Blacks in Guatemala, Belize and Pacific Coast Mexico

Vase from Chama Guatemala

Given the discovery of numerous Olmec artifacts depicting Blacks begs a number of questions: “Were there Black or African people in ancient America? Do the African heads of the Olmec confirm an African presence in Mexico or do they show present-day Mayan people? What is the relation between contemporary Black Costa Chicas (negrocostachicanos) and Blacks depicted in Olmec artifacts?
The idea of mestizaje was developed by Jose Vascoucelos. Mr. Vascouselos became Minister of Education in 1921. During his tenure Black heroes of Mexican history were whitened as Vascoucelos pursued a policy of homogenization of Mexicans (Cuevas, 2004).
In 1946, Black Mexicans were rediscovered by Aguirre Beltran (1972) when he found the Blacks in Costa Chica. This was a rediscovery because the idea of mestizaje stressed the idea that there were only Mexicans, and not Amerindians, Whites or Blacks. The only problem with this idea was that Black Mexicans became associated with poverty and ignorance. These Blacks also experience much discrimination throughout Mexico, and much hostility in Costa Chica (Vaugh, 2005a, 2005b).

The Negrocostachicanos claim that they have never been slaves and are indigenous to Guererro and Oaxaca on the Pacific coast of Mexico. The 1990 Mexican census recorded 66,000 Negrocostachicanos. These Mexicans live in African style huts and practice rituals which may be of African origin (Vaugh,2005a).

Most researchers believe that the Negrocostachicanos are decendants of marrons or runaway slaves (Aguirre Beltran, 1972; Vaugh,2005a). But none of the Blacks of Costa Chica have songs about slavery and its hardships ( Negrocostachicanos say “they are not they insist, the descendants of African slaves. There was never slavery here, even in ancient times” (,2005). Bobby Vaugh (2005b) noted that he found “no consciousness of slavery among people in Costa Chica” (p.5). Another researcher, noted that “Housewives in San Jose Estancia Grande and Santiago Tapextla [in Costa Chica] say their ancestors did not come from Africa, that their families have always lived right here” (, 2005, p.6).

The fact that the Negrocostachicanos claim that they were never slaves has troubled some researchers who believe that the only Blacks in Mexico came to the New World with the Spanish. Although this is the popular view concerning the origin of Blacks in Mexico, this view may be Eurocentric because the archaeological and historical evidence indicate that Blacks were already in Mexico when the Spanish made there way to Mexico.

Leo Wiener in the African Discovery of America (1922), provides a detailed account of the Black gods of Mexico in the third volume in this series of books. Wiener outlined that the Blacks were traveling merchants in Mexico selling cocao, feathers and other products.

The major Black gods of the Mexicans was Quetzalcoalt, and the Mayan gods L and M, Xaman and Ekchuah these gods are depicted in the Codex Troano(Wiener, 1921, [vol.3] p.258). Sahagun tells us that Ekchuah was also the god of the Amanteca. The Nahuatl term Amanteca, was probably the name of the Mandinka or Mandinga people who were the foundation of the Olmec people (Winters, 2005).

Ekchuah and the Mayan God M, was the god of merchants and warriors. He is also depicted in the Codex Cortesianus and 17 times in the Madrid Codex.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Xia an African civiliation

In this movie we discuss the Xia civilization. Xia was the first civilization of China in recorded history. This civilization was created by Mande speaking Blacks.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Public Understandings of Egypt in Dalit and Afro-American Identities

This is a presentation I made for the Egypt and its African context Conference October 2009. Two principal minorities in the United States and India are African Americans and the Dalits formerly known as the Untouchables of India. W.E.B. DuBois in Africa and the World and V.T. Rajshekar in Dalits:The Black Untouchables of India ,and the Dalit Bishop Rev. Azariah have linked African-Americans and East Indians to an African origin. Although these minorities are separated by thousands of miles both ethnic groups locate their origins in Africa and see Egyptian civilization as part of their ethnic heritage and situated this idea in the liberation history curriculum taught in their school. In this presentation Dr. C.A. Winters will discuss the role Egypt has played in the identity formation of Dalits and African-Americans and why both groups see a direct link between themselves and the ancient Egyptians and made this a major part of their history curriculum within the context of their Civil Rights Movement.