Cheikh Anta Diop: An Intellectual Portrait, A Gem in the Mist of the Pile.

Author:Zulu, Itibari M.
Position::Book review

Asante, Molefi Kete, Cheikh Anta Diop: An Intellectual Portrait. Los Angeles, California: University of Sankore Press, 2007, ISBN: 978-0943412269, preface, references, index, pp.144; reviewed by Itibari M. Zulu (executive editor Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies).

Considering the volume of books published every, some will be overlooked for a host of reasons. However, within particular corners of knowledge one would accept scholars and academics to alert readers to a gem in the mist of the pile. One such book is Cheikh Anta Diop: An Intellectual Portrait by Temple University professor and chair of the department of Africology and African American Studies [architect of the first Ph.D., program in African American Studies], Molefi Kete Asante [also author of Maulana Karenga: An Intellectual Portrait (Cambridge, UK: Polity, 2009), published in 2007 by the University of Sankore Press (Los Angeles, California), a book and personal profile that has gone without a substantial review anywhere (except, 4-20-16, and Great African Thinkers: Cheikh Anta Diop edited by Ivan Van Sertima [New Brunswick,, N.J.: Transaction Books, 1987 via the Journal of African Civilizations, vol.8, no.1, June 1986). Hence, an unfortunate circumstance considering Cheikh Anta Diop's multi-disciplinary/trans-disciplinary competence (history, archeology, physics, sociology, linguistics, etc.) and approach (Diopian historiography, which places Egypt at the beginning, both chronologically and conceptually of African civilizations), and as one of the first historians to articulate a decidedly African-centered point of view on human knowledge and culture. Thus, the hope of this review is todirect new readers to this valuable work for anyone considering or actually engaging in Diopian perspectives or methodologies.

The book consists of a preface, introduction, and five chapters (concerning Cheikh Anta Diop's life and times, knowledge and politics, archaeology, culture, Afrocentric paradigm, unity an renaissance) that stands alone as one of the few book length exercises on Cheikh Anta Diop of the Republic of Senegal, designed to make its content '... accessible to general as well academic audiences (p.x)'. One would expect that an intellect such as historian, physicist, anthropologist, archeologist, politician, and African-centered theorist Cheikh Anta Diop (1923-1986) to be recognized in all circles, but according to Asante, in a mixture of petty...

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