In Pursuit of George G. M. James'

Study of African Origins in "Western Civilization"

By Yosef A. A. ben-Jochannan


PRELUDE

Fellows, scholars, students and others assembled, particularly all of us directly involved in the area of "Africana Studies and Research," I have before me in this PAPER basic evidence on JUDAISM, GREEK PHILOSOPHY and EUROPEAN CIVILIZATION, etc. which was not available to the late African-Guyanese linguist, Egyptologist, theologian, philosopher, historian, scientist, mathematician, and professor—GEORGE G. M. JAMES [in whose honour I appear]—when he wrote his masterpiece—Stolen Legacy—in 1954 C.E. This material ranges from an article in The NEW YORK TIMES, March 1, 1979, page A1 and A16 titled "Nubian Monarchy Called Oldest," by Boyce Rensberger; one of the earliest pictures of a statue of the most honoured of "Greek Philosophers," SOKRATES, in the London Museum of Natural History I extracted from a book—The HISTORY OF FREE THOUGHT, London, 1887 (See a picture of his bust to the right.); to another article in a photography magazine—CAMERA 35, February, 1980, page 6 titled "Potpourri"—showing a picture of a late African-European of historical fame—ALEXANDER DUMAS, PERE, by the nineteenth century C.E. French photographer Gaspard Felix Tournachon [otherwise called "Nadar"]; and beyond these. Note that the picture of DUMAS was sold either on November 1 or 2, 1979 at the Sotheby Parke Berke Bernet Gallery, New York City, New York for the respectable sum of sixteen thousand [$16,000] dollars. I wonder if the purchaser realized that he, or she, was purchasing a picture of an AFRICAN like anyone of us here tonight! Did this "lover of the arts" know that there was hardly any difference between SOKRATES and DUMAS in terms of their "racial origin"? (See a picture of Dumas to the left)

The innocence, or ignorance, about the AFRICANS major roles as creators of EUROPEAN CIVILIZATION is less here than it was when Professor James began the research for his basic work, Stolen Legacy, which re-ignited in me the fervor to research further and present this PAPER today. Thus I begin with a major contradiction of "Western Academia" about which nation of Africans—EGYPT or NUBIA—preceded the other in history. The following revelation contradicts almost everything we have been taught about the origin, development and zenith of the High-Culture of EGYPT in terms of historical arrival as a Nile Valley High-Culture. Moreso, all of the following was known to many at the University of Chicago, Illinois; as they have always held pertinent information in the artifacts of NUBIA within their possession, and of which the general Academic Community was kept almost totally ignorant such existed; thus:

See the New York Times, March 1, 1979 page 1 article "Nubian Monarchy Called Oldest."

If these reflections are not sufficient to begin this presentation, let me refresh your memory of the fact that we were supposedly engaged in the celebration of "BLACK [which should have been "African" at least] HISTORY MONTH" only this past February, 1980. Yet very little, if anything, of what I have so far divulged in less than ONE PAGE of this PAPER was mentioned during the entire TWENTY-NINE [29] DAYS African people in the United States of America were allotted to tell our own HISTORY, and also glory in our own HERITAGE—all of the millions of years of it —from ZENJANTHROPUS boise 1.8 million years ago to the present 1980 C.E.

Of course I must laugh at the attempt to make us believe that the entire WORLD'S OLDEST PEOPLE, especially our existence universally, can be told in TWENTY-EIGHT or TWENTY-NINE [consecutive] DAYS of each year; whereas that of the WORLD'S YOUNGEST PEOPLE requires THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FIVE or THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SIX [consecutive] DAYS each year: "White Caucasian History"!

This comment should in no way detract from the laudatory efforts of our late African American scholar and fellow historian—Dr. CARTER G. WOODSON—for having established what was previously called "NEGRO HISTORY WEEK" around the middle 1930's until the end of the 1950's C.E. For even this preliminary effort was rejected by most "NEGRO SCHOLARS" at that period of little or no awareness of AFRICAN HISTORY by them, and much less by their EUROPEAN AMERICAN counterparts. Thus what I am revealing now was equally suppressed by the same detractors who scuffed and scorned Dr. Carter G. Woodson while a Professor of History at Howard University, Washington, D.C. Yet it was the turmoil that brought about "NEGRO HISTORY WEEK" which equally caused Professor George G. M. James to remind EUROPEAN AMERICAN ACADEMIA of their AFRICAN BEGINNINGS; and thus the onset of the challenge to the exclusively "EUROPEAN [white] CIVILIZATION" [philosophy included] void of its AFRICAN and ASIAN ROOTS and/or ORIGINS, etc. It must be indelibly permanent in our minds that the concept of European "JUDAISM" and "JUDAEO-CHRISTIANITY" was also challenged; that is providing we realize it is impossible to speak about any type of EUROPEAN PHILOSOPHY in the absence of its AFRICAN BEGINNINGS along the entire Nile Valley. Professor James, on page 182 of his Stolen Legacy, said it this way:

CHAPTER VII

The Curriculum of the Egyptian Mysteries

Through the curriculum of the Egyptian mysteries it is now know that the African Continent has given the following Legacy to the civilization of the world. It consists of the following culture patterns: —

  1. Holy Catholic Orders, together with a priesthood divided into ranks according to training.
  2. Holy Catholic Worship, consisting of rituals, ceremonies including processions and appropriate vestments of priests.
  3. Greek Philosophy and the Arts and Sciences, including the Seven Liberal Arts, that is , the Quadrivium and Trivium which were the foundation training of Neophytes. These were included in the forty-two Books of Hermes.
  4. The applied Sciences which produced the pyramids, tombs, libraries, obelisks, and Sphinxes, war chariots and ships, etc.
  5. The social sciences, appropriate for the highest civilization in ancient times. Read The Stromata of Clement of Alexandria, C. 6, p. 756, 758; also Diodorus I, 80. Read also The Mechanical Triumphs of the Ancient Egyptians by F. M. Barber; History of Mathematics by Florian Cajeri; History of Mathematics by W. W. R. Ball.

 

CHAPTER VIII

The Memphite Theology

(1) Definition
The Memphite Theology is an inscription on a stone containing the cosmology, theology and philosophy of the Egyptians. Read Frankfort's Ancient Egyptian Religion, C. 20 and 23; also Frankfort's Intellectual Adventure of Man. It is located in the British Museum.

(2) Importance
Its importance lies in the fact that (a) it is an authoritative source of Egyptian Philosophy, Cosmology and Religion (b) it is proof of the Egyptian origin of Greek philosophy.

(3) The source of Modern Scientific Knowledge

  1. Atom the Egyptian Sun God who is the Logos of Heracleitus, the Demiurge of Plato and the Unmoved Mover of Aristotle creates eight other Gods by projecting them from His own body, thus producing nine Gods or the Ennead. This is identical with the Nebular Hypothesis of Laplace, in which the original Sun creates eight other planets, by throwing off rings from itself, thus producing the nine major planets of modern scientific belief.
  2. It has been shown on pages 146 and 147 of this book, that the name of Atom of Egyptian Sun God is the same name used for the atom of science and also that the attributes of both are the same. Read Frankfort's Intellectual Adventure of Man, p. 53; Frankfort's Kingship and the Gods, p. 182; also Herodotus II, 112; Diodorus I, 29.

(4) It offers great possibilities for modern scientific research
What science knows about (a) the number of major planets (b) how these major planets were created by the Sun and (c) the attributes of the atom has been traced to the Cosmology of The Memphite Theology, which suggests that (d) science knows only 1/5 of the secrets of creation and therefore 4/5 of such secrets yet remains to by discovered (e) consequently The Memphite Theology offers great possibilities for modern scientific research.

Of course attempts were also made earlier by Wilson Armistead in his book, A Tribute to the Negro, pages 120–124, etc., published in 1848 A.D.! However, it was George G. M. James who actually published the very first full-length scholarly work by an African educator challenging any and all "EUROPEAN SCHOLARSHIP" about so-called "GREEK PHILOSOPHY."


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