An Overview of Black History

By Phillip True, Jr.

  1. Origin of Man
  2. First Woman and Man
  3. Human Migration
  4. Nile Valley Civilization
  5. African Civilization in Europe
  6. African Civilization in Western Asia
  7. African Presence in India
  8. Crete and Phoenicia
  9. Greece and Rome
  10. Christianity
  11. Africans in the Roman Empire
  12. Columbus' Portfolio
  13. Kingdoms in Inner Africa: Zimbabwe and Monopotapa
  14. The Destruction of African Civilization
  15. Religion and Science of the Africans
  16. Egyptian Philosophy
  17. African Economic Organization
  18. Moors in Spain
  19. Africans Away From Home
  20. South America and the Caribbean
  21. Early Years in the United States
  22. Renewed Fight for Liberty
  23. The Betrayal of the Reconstruction
  24. Malcolm and Martin: Two Lives
  25. Can African People Save Themselves?


3. Human Migration

The first humans came from the region of the Great Lakes in East Africa, approximately 200,000 years ago. These small people were known as the Twa people (or Pygmies). These earliest humans migrated following the Nile River, north, south, east, and west, creating the first civilization. A noted German scholar, Herr Enger Georg states:

A splendid era of blacks seems to have preceded all later races.  There must once have been a tremendous Negro expansion, since the original masters of all the lands between Liberia and the Cape of Good Hope and East India were primitive and probably dwarfed black men.

Blacks were the dark skinned, curly haired Kushites. Blacks inhabited Sumeria and Babylon prior to Christianity and Islam. In India, the kingdom of the Dravidian monarchs existed until the period of written history. Many thousands of years before Christ, great, great cultures bloomed in the bark rich valleys of the Yang-tse-kiang, the Ho, Indus, Euphrates, Nile, and Congo rivers, while Oceania, Central America, and the highlands of the Andes were centers of human settlements.

A number of scientists and scholars in ancient and modern times have concluded that the world's first civilization was the creation of a people known as the Ethiopians. The name "Ethiopian" we owe to the Greeks. When they encountered the Africans, they called them "burnt faces."

In Greek, the word for burnt was ethios, and the word for face was opa. Together they became Ethiopian. We learn from the work of Homer and Herodotus that all of the people of the following areas were considered Ethiopians: the Sudan, Egypt, Arabia, Palestine, Western Asia, and India.

These black civilizations have been traced back to ancient Egypt, and have spread from the Nile to Crete and Western Asia, traveling through South Asia to Indonesia, and the islands of the Pacific and on to South and Central America, i.e., the Mayas, Incas, and Aztecs.


25. Can African People Save Themselves?

By John Henrik Clarke

The question can be answered in many ways, in both the negative and the positive. I have chosen to answer it in the positive, because I am an African person and I have hope for a commitment to every African on the face of the earth. My commitment to mankind comes through African people. If African people are to save themselves, they must first know themselves. They must first know where they have been and what they have been, where they are, and the significance of what they are.

By knowing this, they will get some idea of what they still must be. African people must stop being the market and the dumping ground for shoddy consumer goods of other people. We must, on an international basis, begin to produce the things we wear, the food we eat, the cars we drive, and then train our children to follow our footsteps and complete the mission. The mission will be to be a self-sustained and contained people. At least a third of the Africans in the world can be employed providing goods and services for other Africans.

Once we create an internal economic system, we can relate to any external economic system in the world. No African State can be truly independent when it does not produce the bread it eats nor the safety pin that holds a child's diaper together. No nation can call itself free and self-sustaining when it must order its toilet paper from another nation. Africans must begin to produce every item essential to their survival. Education must be geared to produce the large number of technically trained Africans needed for this task, and the trained must in turn produce other Africans to replace them. No African nation in the world should beg for the skills of another nation or people to sustain itself.

Africans can save themselves by having the will to do so until the job of self-protection and true independence has been achieved.

The salvation of Africa by African people will contribute to the peace and the salvation of the world. This salvation should be the mission of every African on the face of the earth. The completion of the mission and the benefits that will accrue from it will be the legacy that African people can leave for the whole world.







Phillip True Jr., is a co-curator of The John Henrik Clarke Virtual Museum (along with his wife, Barbara), and has spent many years studying with Dr. Clarke. Dr. Clarke reviewed this Historical Overview.