MARTIN BERNAL ON BLACK ATHENA, THE AFROASIATIC ROOTS OF GREEK CIVILISATION (MF GALAXY 051)

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Ground-breaking Egyptologist on Cheikh Anta Diop, connecting Senegal to Ancient Egypt, Plato as the student of African-Egyptian ideology, and the link between philosophy and mummification




Across the world, modern peoples look towards the great civilisations of antiquity of their continent for answers about who they are now, and from what greatness they have arisen. East Asians gaze toward China; indigenous Americans recall the Olmec, Maya, Aztec, and Inca; Europeans remember Greece and Rome... and Africans remember Nubia and Egypt.

Yet despite the obvious Africanity of Egypt, for more than two hundred years, Europe has taught an imperial racist mythology that erased who the Egyptians truly were, and thanks to Hollywood, has pinkwashed them into Europeans, a depiction never created by any ancient Egyptian painter or sculptor.

To re-establish Egypt, or Kemet, literally, the Black Land, as an African society and civilisation populated and led by racial Africans is a complex task, due to the crushing weight of more than two centuries of racial brainwashing. Doing so requires a multidisciplinary approach engaging Archeo-Linguistics, Philosophy, Comparative Religion, Physical and Cultural Anthropology, and blood-type analysis, to name only a few.

Few scholars were better suited to such labour than the late Dr. Martin Bernal, author of the monumental series Black Athena: The Afro-Asiatic Roots of Classical Civilisation.

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A maverick academic and historical investigator, Dr. Bernal employed thousands of modern and ancient documents, and addressed innumerable cultural, philosophical, scholarly, and scientific issues in order to re-establish what the Greeks and other ancient Europeans said: that the Egyptians were dark-skinned Africans whose vast genius formed the basis of Greek religion, philosophy, art, architecture, mathematics, science, and civilisation.

Bernal was a professor of Government at Cornell University. His career began in Chinese studies, but grew into the tradition of groundbreaking African scholars such as George G.M. James, St. Clair Drake, and Cheikh Anta Diop. While Bernal is primarily interested in understanding Greece so as to understand Europe, his work in clarifying the Egyptian influence on Greece has required him to establish Egypt’s Africanity.

I had the privilege of interviewing Martin Bernal in person way back in November 2000 in Edmonton, when he spoke at Edmonton Public Library Stanley Milner Branch. He was the guest of the Living History Project of which I was a member, a committee of the Council of Canadians of African & Caribbean Heritage. He die on June 9, 2013. He was a delightful man, and a brilliant scholar. I’ll always be grateful for his time.



In this edition of MF GALAXY, Martin Bernal discusses:

  • Why the ground-breaking Senegalese Egyptologist Cheikh Anta Diop, author of The African Origin of Civilisation, didn’t receive more credit in Black Athena
  • His surprising turn-around on Diop’s linguistic analysis connecting Senegal to Ancient Egypt
  • How Ancient Egyptian language connects with southern African Bantu languages, and West African languages such as Hausa
  • The preservation by Freemasonry of knowledge connecting Greece as a student to Egypt as a master
  • Plato as the student of African-Egyptian ideology
  • His reactions to claims that Ancient Egyptians were incapable of developing philosophy, and the claim that philosophy and rational thought are exclusively Greek inventions, and
  • His bold assertion of the link between philosophy and mummification



To hear the 90-minute-long patrons-only BONUS CONTENT EDITION of my conversation with Martin Bernal, visit mfgalaxy.org to click on the Patreon link to become a sponsor for a dollar or more per week.

By funding MF GALAXY, you get access to all extended editions of the show, plus video excerpts from selected interviews as they become available. This extended edition includes Martin Bernal discussing:


  • His responses to the anti-Afrocentric work of Mary Lefkowitz, author of Not Out of Africa
  • The reasons why Eurocentric scholars faked data through infamous hoaxes as the Piltdown Man fossil
  • The degree to which the Eurocentric academic establishment in the US accepts the Africanity of Ancient Egyptian people and civilisation
  • The continuing blight of Eurocentric racism on US culture
  • The Eurocentric Aryanisation of Christianity
  • The European cult of Black Madonnas, and the backlash one student faced for wanting to study them
  • The anti-African nature of Stargate and Erik Von Daniken’s Chariots of the Gods, and
  • The Eurocentric fantasy of Classical Zimbabwe being the product of Phoenicians

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