Race and the Writing of History: Riddling the Sphinx (Race by Maghan Keita

By Maghan Keita

Regardless of elevated curiosity in recent times within the position of race in Western tradition, students have ignored a lot of the physique of labor produced within the 19th and 20th centuries via black intellectuals. for instance, whereas DuBois' options approximately Africa can be popular to modern lecturers, these of his vital precursors and contemporaries aren't widely recognized. equally, even if modern figures comparable to Martin Bernal, Molefi Assante, and different "Afrocentrists" are the topic of heated debate, such debates are not often illuminated by means of an information of the traditions that preceded them. Race and The Writing of background redresses this imbalance, utilizing Bernal's Black Athena and its critics as an advent to the old inquiries of African-American intellectuals and lots of in their African opposite numbers. Keita examines the arguable legacy of writing historical past in the USA and gives a brand new viewpoint at the problem of creating new historiographies and epistemologies. for this reason, this booklet sheds new gentle on how principles approximately race and racism have formed the tales we inform approximately ourselves.

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Race and the Writing of History: Riddling the Sphinx (Race and American Culture)

Regardless of elevated curiosity in recent times within the function of race in Western tradition, students have ignored a lot of the physique of labor produced within the 19th and 20th centuries by means of black intellectuals. for instance, whereas DuBois' techniques approximately Africa can be normal to modern lecturers, these of his very important precursors and contemporaries usually are not well known.

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The documents of naturalists, travelers, explorers, and colonialists became the staple fare of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century academic discourse. And while they were "accepted as objective testimony in travel literature and ultimately encoded in science in the most widely read volumes of travel and natural history through the middle of the [nineteenth] century," they remained "fiction . . 8 Degeneracy theory deserves particular mention here. It, more than any other concept, epitomized the historiography of the modern age.

W. , The People of Africa (New York: Anson D. F. , 1871), 3-6. Extrapolation on the artistic record would also bear this out. See Hugh Honor, The Image of the Black in Western Art, vol. 4 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1989), 82—136. "22 Contrast and square this notion with Herodotus's observation: [T]he names of nearly all the gods came to Greece from Egypt . . for the names of all the gods have been known in Egypt from the beginning of time. . It was the Egyptians too who originated, and taught the Greeks to use[,] ceremonial meetings, processions and liturgies.

See Blyden, "The Negro," 4-8. George Washington Williams, History of the Negro Race in America 1619-1880, (1883; reprinted New York: Arno Press, 1968), 3-4, 7-11. 27. From R. Graves and R. Patat, Hebrew Myths (1964), quoted in Sanders, "Hamitic Hypothesis," 522 28. , 522. Herbert G. , The New Oxford Annotated Bible (New York: Oxford University Press, 1977), 12. 29. Herodotus, The Histories, 468. Snowden, Blacks in Antiquity, vii-viii, 101-103. Bernal, "Black Athena," 30. B L A C K N E S S IN A N C I E N T HISTORY 35 cision"?

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