FROM melanet.com

Dr. Charles S. Finch, III, M.D.

Every year about this time one comes out of the wood work, a self-appointed “defender of the faith” of European cultural values, and both the popular and academic media dutifully supply maximum exposure. Last year we endured Charles Murray and The Bell Curve; this year it is Mary Lefkowitz of Wellesley College with her Not Out Of Africa. It seems that the surest way for an academic, seeking to break out of ivory tower obscurity, to get a manuscript accepted by a major publishing house is to write a book belittling the intelligence or integrity of some segment of the Black community. The phenomenon is so reliable that even non- white writers, covering the spectrum from Dinesh D’Souza to Henry Louis Gates, have adopted the ploy to obtain media exposure, enhance academic status and augment bank balances. Afrophobic books of every description represent an industry-within-an- industry and there always seems to be a ready market.

The anti-Afrocentric premises of Mary Lefkowitz are patently absurd. One does not even have to be a classicist to find abundant evidence that the influence of northeast Africa, i.e., Egypt and Ethiopia, on Greece was as formative as that of Greece on Europe. The number of Greeks who lived and learned in Egypt reads like a “Who’s Who” of Greek Philosophy. Solon, Thales, Pythagoras, Eudoxus, Anaximander, Anaxagoras, Democritus, Plato, Archimedes, Hipparchus, Ptolemy, Herophilus, Galen and others too numerous to mention pursued their higher studies in the Nile Valley. As a classicist, Lefkowitz has to know these historical facts because the Greeks themselves recorded them! If she doesn’t know, then her bona fides as a classicist is spurious. However, it is more reasonable to assume that she does, so her deep aversion to any kind of an African influence on early Greek culture has to spring from a fundamental Afrophobia that informs her whole thought.

It is possible to discredit Ms. Lefkowitz’s reasoning on numerous counts. Concerning Aristotle, to insist that Aristotle never visited Egypt nor was under any significant Egyptian intellectual influence suggests strongly that she heeds to refamiliarize herself with the literature in her own field. Theophile Obenga shows in an article entitled “Aristotle and Ancient Egypt” (ANKH, vol. 2, 1993) that Aristotle, in his Meteorology, describes the topology of the Nile in a manner that leaves little doubt that he had seen in person what he was describing. Moreover, in his Metaphysics, Aristotle states in a completely unambiguous manner that “Egypt was the cradle of the art of mathematics.” In his On The Heavens, Aristotle states furthermore that the Egyptians and Babylonians were the founders of the science of astronomy. In particular, Aristotle was admiring of the Egyptian’s exceptional knowledge of the planetary conjunctions and the nature of comets. Here we find the words of Aristotle himself baldly refuting the contention of Ms. Lefkowitz that Aristotle had never visited Egypt nor had been influenced by Egypt’s learning.

After about 600 B.C., when selected students such as Thales and Pythagoras began to trickle into Egypt thirsting for knowledge, the temple learning of the Nile Valley began to flow toward the northern Mediterranean in increasing volume. As Cheikh Anta Diop said, there is no Greek mathematics, philosophy, or science until after the prolonged contact with Egypt. Even the term “philosopher,” meaning “lover of wisdom,” was coined by Pythagoras as a consequence of the 22 years he spent studying in the Temple of Amon at Waset (Thebes). According to Theophile Obenga (Ancient Egypt and Black Africa, 1992), the term sophos, meaning “learning” or “wisdom” has no root in the Indoeuropean language family from which Greek sprang. But Pythagoras would have studied under learned men in Egypt called sbau, from the Egyptian sba meaning “to teach” or “to instruct.” The word sba became in Greek sophos, from which the term “philosophy” derives.

Of the 28 dialogues of Plato, 12 deal extensively with Egypt and Egyptian thought. Laws, Republic, and Timaecus, to name but three, all betray an incalculable debt to Egypt, an outgrowth of the 13 years Plato spent there. Plato’s “philosopher king” in Republic, for example, clearly derives from the Nilotic pharaonocracy, i.e., the sacred ruler who was, by definition, priest, king, and philosopher. Also, the concept of the logos or “creative word,” a central pillar of Platonic philosophy and one that would immeasurably influence Christianity, is taken bodily from Egyptian thought. The world came into being, according to the pre-Platonic priests of Egypt, by virtue of the “divine word” (Thoth) activating the forces of creation. It should be pointed out also that Plato’s original teacher, Socrates, also credited Egypt with inventing the mathematical and astronomical sciences (dialogue of Phaedrus).

Another facet of the profound Egyptian impact on the Greek world can be seen in the career of Alexander. Before embarking on his campaign of world conquest, Alexander first wrested Egypt away from the Persians. Having accomplished that, he then took an unprecedented step: he embarked on a perilous 10-day journey across the Libyan desert to the Oasis of Siwa, sacred to Amon, where he was invested with the crown and authority of pharaoh. Following that, he proceeded to build his imperial capital Alexandria not in Macedonia or Greece, but in Egypt. In effect, when Alexander launched his campaign of empire-building in the East, he did so as an Egyptian pharaoh.

The Greeks regularly and forthrightly acknowledged their debt both to Egypt and to Ethiopia. An Apocryphal story by Pseudo- Callisthenes has Alexander sailing up the Nile to do homage to Candace, Queen of Ethiopia (Meroe). The veracity of this story is not nearly so important as the manner in which it shows the profound Hellenic respect for Ethiopia. It only added to Alexander’s legend — whether true or not — that he had won an audience with the Candace of Ethiopia. Homer, in the Iliad, begins the epic by having the Olympian gods, led by Zeus, descend from their heavenly abode to feast among mortals, but not with Greek mortals, as would be expected, but “the blameless Ethiopians.” As we’ve already noted, in the realm of empirical knowledge, the major Greek thinkers, virtually to a man, deferred to Egypt (some to Ethiopia) as the original home of philosophy, geometry, medicine, astronomy and religion.

A careful investigation of Greek mythology and religion reveals a pronounced African presence. The goddesses Melainis, Libya, Artemis, Hera, Aphrodite, and Eos were unquestionably of African provenance. Mythic human figures such as Cepheus, Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Circe, Aeetes, Medea, Belos, Aegyptos, Phaeton, Delphos, and at least one of many Herculeses were also from Africa. The two most important oracle centers, Dodona, and Delphi, were founded by African priestesses and an African demi- god (Delphos) respectively. Zeus was considered to be a form of the Nilotic Amon, Dionysus a form of Osiris, Hermes a form of Djehuti (Thoth), ad Asclepios a form of Imhotep. No wonder Herodotus concluded that the Greeks received their gods from northeast Africa.

Greek traditions also speak consistently of early African emigrants to the Hellenic mainland. Perseus, considered a founding Greek ancestor, married the Ethiopian princess Andromeda, making her a Greek ancestress. Moreover, the myth of the 50 daughters of Danaus and the 50 sons of Aegyptus who emigrated to Greece from the Nile Valley clearly reveals an important African ethnocultural element in early Hellenic history.

There is simply no valid argument that can be brought forward to disclaim the influence of African civilization on ancient Greece. The transmigration controversy involving a statement of Herodotus is not credible because Greeks such as he, and later Plutarch, who visited and wrote about Egypt had access to information that did not necessarily survive in the documentary record of the Nile Valley. Much was communicated to certain Greeks that had not been written down and was not supposed to be discussed publicly. Time and again, in his chapter on Egypt, Herodotus refuses to continue his discourse on certain topics because it is about to touch on sacred things that demanded secrecy. Because the available Egyptian records do not specifically mention transmigration, i.e., the doctrine of reincarnation, doesn’t mean that the Egyptians didn’t believe in it. Indeed, everything points to the existence of this belief among them.

Lefkowitz employs an entirely specious mode of argument because she pins her critique on peripheral issues far away from the heart of the matter. The trivial controversy over the race of Cleopatra, for example, is a case in point. It is irrelevant whether Cleopatra was, wholly or in part, of Macedonian ancestry. The African civilization of Egypt that decisively impacted the growth and development of Greek culture long antedated her. Thus her “true” ethnicity has no relevance at all to the question of Egyptian influence on Greece.

In this short survey, sufficient evidence has been brought forward to show that the overarching thesis of Not Out Of Africa — that there was no significant Egyptian/African influence on the formation of Greek civilization — is simply groundless. What is striking is that there is so much evidence to the contrary that her thesis calls into question Ms. Lefkowitz’s qualifications as a classicist. Either she doesn’t know her job or she is engaging in deliberate falsification. Either way, it is the unseemly haste with which national publications and pundits have embraced her book that truly testifies to the polarized state of contemporary American race relations in a way the much vilified Million Man March never could. Not Out Of Africa, and the smug commentary it has inspired, is high-level race-baiting at its most insidious. From where African-Americans sit, there doesn’t seem to be any end to it in sight.

Dr, Charles F. Finch III, M.D.
Morehouse School of Medicine
Atlanta, GA
February 17, 1996

Copyright Dr. Charles S. Finch III, M.D., 1996. All rights reserved by the author.


* Legrand H. Clegg II is an attorney, historian and producer of the award-winning videotape, “When Black Men Ruled The World: Egypt During The Golden Age.”

(To order the videotape, please call 1-800-788-CLEGG)

© 1996, The Clegg Series. The use of graphics, text, source code, or any other information from this site in any way is prohibited without permission.


  1. Denise Freeny Says:

    Thank you, for combatting all the lies that this America have tried to impose on GODS people way too long. In trying to take away our birthrights; these people our exposing who they are. The children of the evil one. We are so precious in Yah sight that these people are angry.
    Why are they so angry at the black race? Jealousy, and because they know thier time is short on this universe! If what they are saying about us were remotely true; then in GODS name why keep trying to prove it.
    I say that they know that we are a great people full of love and forgiveness just like our FATHER who is in heaven. So, i say keep on exposing this people for who they are. The apple donot fall for from the tree. Why spend so much time trying to prove who we are not? Why is that important to them. I say again they know we are GODS chosen people and they can’t come to terms with that. Get over it. GOD has declared it. NO matter what they write the facts can NOT be changed.
    We have not enslaved anyone or treated anyone like they have done.
    I say to White America. Do not let us send you to hell for your actions.
    Yah is watching and HE says all liars will have a share with thier FATHER

  2. terrence tom Says:

    Thank you for straightening out Ms Lefkowitz and the likes of her. People like Ms Lefkowitz drink from the well everyday and refuse to acknowledge its source. The greater damage is that there are a number of Africans running around here with degrees and spewing the same nonsense like Ms. Lefkowitz. One Brother argued with me that Ancient Egyptian civilization was not an indigeneous African civilization, because they grew wheat in Ancient Egypt and wheat does not grow nowhere on the African continent. So his claim is that Ancient Egyptians had to be Asians. Could you please clarify. Thank You.

  3. Darrell Davis Says:

    You won’t like this book but we need to know!!
    What can we do to debate and win against this book!!!!!!

    White Athena: The Afrocentrist Theft of Greek Civilization (Paperback)by Walter Slack (Author)

  4. Med Says:

    Americans and the west have not only stolen black / African history they have also misconstrued the history of Greece for there own selfish purposes. Why did they do this ? So they can implement the superiority complex that reigns supreme in the USA,UK,France,and Germany and I cant forget the Jews who have been preaching hate against the greeks for quite sometime..
    There where never racial laws or boarders between Greece and North Africa as well as Ethiopia. The ” west ” has developed there theories upon separation and division to make them more $$$$$$$$$$$$.
    Frumentius was a Greek and a real beholder of christian faith a union that start thousands of years ago that now has developed into 50,000,000 Orthodox adherents in Ethiopia to this day. The Tewahedo Church is by far one of the purest an untainted faiths out there.

    As opposed to the pretend Christians that roamed the Americas killing off and poising the natives, then bringing in slaves to build there evil empire, all while forcing the natives to become converts to there so called “Christianity”

    Greece has played no role in this hate..and Athena was never “white” nor was it “black” this is coming from a Greek..they have never even had a racially divided Walter slack is clown..as is the so the called jewish historian Mary Lefkowitz of Wellesley College the radical racists.. has shown her true colors one that is both anti African and Anti Greek..and more over pure hate..proof below

    Tony Martin Wins Second Round Against Mary Lefkowitz

    Martin v. Lefkowitz: Libel Suit Involving Wellesley College Professors

    The Onslaught Against Afrocentrism

    Her attacks culminated in a recent book, Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History which has been heavily promoted in the New York Times, on National Public Radio, and elsewhere. Martin responded to her academic attacks in his 1993 book, The Jewish Onslaught: Despatches from the Wellesley Battlefront. In the statements forming the subject of the present libel suit, however, it is Martin’s contention that Lefkowitz appears to have stepped over the border between academic debate and defamation of character. The Appeals Court judgement against Lefkowitz came as the Jewish Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith honoured her for her anti-Afrocentric campaign. Lefkowitz was a special honoree at the “elegant and inspirational evening” that marked the Anti-Defamation League’s 19th spring dinner. She was feted as one who “rose above pressure, fear and personal attack to firmly challenge erroneous afrocentrist [sic] claims on her Wellesley campus.” The Boston Jewish Advocate (May 17-23, 1996) article cited above continued with Lefkowitz’s own spin on the current lawsuit — “I am the example of what ADL can do! When a lawsuit was served against me by a colleague whose views I challenged, Wellesley College was not there — but Lenny Zakim and the ADL were. They obtained counsel for me and stood with me as we refuted historical and anti-Semitic lies. There is a destructive afrocentrism [sic] on the campus today….”

    A high ranking ADL representative, Sally Greenberg, similarly appeared in court to help defend the interests of Alexander Nechaevsky, a Russian Jew who was apprehended by Wellesley College campus police after issuing threats against Martin at his college office. The Appeals Court has remanded the Martin v. Lefkowitz libel case “to the Superior Court for further proceedings.” An earlier attempt by Lefkowitz to settle out of court was unsuccessful when Martin rejected her offer and the parties failed to agree on the basis for a settlement. The text of the Appeals Court decision follows.

  5. MR Bon Says:

    no such thing as a black scholar-you still a mud hut spear chucking negro -whatever way you look at it

  6. health food care Says:

    health food care…



    We are not trying to educate white people,they are by nature,BEAST and uncilvilised beings whom we as their hidden masters tried to teach our godliness.We must now teach our own children their ancestral history and guied them back to MAAT and all documentations we wrote on our AFRICAN LEAGACY. only 360 degrees of Spirit,Truth,Wisdom,Knowledge and understanding will enable us to know Justice and how to render Judgement with Mercy and imparciality,thus ,we enter into freedom and by the knowledge of SELF, we inter into a state of peace,one with the physical creation,one with the spirit world creation out of the Primevel Ocean Of Nun by that of the Primevel Hill of (1).Thought,(2). The Spoken and Writen Word and (3). The Will To Make Manifest All That Is Thought of,spoken and writen of by our KA (Spirit) and our BA (Soul) which is Conscious-The Comming Forth By Day-the right Eye and the right side of the brain; Subconcious-The Comming Forth By Night- The Left Eye and The Left Side Of The Brain.Our Souls are The Shadow Of Our KA (Spirit) which is a RECORD Of MEMORIES Of All That We as Spirits have done in All Of Our Life Transactions which will BE JUDGED BY THAT OF MAAT. We must Teach our Children To Aspire To THE NATURE AND IMAGE OF GOD (SELF) IN SPIRIT AND TRUTH because WE ARE EVERY THING CREATED IN THE SPIRIT WORLD AND THE PHYSICAL WORLD AS THE ATOM AND DARK MATTER ( MELANIN-BLACK CARBON LIGHT ).


    This is the age of ARIES, A 30,000 year cycle,the first zodiacal sign out of twelve inding in the zodiacal sign and age of Picies which have recently past.The age of Aries was suppose to be the sacrifice that the Jews, Christians and the Arabs would use to turn us back in time to the eleventh zodiacal sign and age of Aquarius. If the constelation is moving counter clockwise when we observe it from Earth ( one dementional thinking ), we should know by The Law Of Opposites, that if we were up above the constelation looking down at it, we would know and see that it is rotating clockwise from Picies (12) to Aries (1) like the forward moment of a clock. AS ABOVE, SO BELOW-AS WITHIN, SO WITHOUT. Let us stop using our ENEMIES RELIGIONS and WAKE UP from our 2000 years of MENTLE DEATH CRUCIFIED ON THE FOUR CORDINAL POINTS from the year 325 BC. AS THE MESIAH BEING RAISED ON THE THIRD DAY (The Year,2000 AD.). Our Clouths Parted amongst our enemies (MOTHER AFRICA).OUR SIDES PIERCED WITH A SPEAR (SLAVERY) and A THORNY CROWN placed on or heads ( THE MARK OF THE BEAST ) and given vineger to drink ( JEWDISM,CHRISTIANITY and ISLAM). The Ram(ARIES) will no longer be a sacrifice for them. They are judged . They love the sheading of blood, so OUR LORD AND CREATER will give them their own blood to drink like sweet wine.This is the time of our reserection, ascention, rebirth,restoration. Let us take back THE SCEPTER AND THE STAFF and sit on THE THRONE AS KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS , A PRIESTHOOD AND PRIESTESSHOOD (THE SACRED TEMPLE ) AS GODS.

  9. Antonis Deves Says:

    Hopefully one day all of you will understand a very simple fact:
    Egypt has NOTHING to do with blacks. Black people did NOT creat the Egyptian civilization. Black people were savages in the deep regions of Africa as they are today. Black people attacked and rape their own in Africa as they are doing today. Black people sold their own as slaves to Europeans. Face the truth and get on with reality. Teach your children not to be racists and add to this cultural education rather than afrocentric boloney. Take as an example the moron that has posted above me.
    As a last note….Greece is way too good for you to mess with.
    Pitiful people

  10. Gadaye Says:

    Glad that you have taken notice Antonis. Black people are here to take back their stolen legacy. No insult or mockery can change the truth. You can`t help it, but feel hatred but the truth does not give a damn. We were building pyramid all over Africa while your ancestors were living in caves without window and did not wore shoes……

  11. Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade Says:

    Sister,glad you like it! Try to be Black as I can

  12. Yeye Akilimali Funua Olade Says:

    Sister,glad you like it! Try to be

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