Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots Of Classical Civilization Essay


The Black Athena Debate(link to readings provided under Week 1 materials) asks us to consider the origins and influence of ancient Egypt. More broadly it asks us to consider who owns the historical legacy of a given civilization. What are your thoughts about this debate and why it has taken place?


The Black Athena Debate – Understanding the Hidden History

While many consider Athens to be the cradle of modern European civilization and democracy, doubt linked to its culture origins have stirred major debates among European scholars. This is the concept and message behind The Black Athena Debate which is out to prove the origins of Athens and Greek culture to be from Egypt and Asia. Althea many scholars deny that Athenian culture is unique to the region, the author of The Black Athena Debate explains that the history of Athens may have been rewritten to favor the Greeks and avoid mentioning other cultural influences (Bernal, 2008).

This is something which has occurred among several civilizations across the globe where many have adopted or used knowledge from prior influential cultures to advance and conveniently forgotten to acknowledge this fact. With research linked to history and human evolution becoming more accurate as more evidence is revealed its becoming clear that many cultures had advanced technology and knowledge well before what our history books tell us today. The lack of proper documentation and the destruction of evidence had allowed some cultures and religions to manipulate human understanding and knowledge to fit a specific culture’s needs. (Bernal, 2008)

This has effect resulted in humanity losing a large proportion of its true history which has been hidden or purposely destroyed so as to favor one culture. It’s important to observe the entire evolution of human culture’s and civilization history universally. This would ensure future generation acquire accurate information and concentrate more on how cultures developed rather then consider which cultures was more dominant, cleverer or superior.



Bernal, M. (2008). Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization. Rutgers: Rutgers University Press.

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