H I S T O R Y   N O T E S

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(January 1964)


"Of all our studies, history is best qualified to reward our research."

--Malcolm X


Now then, once you see that the conditions that we're in is directly related to our lack of knowledge concerning the history of the Black man, only then can you realize the importance of knowing something about the history of the Black man.

But if you want to take the time to do research for yourself, I think you'll find that on the African continent there was always, prior to the discovery of America, there was always a higher level of history, rather a higher level of culture and civilization, than that which existed in Europe at the same time. At least 5,000 years ago they had a Black civilization in the Middle East called the Sumerians.  Now when they show you the pictures of the Sumerians they try and make you think that they were White people.   But if you go and read some of the ancient manuscripts or even read between the lines of some of the current writers, you'll find that the Sumerian civilization was a very dark-skinned civilization, and it existed prior even to the existence of the Babylonian empire, right in the same area where you find Iraq and the Tigris-Euphrates rivers.  It was a black-skinned people who lived there, who had a high state of culture way back then.

And at a time even beyond this there was a black-skinned people in India, who were Black, just as Black as you and I, called Dravidians.  They inhabited the sub-continent of India even before the present people that you see living there today, and they had a high state of culture.  The present people of India even looked upon them as gods; most of their statues, if you'll notice, have pronounced African features.   You go right to India today--in their religion, which is called Buddhism, they give all their Buddhas the image of a Black man, with his lips and his nose, and even show his hair all curled up on his head; they didn't curl it up, he was born that way.  And these people lived in that area before the present people of India lived there.

The Black man lived in the Middle East before the present people who are now living there.  And he had a high culture and a high civilization, to say nothing about the oldest civilization of all that he had in Egypt along the banks of the Nile.  And in Carthage in northwest Africa, another part of the continent, and at a later date in Mali and Ghana and Songhai and Moorish civilization--all of these civilizations existed on the African continent before America was discovered.

Now the Black civilization that shook the white man up the most was the Egyptian civilization, and it was a Black civilization.  It was along the banks of the Nile which runs through the heart of Africa.  But again this tricky white man, and he's tricky--and mind you again, when I say this, it's not a racist statement.  Some of them might not be tricky, but all of them I've met are tricky.  And his civilization shows his trickiness.  The tricky White man was able to take the Egyptian civilization, write books about it, put pictures in those books, make movies for television and the theatre--so skillfully that he has even convinced other white people that the ancient Egyptians were White people themselves.  They were African, they were as African as you and I.  And he even gave the clue away when he made this movie, "King Solomon's Mines," and he showed the Watusis, you know, with their Black selves, and he outright admitted in there that they looked like the ancient pharaohs of ancient Egypt.  Which means that the White man himself, he knows that the Black man had this high civilization in Egypt, whose remains today show the Black man in that area had mastered mathematics, had mastered architecture, the science of building things, had even mastered astronomy.

Runoko Rashidi is an historian, writer and public lecturer with a pronounced interest in the African foundations of humanity and civilizations and the presence and current conditions of Black people throughout the Global African Community.  He is particularly drawn to the African presence in India, Australia and the islands of the Pacific.

To date he has lectured at more than 100 colleges and universities and lectured in fifteen countries.  He is the author of African Classical Civilizations and the editor, with Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, of the African Presence in Early Asia--the most comprehensive volume on the subject yet published. Rashidi is very active online, and recently coordinated an historic educational tour to India entitled "Looking at India through African Eyes." Currently, he is coordinating an educational tour to Australia entitled "Looking at Australia Through African Eyes" scheduled for July 2000.

To schedule lectures, order video and audio tapes, gain information on educational tours or additional information contact Rashidi at or call Runoko Rashidi at (210) 648-5178.

Copyright 1998 Runoko Rashidi. All rights reserved.
Revised: December 15, 2005 .
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