A master teacher of highest proportions and a world acclaimed scholar, historian, doctor, writer and biologist.
As well as the above, Diop was an anthropologist, philosopher, scientist, Egyptologist and a professor.
Diop was born in December 1923 in Dioubel, Thieytou, Senegal. His family had come from very strong Islamic stock and were Senegalese aristocrats. He had gone to strict Islamic school in Dakar and it was from there that he started to develop an interest for African history.
By 1946 at aged 23, Diop travelled to Paris, France to initially study Higher Mathematics. He, however, moved to study Philosophy instead. By 1948 Diop had gained his 1st Degree in Philosophy in Paris.
By 1950 he obtained two Diplomas in Chemistry.
Diop’s work over the years has been regarded and rendered as highly controversial. His philosophies and views are normally referred to as ‘Diopian views’ or ‘Diopian philosophy’.
The study of Egyptology was high on Diop’s list of priorities, and he studied this to the bone – it was actually for his views on the history of Kemet/Egypt, that he was criticized and opposed for. He had said and written that the original people of Egypt were Black and NOT Arabs, Persians and or Barbarians, etc.
He also argued that the Nile Delta was inhabited by Black people originally, that the first humans were Black and that all of Africa’s civilizations were built by Black people – and especially all of those in Nubia and Egypt.
Diop had used archaeological evidence to prove all of his assertions and had always argued his case every single time.
In 1954, Diop presented papers – Presense Africaine Editions which brought him international fame. He had also delved into politics and was behind the independence of many African nations from under French colonial rule and ‘ownership’.
Additionally he had submitted two important pieces of papers on his political views; Bloc des Masses in 1961 and Front Nationale Senegalaise a few years later.
So Diop’s views was based on scientific evidence, study and theory and to this day, educators and professors are using it as reference.
The shared ways of life, culture and genepool by the peoples across Africa was argued by Diop that these characteristics were shared by all of the nations of people of the continent – until European / Barbarian and Arab invasion set in and disrupted it.
As well, Diop founded a laboratory and used it to work and study up till his untimely passing in February 1986 aged just 62.
He had also stated that the Pharaohs of Egypt were Black and in 1974, wrote about such and other Egyptology matters and subjects which had angered many Jewish, Arab and European scholars and figureheads.
Diop was also a multi linguist and has the honour of having the; Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, Senegal named after him.
And two of his most popular books – The African Origin Of Civilization: Myth Or Reality and Precolonial Black Africa are both considered definitive reference books on the subject of Africa before foreign invasion.
Chris Emanuel Bailey