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-- Top :: Education > Educators/Scholars > Charles Finch a


These are only two powerful paragraphs from the 1996 rebuttal by Dr. Charles Finch of Morehouse College on the book, "Not Out of Africa," written by Mary Lefkowitz of Wellesley College. The book tries (but fails) to dismiss the contributions of ancient Africa to humanity and civilization. Tony Martin, Molefi Asante, and others have had major problems with Lefkowitz and her blatant misrepresentation. Click on the link for the full rebuttal: "Every year about this time one comes out of the woodwork, 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. [T]he 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 fide as a classicist is spurious. However, it is more reasonable to assume that she does, so her deep aversion to any hint of an African influence on early Greek culture has to spring from a fundamental Afrophobia that informs her whole thought."
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