I’ve been wondering for days where I’m going to go after this monster. And until tonight, I haven’t been able to do it. But you have to. My career as a two-bit columnist depends on it. So I am going to throw myself on this random monster, blindly and it will please the public to tell me, if I could grasp it by the best of the tips.
Don’t worry! The monster I want to attack is not a mythological beast straight out of Hogwarts, the universe of Harry Potter. He is one of the most contested African thinkers of the late twentieth century: he is the author of “Negro Nations and Culture”, “Anteriority of Negro Civilizations”, “Genetic Kinship of Pharaonic Egyptian and Negro-African Languages… As you may have guessed, I mean Sheikh Anta Diop, this Egyptologist of rare culture concerned to look for traces of melanin under the bands of Egyptian mummies. All his life, this obsession haunted him.
Cheikh Anta Diop is a Senegalese thinker of global scope who has set himself the challenge of setting the record straight. The culmination of his theory could be summed up in these words: “The first inhabitants of the Nile valley, our ancestors, were all black. All the white people tell us is bullshit, bullshit, wolf balls. The image of the Egyptians they created had only one purpose: better we screw the guys, with the complicity of mectons like Senghor. I tried a little on the familiar register. In any case, it could not be clearer. Sheikh Anta Diop brought a dialogue of cultures in the world with new pungent observations: the black origins of the Egyptians. He is one of the most curious and singular minds of our time. There is a certain heroism, a certain donquichottism, to row against the current of the river of life with its vertiginous maelstroms. While he could close it and walk in the furrows dug by his predecessors, he exerted a rare energy to rearrange the orders of thought that had prevailed until then. This ball of fire, with its sonic growls, threw fragments of doubt on accepted certainties. The echoes of his sound statements continue to resonate today in the scientific community.
“The pharaoh was black!” A thunderclap that makes the hair of the hair on the head rise. Fear and stupor in the scientific world. If this had been launched by one of those New Age illuminators who distribute the good news like Kalashnikovs in wartime, no one would see any interest in it. But it comes from an academic, from one of them: Sheikh Anta Diop. These new and iconoclastic ideas put the scientific community in turmoil. A new debate is taking place. On the one hand, precisely in Africa, they praise him, they throw flowers at him, they greet the birth of a new African scholar; the new torchbearer of Pan-Africanism. On the other side, his peers nailed him to the piloris: they shouted at the imposture of a deranged imagination. They deplore this attack on scientific thought, rigorous. A stabbing, in short.
Diop-Senghor, a crypto-personal opposition
Despite the many points of convergence that they had together, however, in common, these two men had a strange and deep resentment for each other. They were like inbred brothers fighting over a paternal inheritance. They couldn’t feel it. Coming out of French universities, universities and politicians in their country, these two men committed visceral hatred to each other. They spent their lives fighting each other. While Diop accuses Senghor of destroying the true African culture, he closes the doors of the university and recruits researchers within Diop’s own political party. Thus, he prepares the ground for his break-up. Senghor is a singer of the Francophonie; Diop an Afrocentrist. Both can, by definition, not agree. The hope of a collaboration between these two men would have been nothing but utopia.