by Martin Bernal, Martin Bernal, David Chioni Moore (Editor)
In Black Athena Writes Back Martin Bernal responds to the passionate debates set off by the 1987 publication of his book Black Athena. Producing a shock wave of reaction from scholars, Black Athena argued that the development of Greek civilization was heavily influenced by Afroasiatic civilizations. Moreover, Bernal asserted that this knowledge had been deliberately obscured by the rampant racism of nineteenth-century Europeans who could not abide the notion that Greek society - for centuries recognized as the originating culture of Europe - had its origins in Africa and Southwest Asia.
The subsequent rancor among classicists over Bernal's theory and accusations was picked up in the popular media, and his suggestion that Greek culture had its origin in Africa was widely derided. In a report on 60 Minutes, for example, it was suggested that Bernal's hypothesis was essentially an attempt to provide blacks with self-esteem so that they would feel included in the march of progress.
In Black Athena Writes Back Bernal provides additional documentation to back up his thesis, as well as offering persuasive explanations why traditional scholarship on the subject remains inaccurate and why specific arguments lobbed against his theories ar themselves faulty.
The Independent (UK) - Margaret Drabble:
Named one of The Independent's Books of the Year. I follow with continuing fascination the astonishing academic debate on deep history in Martin Bernal's Black Athena Writes Backone of the strangest intellectual confrontations of our time.
Hardback: 640 pages