Behind the Eurocentric Veils: The Search for African Realities

Clinton M. Jean, Author University of Massachusetts Press $20 (0p) ISBN 978-0-87023-757-7
In this academic polemic, Jean incisively argues that both liberals and Marxists wrongly assume that all Third World societies move along the same economic and cultural evolutionary path as the West. But his Afrocentric vision of history rests on shaky grounds. A lecturer in black studies at the University of Massachusetts, he arguably asserts that the first humans were black; that Paleolithic cave paintings in Europe were made by African peoples; that ancient Egypt was a black society; and that black inhabitants of Egypt, Sudan, Mesopotamia and India accomplished the Neolithic revolution. In upholding as a model ``the African form of society,'' purportedly characterized by egalitarianism, cooperation, sharing and all-pervasive kinship relations, Jean minimizes such negative features of traditional African societes as class and caste divisions and autocratic rule. His contention that after 1500 B.C. ``invading white and Semitic people'' destroyed peaceful, egalitarian black Africa is also debatable. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 02/03/1992
Release date: 02/01/1992
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