Reviewed in the United States on April 22, 2004
This is not just another feel-good book from a zealous Afrocentrist. This is true scholarship! I am sure all readers will be convinced when they finish reading it. Islam, colonization, and Christianity have truely changed the Black world in terms of its matriarchal character. We should respect our women. In European and Asian history, you will never find anything resembling the armed Sudanese Kandake, the Angolan Nzinga, the Egyptian Hatshetsup and Tiye,…the list is endless. Perhaps it’s matriarchy that fueled our ancient societies to become world powers in our glory days. We can only imagine. Can Africa ever really gain what it’s lost? That’s the question. In a way, I feel that Diop asks the same question.
Reviewed in the United States on March 15, 2012
Hands down one of the best books breaking down the different componets of the cultural & ritualistic ties of antiquity. Diop’s theory of the polarization of the Southern and Northern hemispheres of the earth along the continent of Asia acting as a “zone of confluence” is a precise outlining for the different practices of social organization as they existed in the past. He goes into the studies of many 17th century socialist such as JJ Bachofen, Lewis H. Morgan, and Friedrich Engels to show the many discrepancies created out of preassumption of the characteristics of people who they never tooken in to study, such as the many societies existing within the interior of Africa.
It seems the main theory that he wishes to debunk is that of an parallel development of social organization existing between the hemispheres. This logically could not have existed due to the many difficulties a people living in two different climates varying from an abundance of resources to the disperation of a scarcity would have practicing the same modes of production and consumption. As an natural habitat causes for an particular adjustment to the environment, two modes of polar disciplines arise, in the southern hemisphere the practice of agriculture develops as the main line of life maintience and wealth, while in the northern hemisphere the practice of horticulture takes a preeminence as the providing occupation. Thus the manifestion
of gender roles as we know them today was heavly dependant upon the different masculine or feminine traits it took to contribute to the necessitated occupations of a sendentary agriculturalist lifestyle or that of a nomadic & pastrolist one.
Diop also goes in depth into the many anamolites that exists within each hemisphere as a result of cultural influence, or an scholarly misrepresentation of a cultural activity.
The Introduction given by Dr.John Henrik Clarke is well worth the read as well, lecturing on the sexist equality that existed within Africa, citing the many cases of history when woman were able to inheirent the throne of central authority a la Queen Hapshesut,or the many miltarity accomlishments of the Candace Queens of Ethiopia. Although Dr.Clarke NEVER dissapoints.
5 star thesis, backed with 5 star evidence. Great read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 19, 2012
This is an excellent bok for all peoples of the world!
Written in a very academic and ‘professorial’ manner, it can be quite hard to perceive meaning from so many ‘big’ words and intellectualised style of narrative, but it imparts invaluable knowledge especially about the differences explicit in the diversity of communities formed in the Northern Hemisphere as opposed to the Southern Hemisphere.
ASIN : B00RWRTN70 Publisher : karnak house publishers (January 22, 2000)