Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop
Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop is considered to be the most respected scholar of Kemet. An Egyptologist and linguist, he had the revolutionary idea to use the scientific method to disprove the many myths surrounding ancient Kemet. He developed a way to test the levels of melanin in Egyptian mummies, which revealed that the ancient Egyptians were, indeed, Africans. He also argued that the Egyptian language was related to African dialects and can be connected to the Wolof language of today. By far, the most important theory that he sought to prove was that human life began in Africa.
Diop argued that the first civilizations emerged in the Nile Basin on the eastern coast of Africa. It is from this basin that African people fanned out across the continent and onto other lands around the 6th century BC. There exist two theories of human origin: monogenetic and polygenetic. The monogenetic view states that there is one source for mankind; man was born in one place and became different due to the climatic conditions to which he was exposed. The polygenetic opinion claims that man has several locations of origin, which would explain the physiological differences between the races. Followers of this theory believe that man was born in Africa, Europe, and Asia and there was no evolutionary or climatic development. Diop states that there are two reasons why this theory is faulty. He says that nature never strikes twice in its evolution; she doesn't create the same being twice. In addition, complete fossils have been found on the African continents, which proves that life began there. No such fossils have been found anywhere else in the world. In 1912, a British geologist attempted to prove that life had begun in England by piecing together a fake fossil supposedly found on British soil. The fabricated skull was later found to have been a fake by an English anthropologist in the 1950's. It was determined to have been constructed using the mandible and canine teeth of a monkey. Diop reinforces his belief in the monogenetic theory by saying "If Africans never left Africa, the rest of the world would be an unpeopled desert."2
2 Information derived from the only English speaking interview ever given by Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop, conducted by South Carolina Educational Television