Precolonial Black Africa: A Comparative Study of the Political and Social Systems of Europe and Black Africa, from Antiquity to Formation of Modern States is one of three major works by Cheikh Anta Diop that attempts to reconstruct African history and the Black contribution to the foundations of Western Civilization. In this book, Diop compares the political and social system of Europe and Black Africa from antiquity to the formation of modern states. Throughout, his intent is not to provide a history as such, but rather guidelines for historians and others who seek a scientific understanding of precolonial societies in Africa, the Mediterranean, and Europe and their links with the earliest known stage of human development. Students and scholars of Africa and world history will be challenged by Diop’s original analysis of the similarities and striking differences between Black Africa and the West.
Since 1974, when Diop’s African Origin of Civilization first appeared in English translation, his ideas have transformed the basic thrust of African studies in the United States. This classical work reclaims thousands of years of African history that were either glossed over or suppressed by the western missionaries and scholars who “opened up” Africa. In the word of Dr. John Henrik Clarke: “Those who read this book seriously are in for a shock and a rewarding experience in learning. This is a major Black historian. At last the renaissance of African historiography from an African point of view has begun and none too soon.”