Black Athena and Not Out of Africa

Discusses and compares these two works on African cultural archaeology.

Martin Bernal, author of “Black Athena”, argues that numerous cultural achievements that are, by tradition, attributed to the ancient Greeks, are actually found in Africa, specifically, the Egyptians. Mary Lefkowitz, author of “Not Out of Africa,” argues that Bernal’s findings and assumptions are incorrect. This essay examines both works and discusses the opposing views.
Berlinerblau, in his review of Lefkowitz’s book, discusses the importance of academic inquiry unencumbered by political conerns (Berlinerblau Pp). Lefkowitz refers to Bernal as an armchair archaeologist. However, she is not the only critic of Bernal’s work (Berlinerblau Pp). Robert Palter writes, Bernal’s rhetoric is predicated, unwittingly “on ignorance and superficial understanding” (Berlinerblau Pp).”