FACULTY RESERVE LIST - Dr. Alfred Stovall

Two Cradle Theory 

Did white racism originate with capitalism as a rationale for African enslavement in the sixteenth century? If so, it leaves many situations in history waiting for explanation, How does it explain, for example,the presence of racism in East India, in pre-capitalist Arabia and in situations in general where black and white races clashed with whites gaining dominance? Or how does it explain the anti-black character of European languages, especially the terror that is associated with the term "Black" and its many manifestations?1 If linguistics prove that this terror is older than 1500 B.C., explanation must be sought in an ancient antagonistic black-white interaction, prior to 1500 B.C. And though there have been attempts to explain white racism as originating in pre-historic times, our frame of reference is the period during which documented evidence exists concerning European nomadic culture. 2

A more plausible explanation for the origin of white racism may be constructed with the help of Cheikh Anta Diop's two-cradle theory, one cradle being the Southern (African) cradle and the other being the Northern (European) cradle. Dr. Diop, who was born in Senegal in 1923, earned his Ph.D. at the Sorbonne in Paris and is presently the Director of the Radicarbon Laboratory in Senegal. His theory implies clearly what white racism was a result of early European nomadism and the ethnocentric-xenophobic mentality that resulted from it. Ethnocentrism is a lack of tolerance for other races and xenophobia is the fear of strangers. Diop himself does not explicitly make this connection but his theory clearly implies it is interpreted correctly.

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