A Classics Scholar Defends the Greeks against Claims of Afrocentrists

By David Mutch. David Mutch is a Monitor writer. | The Christian Science Monitor, March 11, 1996 | Go to article overview

A Classics Scholar Defends the Greeks against Claims of Afrocentrists


David Mutch. David Mutch is a Monitor writer., The Christian Science Monitor


Not out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History

By Mary Lefkowitz

Basic Books, 222 pp., $24

This is one of those books that needed to be written if the racial and ethnic aspects of the culture wars in the United States are to be finally resolved.

In "Not Out of Africa," classics scholar Mary Lefkowitz cuts through and rebuts a series of myths, as she describes them, which deny that the ancient Greeks were the "inventors of democracy, philosophy, and science."

She puts down the argument ("myth" for her), advanced by some black scholars today, that the Greeks stole their ideas from black Egyptians in Africa. Along the way, she convincingly overturns the claims that Socrates and Cleopatra were black.

If such theories, which she neatly demolishes, seem somewhat inconsequential and removed from practical affairs, consider that they are taught in some Oregon public schools and in a number of universities across the US.

Why is it important, in her view, to challenge them and to reply to them with facts and arguments drawn from the best of scholarship?

At one level, she says, simple justice would seem to require that the Greeks get credit for their accomplishments.

But also, students are being "indoctrinated along party lines" and for political reasons, rather than being given all the evidence and taught how to make judgments for themselves.

Further, she herself was called a racist for challenging those who put forth such arguments.

She also found that other academics - including some administrators in universities - who agreed with her were not willing to stand up and speak for the value of debate in academic life.

Finally, Lefkowitz argues, if the so-called Afrocentrists who argue such views are allowed to bend historical facts and force objectivity and reasoned debate out of academic life, other ethnic groups will try exactly the same thing. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Classics Scholar Defends the Greeks against Claims of Afrocentrists
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.