Ben-Jochannan was the last “People’s Scholars” of Harlem, and many students and followers affectionately called the late scholar, “Dr. Ben.” He taught at City College in New York and at Cornell University from 1973 to 1987. He lectured widely throughout the U.S. and wrote numerous self-published monographs and books about religion, stone masonry, and ancient Nile Valley civilizations.

His most prominent books are Africa: Mother of Western Civilization (1971) and Black Man of the Nile and His Family (1972), where he argues four main points:

  • The origins of Egyptian civilization are up south near Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania at the sources of the Nile River, and that these Africans created a Nile Valley civilization complex which spread down north. [In the Nile Valley, north is down and south is up, because the elevated land and mountains are in the southern lands and the Delta is in the northern area];
  • The indigenous Africans of Egypt were responsible for educating ancient Greeks, as was stated by various Greco-Roman authors and argued by his teaching George G. M. James in Stolen Legacy (1954);
  • The current-day Nubians, Ethiopians, and other groups in the Horn of Africa are among the descendants of these ancient African builders of civilization; and
  • The use of original African personal and place names is vital to understanding the history of African civilizations, rather than using popular names which all have a Greco-Roman orientation, such as the country name “Egypt,” instead of the indigenous names Ta-meri (“beloved land”) and Kemet (“the black country”).

Ampim, Manu. “History Of African Civilizations, History 110 Course Reader.” Unit 3: Classical African Civilizations (Kush). Oakland, CA: Advancing The Research, 2016. 47-48.

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