June 23, 2013

FIRST THE POLITICS, THEN THE THESIS:

Martin Bernal, 'Black Athena' Scholar, Dies at 76 (PAUL VITELLO, 6/22/13, NY Times)

Martin Bernal, whose three-volume work "Black Athena" ignited an academic debate by arguing that the African and Semitic lineage of Western civilization had been scrubbed from the record of ancient Greece by 18th- and 19th-century historians steeped in the racism of their times, died on June 9 in Cambridge, England. He was 76. [...]

Martin Gardiner Bernal was born on March 10, 1937, in London to John Desmond Bernal, a prominent British scientist and radical political activist, and Margaret Gardiner, a writer. His parents never married, a fact their son asserted with some pride in interviews.

"My father was a communist and I was illegitimate," he said in 1996. "I was always expected to be radical because my father was."


As Mary Lefkowitz's Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth as History demonstrates, Mr. Bernal's inventions were not a matter of indifference.

Posted by at June 23, 2013 8:30 AM
  

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