Death from a kangaroo court brought on by drinking from a cup of poison hemlock as punishment for his teachings, the words of Socrates provide pillars of Christian belief and Western thought. These have earned him the title of Father of Western Philosophy. Those ideas include: The doctrine of Nous, i.e. Mind or Intelligent Cause in order to account for God and Creation. The immortality of the soul. The doctrine of Supreme Good. However, was Socrates African?
A. BLACK ATHENA: In Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, Martin Bernal ignited a controversy expounding on a hypothesis that ancient Greece, and hence Western civilization, derived much of its cultural roots from Afroasiatic (Egyptian and Phoenician) cultures. He also holds that Socrates was African. His chief critic, Mary Lefkowitz of Wellesley College, believes that Bernal is mistaken and hence the groundwork for their debate. Yet, neither has mentioned that Socrates described himself as African – hence, there’s no argument (see below).
B. DEFINITION OF AFRICAN: An African is an individual inclined to have wooly hair, a full mouth, and full nose [11, 12, 13,14, 16, 17, 18, 19]. Wooly hair has a long history. It is recorded for the Son of Man in the bible in Daniel 7:9 where he’s described as having a “head like pure wool.” Hence, while Socrates does not describe his hair, as he has other African features, wooly hair would accompany them [11, 13, 15, 16, 19] though the sculptures don’t show wooly hair: Wavy [1 through 6, 8, 9, 10] but not wooly [11, 13, 15, 16, 19]. The sculptors, in their use of creative license, I’d say, were amiss.
C. SOCRATES DESCRIBES SELF AS AFRICAN: In the Socratic Dialogue, Symposia, chapter V (perhaps first mentioned in the 1980s by Dr. Clyde Winters), Socrates gives a self-definition based on African features. In one of his last dialogues before his death, Socrates and Critobulus compete to win the Prize of Beauty; he, Socrates or Critobulus, a new colonist. And, who better to describe himself than himself? Socrates uses the following words to describe himself: He says his nose bridge isn’t high and nose not straight [e.g. 6, 9, 10] as Critobulus’ but “spread out wide and flat,” [5, 13, 14]. And both Critobulus and Socrates also speak of his “snub nose.” [see: 2, 3, 5, 7, 8, and 11 – 19]. Socrates specifically states that unlike Critobulus, he has “thick lips.” [see especially: 5, 11, 13, 14]. Equally convincing is that he describes himself as looking like the most handsome god “Selinus,” [11 – 16] and all will recognize them not as Mongol or white, but African as Socrates unabashedly and proudly describes himself – gloriously Sambo. This is amusing as white supremists, voicing the claim by the German philosopher George Hegel, state that Africans contributed nothing to civilization. Socrates gave philosophy departments and Hegel a job.
D. SOURCES SPEAKING TO SOCRATES’ AFRICAN PHYSIQUE: Ancient authority (Plat. Symp. 215a ff.; Xen. Symp. 5.7) speaks of Socrates’ stocky body [Attic actors, 500 BC # 17; and from Athen’s Temple of Hercules, 550 BC, #18]. The preceding were Pygmies as Plato describes Socrates’ psysiognomy.
E. WHY SCHOLARS AND THE WORLD THINK SOCRATES WAS WHITE [6, 7, 8, 9, 10]: In the weeks or months following his death, Socrates’ followers had pictures painted of him referred to in ancient texts. These along with his own self-description (the literature states) provided sculptors with material to make sculptures of him based on psysiognomy and called in the literature, Type A (see 1 – 5 above). Lycippus, the famous sculptor who gave us images in stone of Alexander (he was the court sculptor) also made a sculpture of Socrates. Socrates was a favorite subject of reproduction and many Grecian islands had schools that produced his bust giving us stylized 3rd century images of a white Socrates which gained credibility due to their hoary age. And historians least liked and least showed the most African-looking images of Socrates [1 – 5]; and, most promoted the white-looking Socrates [6, 7, 8]. But, facts show the white Socrates (Type B, 6 – 10), is divorced from reality. Socrates called himself African. Socrates: hero (he 3 times participated in the Peloponnesian War against Assyria), Statesman, African, and Father of Western Philosophy.
(Click on the link below to see all of the images mentioned above.)
Nearly 400 pages of worldwide African (black) history before Columbus, before the West, and before Christ from:
WRITTEN BY MARC WASHINGTON
(presented by Dr. Arthur Lewin, author of Africa Is Not A Country: It’s A Continent, www.AfricaUnlimited.com )
This book is perfect for:
- Coffee table reference book
- Gifts for friends
- Kids & classrooms