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Uses of African Antiquity in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries


Jorge Serrano

African antiquity has been discerned both nullifyingly and constructively. Uses of African Antiquity in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries reveals how reading the past can be extended to understand sensitivities involving origins and how it imparts collective posture. The ancient historical imagery epitomized by writers and artists alike includes the distant past as well as an immediate past. Comparatively, representation of time long gone records transhistorical presence and civilizational participation and agentic validity. African antiquity can be construed as diasporic through time and space and in regards to nomenclature it extends understanding of peopleness, e.g. Libya, Ethiopia, Africa, Afrika, African Egypt, Kemet, Alkebu-lan, Nubia, Ta-Seti, Ta-Nehisi, Ta-Merry, Kush, Axum, Meroë, Ghana, Mali, Songhai, Zulu, and so many more are recognized in a time-spatial continuum linked to African, Colored, Negro, and Black, as various terms inform origins identity. Unfortunately, typologies disciplinarily stem from anthropological construction, yet here African antiquity as sign heralds clines and clusters; splintering Africana from humanitas ultimately contends against subjugation. African antiquity absorbs character and notions of diachronologically dispersed peoples reflect origins indulgence. African antiquity as a stretched concept and/or historicism triply adds understanding, grouping, and alterity. This primarily is a review of thinkers who defend against people erasure in the past with its socially and nihilistic affective ways.

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Chapter 4. Multiplicity and Individualization


Chapter 4

Multiplicity and Individualization

Civilizationist Similitude

The multiple meanings in Du Bois’ writings about civilization and its African American discontent extend beyond any complete and fixed perception of centrality. Du Bois as a theoretical subjectivist presents an interpretation about what holistic civilization ought to be. Du Bois’ use of the past at various instances and represented from his life’s work moves beyond any restrictive centrality and any singular theoretical paradigm because he initially endeavored to decenter an American civilization that seemed to uphold a solely Teutonic core spectrum. The perception of civilization in his literary and historical works encompasses not only representative groupings of people but also meaning, recognition, and complication of a divided-­self. Du Bois’ life cannot be construed as enclosed in any one African or European mindset or any one-­sided liberal or conservative ideology.1

Du Bois’ use of intelligence and education could easily be understood as self-­interested and proffering a grandiose individuality as ruse for controlling a specified African American collectivity. And yet, Du←109 | 110→ Bois cannot be limited to any egocentric or useful ethnocentric ideology throughout the many periods, i.e., throughout the Enlightenment Age, Victorian Age, Gilded Age, Great War, Harlem Renaissance, World War II, and Cold War. There were many Du Boisian ideas about how to reform mind and thought that move toward the ameliorative civilization, which could be read all throughout his nonfictional and fictional works. His early writings and early foundation...

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