Africa and the beginning of civilization
John Henrik Clarke, once called the Dean of African American historians, said that “Civilization emerged first on the African continent and all other continents are the inheritors of those first humans who occupied the African land mass” (Jackson 2001, p. 3). Clarke’s words only echo the views of scores of scholars, those who specifically study Africa, and established a baseline for a discussion of Africa and the beginning of civilization. Clarke also contended that “Most Western historians have not been willing to admit that there is an African history to be written about, and that this history predates the emergence of Europe by thousands of years” (Jackson 2001, p. 3). Since we know that humans first appeared on the African continent according to the archaeological and biological records, we know also that the first humans to be able to manage their affairs in the physical environment in which they lived were Africans.