On December 31st, 1918, Yosef Alfredo Antonio Ben-Jochannan was born in a Falasha community in Ethiopia to an Afro-Puerto Rican mother and an Ethiopian father. He received his education in various countries such as Puerto Rico, Brazil, Cuba, and Spain. Dr. Ben-Jochannan received his B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico in 1938. In 1939 he received his Master’s degree from the University of Havana, Cuba in Architectural Engineering. He also received his doctoral degrees from the Universities of Havana, Cuba, and Barcelona, Spain, in Cultural Anthropology and Moorish History.
Dr. Ben-Jochannan traveled to the United States in the early 1940’s. While living in the U.S., he continued his schooling despite the fact that he was working as a draftsman to make a living. In 1945 he was appointed the chairman of the African American studies department at UNESCO; a position he held until 1970. Dr. Ben-Jochannan would later begin teaching Egyptology at Malcolm King College and City College in New York, City, in 1950. The Dr.’s next move was becoming an adjunct professor at Cornell University. He gained notoriety for his authorship of 49 books mostly on the subject of the Nile Valley civilizations. His findings showed that the Nile Valley civilizations had a significant influence on Western cultures. He also affirms that the original Jews were black Africans from Ethiopia, and white Jews took their culture. Since 1957 Dr. Ben-Jochannan has coordinated regular tours to the Nile Valley showing people the truth of the African civilizations.
Dr. Ben-Jochannan moved to Harlem, New York in 1945 and was a student of the great George G.M. James the author of Stolen Legacy. Despite his busy schedule and many accomplishments, the great doctor still found time to become a trained lawyer. He also has made several appearances on Gil Noble’s television series Like It Is. In 2002 he donated his personal library of 35,000 volumes, manuscripts and ancient scrolls to the Nation of Islam.
Dr. Ben-Jochannan is often criticized for promoting black supremacy; but I say he promotes black consciousness. He has dedicated his life to uplifting and empowering the black man across the globe. The information he has presented challenged the more commonly accepted versions of history. These historical stories have conveniently left out the contributions of the African to the civilization of mankind. Because of heroes like Dr. Ben-Jochannan generations of African people around the globe have a stronger sense of pride and history. He’s taught us that the African has made a significant contribution to mankind and civilization. Dr. Yosef Ben-Jochannan, we stand on your shoulders.
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