George G.M. James, Guyana’s Shining Star – A Tribute

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Sometimes in the glorious history of ideas, a great thinker is defined byone work. Francis Bacon is best known for his “Novum Organum; Herbert Spencer for “First Principles”; Thomas Hobbes for “Leviathan.” George G.M. James’ magnus opus is “Stolen Legacy.” I will attempt to show why his great book is so important in black thought.

Born in British Guiana (now Guyana) sometime during the latter half of the Nineteenth Century to Rev. Linch and Margaret James, he wrote the best-known book on the African origins of Western philosophy.

After completing elementary and secondary schooling in his native land, he went to England to further his studies. He earned B.A., B.T., and M.A. degrees from Durham University, where he was a candidate for the D.Litt. Further post-graduate work at Columbia University earned him a PhD, most likely in the Classics. He also earned a
teaching certificate in the State of New York to teach mathematics, Latin and Greek.

His university tenures were extensive. He served as Professor of Logic and Greek at Livingston College in North Carolina for 2 years. For ten years he was Professor of Languages and philosophy at Johnson C. Smith College at Charlotte, North Carolina. His teaching career ended at the University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff, a black institution. He died under mysterious circumstances the same year his “Stolen Legacy” was published. Apparently one afternoon he left his job and friends and was later found dead in Nashville, Tennessee.

Since no biography of Dr. James exists, the truth of his death might never be known. It is disgraceful that his native Guyana has never paid tribute in any way, shape or form to this, her native son. It is more disgraceful that the University of Arkansas, a black institution, does not have a certificate on its walls acknowledging his tenure. It is even stranger, extremely perplexing, that “Stolen Legacy” was written during Dr. James’ tenure at that university, but THERE IS NO COPY OF THE BOOK IN ITS LIBRARY!!!.

The Public Library in Georgetown, Guyana, contained copies of Plato’s
“Symposium”, but no copy of ˜Stolen Legacy”, written by a Guyanese. When I was studying philosophy, George G. M. James’ name was never mentioned and I only discovered his book after college.

Why did I not hear about him or his book? Why do European scholars vilify “Stolen Legacy” at every count? Because it dared to question the usual assumptions about the origins of much of Western thinking, and prove that black people were not as dumb as we were told.

To quote Prof. Ben Jochannan, “If you ever dare to read the works of George G.M. James,you will never again be the same as before you did. He stands at head of the line with Akhenaten, Ramesis, St. Augustine, Terrence, and so many others who heeded the warning, “Man know thyself” This is great praise from one of
the great scholars of African influences in Western philosophy.

Dr. James argues that Greek philosophy and the mystery systems of Greece and Rome were stolen from Egypt, and he challenges the notion that civilization originated in Greece. His thesis in “Stolen Legacy” is that, “The Greeks were not the authors of Greek philosophy, but the people of North Africa, commonly called the Egyptians.” He painstakingly documents the African origins of
Graeco-Roman philosophical thought.

He writes, “The term Greek philosophy, to begin with, is a misnomer, for there is no such philosophy in existence. The ancient Egyptians had developed a very complex religious system called the Mysteries, which was also the first system of salvation.”

European arrogance and its notion of the white man’s burden rests on the assumption that Greece invented philosophy, the arts and the sciences. Dr. James challenged the foundations of Judaism and Judaeo-Christianity, “Stolen Legacy,” Pages 177-178 assert that the statue of the Egyptian goddess Isis with her child Horus in her arms is the origin of the Virgin Mary with the baby
Jesus in her arms.

He also contends that, “All the great religious leaders from Moses to Christ were initiates of the Egyptian Mysteries.” Dr. James also tells us that in his “Timaeus”, Plato says that aspirants for mystical wisdom
visited Egypt for initiation and were told by the priests of Sais, “You Greeks are but children” in the secret doctrine, but were admitted for information enabling them to promote their spiritual advancement.

Dr. James has been called an Afro-centrist, derived from Afro-centrism, a derisive term, that is used to describe a historical approach that argues that European scholarship has largely neglected or denied the intellectual contributions of Ancient African on their civilization and formulated ” a generally European-centered model of world civilization and history.”

Instead of complimenting historians like Prof. James and Dr. Ben Jochannan for their sterling contributions to our understanding of world history, many scholars denigrate them. For example, in “Not Out Of Africa”, Mary Lefkowitz argues that Afrocentrism is an excuse to teach myth as history. But Dr. James’ and the claim of others that ancient African intellectual traditions were the basis of European intellectual traditions is not myth, but withstand the scrutiny of history.

In “James revived”, Prof. Ben Jochannan quotes from “Ruins of Empire” by Count C.F. Volney, an eighteenth century French academic ‘of the highest esteem”, page xvii:

“There (speaking of Egypt) a people now forgotten discovered while others were yet barbarians, the elements of the arts and sciences. A race of men now rejected for their black skin and wooly hair founded on the study of the laws of nature those civil and religious systems which still govern the universe.” Dr. James’ Importance

Dr. James, Prof. Yoef A.A. Ben Jochannan and others of their views teach us the truth about our ancestors. The achievements of Kimet (Africa is the derisive European term ) are startling to this day. Dr. James and others point to Kufu’s Great Pyramid (even if Eurocentrists deny Nefertiti and Cleopatra as being black, they accept that Kufu was black), the Grand Lodge at Luxor, the Pyramid Texts, the Kimetian Book of the Dead, the Kimetian Mystery Systems as
examples of African genius.

When European scholars state that the Great Pyramid of Giza was built 2,000 years before the Common Era, Dr. James and others
prove that it was built 8,000 years earlier.

When European teachers told us that Africa was “the dark continent”, he and others proved that it was the only continent of light. Indeed, men like Dr. James should be enshrined in the Intellectual Hall of Fame for those who dare expose the lies that Europe had told for so long.

Dr. George G.M. James was born in British Guiana but he belongs to the world. The movement he started was to show how Africa was the cradle of civilization and the origin of European enlightenment.

To date no biography of Dr. James exists. I hope that someone will commence research and publish a book on him. It is long overdue in the name of Black History.

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38 thoughts on “George G.M. James, Guyana’s Shining Star – A Tribute”

  1. cleopatra is mixed. mixed means n***** in this country.obama is mixed cleopatra is mixed. the egyptians are still in africa they are called somolians and ethiopians. they look just like them. like iman the supermodel from somolia uknow that chick that was in the remember the times video by michale jackson. she played queen nefertiti. this is not eye serene. can’t spell or write bare with me.

  2. not eye serene. the name is jo jo. any way.africans come in all hues from light to dark. straight features, full features. nappy hair to semi straight. i have a ethiopian friend and he is dark as tar and has straight hair. white come in one color, ghost color. even hitler thought and knew the greeks were not pure whites,fact. the only pure whites,ayrian.are swedes. fact, if you are not blond blue eyed you are not pure white. greeks are not pure, wow look how italy is so close to africa makes you think. again, if you are not blond and blue eyed u are not pure white.

  3. Greeks were the origin of civilization thesame as Christopher Columbus discovered America…….. ohh before I forget, he discovered it when the natives already had complex civilizations . well, never mind, lest forgot that and still consider that the greeks are the origin of civilization….. morons…

  4. So if the Greeks stole their philosophy from Egypt, what was stopping the Egyptians from writing their philosophy down as the Greeks did? Just because an idea is plagiarized doesn’t stop the original idea, text or document from existing. No one was stopping the Egyptians from doing so. Zero credible evidence adds up to an idea not being true. The proponents of this theory think that if they just say it often enough, long enough, it must be true. It is pure sophistry — to use a Greek term.

    1. Very well argued Babs!
      James himself argued that the Egyptians were hoarding their knowledge for their secret societies so this mysticality became a reality when the Greeks educated themselves with it and refined it: like Mozart transcribing the forbidden Miseriery on his trips to the Vatican. We are now blessed with this beautiful music; so we are fortunate to have the Greek transposition of a type of knowledge that was never going to be known if the Greeks had been selfish enough to keep up the conspiracy of keeping it hidden (crypto). James himself would never have known about any of it, far less to ague about it. I believe that James was just a frustrated academic who became tired of being taunted by racists, themselves mostly the educated ignorant. Philosophy is now fit for human consumption as it were, and not just for the mystics.

    2. And most the “Egyptians” of today are not the original inhabitants. They don’t want the truth to come out either, that the Egyptian Dynasty is a product of all dark skinned people. Most of the inhabitants of Egypt today can trace their origin to Turkey and the Ottoman Empire.

  5. @babs, they did commit their knowledge to writing (practice as well). what you fail to understand, or accept is that the greek settlers and fake arabs each cyclically burned or demolished the famed libraries and institutions of khemet. and i guess you would know about sophistry, since europeans have been hustling masses since they were illumined by the moors–one of the sources of your acclaimed institutions of learning.

  6. @babs. Let me say this, Egyptians and African have always wrote their history down. First on papyrus and then in STONE. They figure the papyrus material wasn’t lasting, so they started putting it in stone for people like you can enjoy thousands and thousands years later. Delphi was an outpost of the Memphite Theology in Egypt, which goes back thousands of years before Greek civilisation ever existed. Greeks went to Egypt to be educated, they brought back the Egyptian religion which angered the government in Athens. Entering the Temple at Memphis the inscription on the pillars ‘know thyself’ is where the Delphi got it from. Athens burnt down the Delphi for corrupting the youths and it was the Egyptian who financed the rebuilding of the Delphi

  7. To all the doubters of George GM James’ book Stolen Legacy. This book has never been out of print since it was published in 1954. I am positive its not only Black people who keep it in print. Historians and Scholars all reference this book, but never admit to reading it. WHY IS THAT

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