Early life and educationEdit
Ben-Jochannan was born the only child of an Afro-Puerto Rican Jewish mother named Julia Matta and an Ethiopian father named Kriston ben-Jochannan, in a Falasha community in Ethiopia.[dead link][not in citation given]
He was educated in Puerto Rico, Brazil, Cuba, and Spain, earning degrees in engineering and anthropology. In 1938, Ben-Jochannan earned a BS in Civil Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico. In 1939 a Master's degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Havana, Cuba. He received doctoral degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Moorish History from the University of Havana and the University of Barcelona, Spain.[dead link]
Career and later lifeEdit
Ben-Jochannan immigrated to the United States in the early 1940s. He worked as a draftsman and continued his studies. He claims that in 1945, he was appointed chairman of the African Studies Committee at the headquarters of the newly founded UNESCO, a position from which he stepped down in 1970. In 1950, Ben-Jochannan began teaching Egyptology at Malcolm King College, then at City College in New York City. From 1976 to 1987, he was an adjunct professor at Cornell University.
Ben-Jochannan is the author of 49 books, primarily on ancient Nile Valley civilizations and their impact on Western cultures.[dead link]In his writings, he argues that the original Jews were from Ethiopia and were Black Africans, while the white Jews later adopted the Jewish faith and its customs.
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Ben-Jochannan has been criticized for allegedly distorting history and promoting Black supremacy. In February 1993, Wellesley College European classics professor Mary Lefkowitz publicly confronted Ben-Jochannan about his teachings. Ben-Jochannan taught that Aristotle visited the Library of Alexandria. During the question and answer session following the lecture, Lefkowitz asked ben-Jochannan, "How would that have been possible, when the library was not built until after his death?" ben-Jochannan replied that the dates were uncertain. Sir Hugh responded, "Rubbish!" Lefkowitz writes that ben-Jochannan proceeded to tell those present that "they could and should believe what black instructors told them" and "that although they might think that Jews were all 'hook-nosed and sallow faced,' there were other Jews who looked like himself."
- African Origins of Major Western Religions, 1991. ISBN 978-0933121294
- We the Black Jews, 1993, ISBN 9780933121409
- Black Man of the Nile and His Family, Black Classic Press, 1989. ISBN 9780933121263
- Africa: Mother of Western Civilization. ISBN 9780933121256
- New Dimensions in African History
- The Myth of Exodus and Genesis and the Exclusion of Their African Origins
- Abu Simbel to Ghizeh: A Guide Book and Manual
- Cultural Genocide in the Black and African Studies Curriculum. New York, 1972. OCLC 798725
- Ancient Egyptian race controversy
- List of notable Puerto Ricans
- Jewish immigration to Puerto Rico
- Institute for the Study of Academic Racism
- Marcus Garvey
- John Henrik Clarke
- John G. Jackson
- African diaspora
- Joel Augustus Rogers
- Chancellor Williams
- Cheikh Anta Diop
- Gabriel Haslip-Viera, Taíno Revival: critical perspectives on Puerto Rican identity and cultural politics (Markus Wiener Publishers: 2001), p. 14.
- "Yosef Ben-Jochannan Biography". TheHistorymakers.com. 2008. Retrieved June 30, 2011.
- Velez-Rodriguez, Linda. "Tidal Stations and Benchmarks". Retrieved April 4, 2012.
- "Dr. Yosef A. A. Ben-Jochannan". raceandhistory.com. Retrieved January 5, 2012.
- Ben Jochannan, Yosef (1993). We the Black Jews. Black Classics Press.
- Shabazz, Saeed (October 29, 2002). "Prized library bequeathed to the Nation". FinalCall.com. Retrieved June 30, 2011.