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on 11 December 2009
Excellent read, well researched and presented in a easy to read objective manner. Allows the reader to form their own judgements not based on emotions but facts.
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on 31 December 2017
In "Black Spark, White Fire", Richard Poe challenges views on ancient history as accepted by elements of the Western Academic Establishment.

What is particularly interesting about the book is that he doesn't really approach the subject as if he were preaching incontrovertible truths; instead, the reader is provided with enough information to draw their own conclusions. Even the reproduction of the face of the Ancient Egyptian Priest presented on the cover (which was reproduced from the skull of a mummy by a leading Forensic Artist) is left to the judgment of the reader as to its ethnicity.
I was particularly (and pleasantly) surprised at how objective Poe was in devoting much time to opposing views and carefully highlighting anything which could not be proven. He draws much on the testimonies of classical writers together with new research which has been carried out in recent years.

I think one important lesson from this book is that often what we think as conventional truth, supposedly based on detailed research and analysis, just turns out to guesswork, assumption and a good measure of bias. And despite the fact that when these ideas have been shown to be incorrect or without basis, once they have taken root, it is very difficult to overcome them!

Much of what we find in this book has been covered by many others over the years, but Poe’s style of presentation is easily read and digested.
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on 24 June 1999
I myself coming from an afrocentric perspective find this work to be well written. It explores opposing arguments and cites the evidence already present to this day. Mr. Poe lays down the data in a manner to let you draw your own conclusion. I was kind of skeptical at first that he is just a journalist but after reviewing the work it speaks for itself. For all those naysayers either ignorant of truth or too stuck on their personal bias Mr. Poe has produced a tremendous work without academic preconceptions.
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on 10 July 1999
This is a great text. I am quite grateful to Allan Poe for the insights into the origins of the Colchians. and the reference to Dmitri Gulia's History of Abkhazia. When I first came across the statement of Herodotus with respect to the Colchians I proceeded to ask many of my colleagues trained in the Classics and Ancient History for more information about the reference. No one came up with an answer. Your chapter on Egyptians in Russia has helped me solve the puzzle. ...............But it is undoubtedly a fact that the Colchians are iof Egyptian descent.; I noticed this myself before I heqard anyone else mention it.....My own idea on the subject was based first on the fact that they have black skins and woolly hair...(Herodotus. Book 2) Thanks for a wonderful, scholarly contribution to Africa's Ancient History. Dr Gloria Emeagwali Professor of History and African Studies,CCSU, Connecticut, USA
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on 30 April 1999
Black Spark White Fire is a book that'll keep your attention. I consider myself an Africentrist, but even more, I am a realist. Poe's book is very easily read. You'll find yourself wondering how you finished it so fast. This book hints at being Africentric, but Poe leaves it up to the reader to decide for him/herself whether or not the Egyptians should be considered black or white, and whether or not the ancient Greeks owe a substantial debt to the ancient Egyptians. History today, especially in regards to ancient Egypt, Greece, and their relationships with Africa and Europe, has to be written from a scientific perspective. This is where my problem with Black Spark.... lies. Poe refers to scholars such as Cheikh Anta Diop, but does them injustice by not dealing with their works as extensively as he does Martin Bernal's Black Athena, somewhat blowing them off as if they were speaking from emotion rather than facts. He does show how Bernal saw many similarities between the Egyptian and Greek languages. However, C.A. Diop and Theophile Obenga dealt even more extensively with not only this, but the relationship between Egyptian and other African languages. Also omitted was mention of the "Symposium of the Peopling of Ancient and the Deciphering of the Meroitic Script", where Diop and Obenga silenced various Egyptologists showing that the ancient Egyptians were African every bit as much as the Ethiopians, Ashantis, Zulus, etc. Poe is, in my humble opinion, a very notable writer. It was difficult to put the book down until I ran out of pages to read. The evidence he presents is very compelling. It is definitely a contribution to setting the record straight that racism has so shamefully distorted.
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on 25 October 1998
The term "SEMITIC" is actually an linguistic term, not a ETHNIC or RACIAL designations. It do not refer to a RACIAL or ETHNIC group, but rather to a language group or branch. A semite is one who speaks a semitic language.
This has ALWAYS been true, despite popular misuse of the term (mainly by the media).
Semite: A member of a group of Semitic-speaking peoples of the Near East and northern Africa, including the Arabs, Arameans, Babylonians, Carthaginians, Ethiopians, Hebrews, and Phoenicians.
Ancient African languages represented a stage of linguistic development which predated the division of the languages of the Near East and Africa into semitic and hamitic branches.
The Ancient African or Afro-asiatic languages actually separated around 12,000 B.C.E., the Ancient African languages was the great parent language of these two great language groups or branches, ("mother tongue") from which they all descended.
These Ancient African languages are from an large family of languages spoken in parts of western Africa, northern Africa and southwest Asia, comprising the Semitic, Chadic, Cushitic, Berber, and ancient Egyptian languages; formerly known as Hamito-Semitic (no longer in Scientific usage).
Sir Henry Rawlinson, the translator of primitive Babylonian documents, declares the vocabulary employed to be "decidedly Cushite or Ethiopian." -George Rawlinson, 1885 C.E.
Nimrod, and therefore probably his people, was of Cushite [African] origin, has been strenuously denied by some, even among modern critics.
But ancient classical tradition and recent linguistic research agree in establishing a close con-nection between the early inhabitants of the lower Mesopotamian plain and the people, which, under the various names of Cushites, Ethiopians, and Abyssinans, has long been settled upon the middle Nile. -George Rawlinson, 1885 C.E.
Black Spark White Fire : Did African Explorers Civilize Ancient Europe? by Richard Poe is a very good book. Should be in every class room in this country. African American and others are moving away from fantasy history. The Time has COME!
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on 28 February 1999
....and pseudoscholarship dressed up as historical research. There is not a drop of real research in this book. Just a lot of selective culling from likeminded and existing sources to construct a thesis.
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on 16 March 1999
Richard Poe is to be congratulated both for his scholarship and his courage. Regarding his scholarship, he has certainly provided a new voice of objectivity to an otherwise emotionally charged discussion. It will be particularly interesting to see how the Lefkowitz's et al will respond to both his text and his challenge that it is they who are the revisionists. It is not without irony that numerous reviewers have put this book down as it is in fact evidence of its having been read -- as Wole Soyinka writes "The Truth will set you free? Maybe. But first the Truth must be set free." It should come as no surprise that there are people that would not have the Truth set anything/anyone free when to deny freedom is the truth of the European lie. There are clearly many who would prefer that you not read for yourself and determine Truth for yourself. They, it seems, best know Truth and would be the ones to "free" others to their assessment of Truth. I would instead suggest that we each free our own selves by reading this (and any other important/controversial) book for our selves and thereby our making any important determination regarding Truth (or lies).
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on 24 October 1998
With the recent revelation that Nubia, an unarguably black country, was probably the first true African civilization and that this area north of Egypt contained more pyramids than Egypt itself, Poe joins a growing chorus of dispassionate and objective historians that have no agenda but the truth. Funerary and other significant objects from ancient Nubia predates Egypt by more than 3,000 years. This black culture was more likely than not, the source of Egypt's civilization. A black spark indeed.
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on 8 February 1998
This work reads like a mystery thriller, yet is filled with solid facts that challenge conventional assumptions of African inferiority vis a vis the brilliant achievments of European civilization. Poe forces the reader into a new mode of thinking when he describes the barbarism of ancient Europe and then poses the question, Who Discovered Europe? The reader will find provocative discussions of such questions as was Hercules really a blond character such as portrayed in the TV series; what were the origins of Freemasonry; what was the "curse of Ham" all about; were the Egyptians Black? I recommend this book highly and hope that it is made into a TV series, a project the author is working on.
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