Runoko Rashidi

Runoko Rashidi bigraphy, stories - Historians

Runoko Rashidi : biography

1954 –

Runoko Rashidi (born 1954) is a historian, essayist, author and public lecturer based in Los Angeles, California. He authored Introduction to the Study of African Classical Civilizations (1993) and is editor of Unchained African Voices, a collection of poetry and prose by Death Row inmates at California’s San Quentin maximum-scurity prison.

Rashidi’s work focuses on his views concerning African foundations of world civilizations. Several scholars dispute his assertions of genetic ties between ancient African populations and indigenous and "black" populations in the modern world. African Race – Defining African identity today Alik ShahadahRobert Jurmain, Lynn Kilgore, Wenda Trevathan, and Harry Nelson. Introduction to Physical Anthropology. 9th ed. (Canada: Thompson Learning, 2003) He has conducted field research and educational group tours to India, aboriginal Australia, the Fiji Islands and Southeast Asia, Egypt and Brazil.

Rashidi is frequently a featured writer and speaker and lectures on topics including ancient Egypt, his belief in an African presence in prehistoric America, Africans in antiquity, and the African presence in Asia and other parts of the world.


Rashidi’s work has ignited debate amongst anthropologists and linguists, and contested by some scholars using DNA analysis to suggest that, while the above groups are descendants of peoples who migrated out of Africa (as are all humans), they do not qualify as one racial group or ethnic group to be called Negroid. Critics further contend populations whose migratory roots are in Africa reached their furthest destinations longer ago than did those humanoids who migrated and developed as the "races" or peoples of Europe and Asia.


From 1981 to 1984, Rashidi taught African history at Compton Community College, Compton, California. From 1985 to 1987 he worked for the National Black Computer Network as history editor. Rashidi has contributed regularly to the Journal of African Civilizations, edited by its founder Ivan Van Sertima from 1979 until his death. In 1987 Rashidi inaugurated the First All-India Dalit Writers Conference in Hyderabad, where he delivered an address on The Global Unity of African People.