Cultural Differences Between Africans and Europeans

Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop’s Two Cradle Theory (1974)

The Eurasian (Northern, Aryan) cradle is characterized by:
a.Hunting gathering and the looting economy (search, kill and collect food)
b.Nomadic- land occupancy (land ownership)
c.Patriarchal family (family ruled by man)
d.Citizen- State as the largest unit governmental autonomy ( Individual Citizen, City, State, Nation)
e.Xenophobia (fear of people)
f.Individualism (do things alone)
g.Ideal of war, violence, crime, and conquests
h.Pessimistic religious or metaphysical systems (God is angry at humans/ humans cursed)

In contrast the African (Southern Meridional) cradle has these features:

  • Agricultural cultivation economy (Grow food from land)
  • Sedentary land tenure (Land belongs to no human)
  • Matrifocal family (Mother is the center of the family)
  • Country-wide governmental system (Tribe to Klan to Nation)
  • Xenophilia and cosmopolitism (Love to interact with people)
  • Collectivism (do things in groups)
  • Ideal of peace, justice and goodness
  • Optimism in religious and metaphysical institutions (God loves people/ choosen people)


Dr. Wade Boykin Comparison of African and European Cultures (1986)
African European

Spiritualism Materialism
Harmony with Nature Mastery over Nature
Organic metaphor Mechanistic metaphors
Expressive Movement Impulse Control
Interconnectedness Separateness
Affect Reason
Event Orientation Clock Orientation
Orally Based Culture Print-based culture
Expressive Individualism Possessive Individualism
Uniqueness Valued Sameness valued

Work Cited
Boykin, Wade. Comparison of African and European Cultures. Howard Press. 1986
Diop, Chiekh Anta. Cultural Unity of Black Africa. Karnak House. 1963