Anténor Firmin (1850-1911) was born in Haïti. In 1885, he published a book on « the equality of human races, positive anthropology » where he tackled the pseudo-scientific theorists of racism. A true precursor, unparalleled genius, enlightened thinker, champion of the defense of Black people, Anténor Firmin has greatly contributed to the birth of awakenings of conscience. In advance of his time, he knew how to refute western racism through scientific and rigorous argumentation. He also highlighted the essential role of African cultures in the history of civilization, from the Egyptians to the first Black Republic of Haiti.
Joseph-Anténor Firmin (1850-1911) was a Haitian scholar, diplomat and journalist. Firmin wrote ‘On the Equality of Human Races’ in response to a book by de Gobineau « The inequality of human races », which asserted the inferiority of black people and the superiority of the Aryan ‘race’. The publication of Antenor Firmin’s book in 1885 was a pioneering text in anthropology and it is perhaps the first major work of anthropology written by a person of African descent. Although Firmin’s tome was lost to Francophone anthropology, it was recognized not only in Haiti but also among Pan-Africanist scholars as an early work of négritude. Anténor Firmin also had a seminal impact on Jean Price-Mars, the 20th century founder of Haitian ethnology, and these ties extend further to the American founder of African and Afro-American anthropology, Melville Herskovits.