A white American anthropologist
who wrote the book
of the Negro
Past." It was one of the first books from a white academic
that refuted the popularly held concept that Black
people in America started over cultural
ly when they came to the United States
Herskovits tried to establish connections between the culture of African-Americans and people still living on the African continent with similarities in music, family structure, and religious practice.
One of the things that fascinated him was the process of blending African and Western religious figures. He wrote an entire paper on the identification of Legba (the sort of prankster god - think of a benevolent Loki or something) with St. Peter.
In 1951 he was given the first professorial chair of African studies at Northwestern University.