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Mathu Ater is uniquely qualified to speak on architectural, historical and religious themes. His near twenty years as an architectural and graphic media specialist facilitates a fresh and uncommon approach to the study of Egyptology and History. Mathu served an eleven year apprenticeship under the late and noted Architect, Lester O. Bankhead. Bankhead was the subject of a Ph.D. (UCLA) study for his training of urban architectural students.
This resulted in a book by Dr. Wesley Henderson (professor of architecture, the University of Texas at Austin). In the book, Mathu was described by Bankhead as the best all around apprentice he ever had in his office. It was under the guidance and direction of Bankhead that Mathu received the foundation for, what he is now substantially recognized for, analyzing religious architecture. Around 1981, while working for Bankhead, Ater began seriously studying the works of Yosef A.A. ben-Jochannan (Dr. Ben), John Henrik Clarke, and Cheikh Anta Diop.
This provided him with a firm foundation in Afro-centric Egyptology. Between 1981 and 1984 Mathu developed his first lecture, The Egyptian Temple and after his first trip to Kemet (with Dr. Ben) in 1985, began to present it for the first time. He refused to give a lecture on Kemet until after traveling there first. Mathu returned to make history in 1987 as one of a thousand black people to convene in Kemet at the Fourth A.S.C.A.C conference. It was the first time in history African American's convened in Egypt for a conference about Egypt. After reading Ivan Van Sertima's, They Came Before Columbus, Mathu made his first trip in 1986 to view the ruins of Ancient Mexico.
Thus, he began alternating his trips between Kemet an Mexico in order to compare and contrast the two cultures. This resulted in his very popular lectures on the Olmecs.
Mathu Ater earned his Bachelors degree from California
State University, Los Angeles, and a Masters degree from Pepperdine University.
He has lectured for such noted community organizations, as The S.C.L.C.,
The Urban League, The Nation of Islam, The National Society of Black Engineer's,
The Council of Negro Women and The Association for the Study of Classical
African Civilizations (ASCAC).
He has also lectured, coast to coast,
at many of the countries leading universities. In the east, at Howard,
Tuskegee and North Carolina A&T University, and in the west, at UCLA,
UC Berkeley, USC, and UC Riverside to name a few. Mathu is a member
of the Southern California Professional Engineering Association and Epsilon
Pi Tau the international society for industrial educators.
From 1988-90, he taught, through the tutorial assistance program at the University of California at Irvine, the historical topic, The Glory of the Black Race. As noted above, he has traveled extensively to the Nile valley and Mexico, his two areas of focus. Mathu lectures regularly for The Valley of the Kings, Department of Kemetic Studies.
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