Molefi Asante (1987) [Asante.net]
Afrocentricity [African-centered] as the placing of African
ideals at the center of any analysis that involves African culture
and behavior. (p. 6)
I suggest three fundamental Afrocentric themes of transcendent
discourse: (1) human relations, (2) humans' relationship to the
supernatural, and (3) humans' relationships to their own being.
Paul Hill Jr.'s interpretations
Currently there are many
misconceptions about the African Centered Paradigm. Most of its critics
have not read the literature. It is primarily an orientation on how
one views data, involving location, place and perspective (Asante,
1993). On a more personal level it provides the African American
a window to view the world by becoming a transforming agent affording
new attitudes, behaviors, beliefs and values. This transforming agent
is the only reality for African people (Asante, 1989). African Centeredness
is nothing more than what is congruent to the interpretive life of
an African person. It is his richly "textured
standing place" (Asante, 1993).
African-centered study is
not a matter of color. It looks at any information involving African
people and raises questions that allows Africans to be subjects of
historical experiences rather than objects on the fringes of another's
experience. For example, an Afrocentric view of African conditions
during enslavement would view the people not as "slaves" but as "Africans."
This view assures a different mental orientation providing a
new perspective and attitude closer to the reality of the people
When we center each ethnic group in their own historical and
cultural experiences, we expand our knowledge of and appreciation
of the human experience. Afrocentric education and its advancement
enrich and humanize our world. It is not about cultural separation
or racial chauvinism. The African-centered
scholar recognizes that an Afrocentric view is not the only view.
This perspective seeks no advantage, no self-aggrandizement,
no hegemony in its relation to others (Asante,1993), thus it
humanizes our world by fostering mutual dignity and respect.