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Molefi Kete Asante

A Critical Afrocentric Reader


Edited By James L. Conyers, Jr.

Conceptually, Molefi Kete Asante: A Critical Afrocentric Reader is a reflexive analysis of the editor’s space in higher education over the past three decades. As a historical assessment, this reader is a narrative that offers a constructive perspective of Afrocentricity, as the sheer mention of the word draws reaction and fear from either uniformed or conventional personnel. The book organizes Asante’s writings into four categories: history, mythology, ethos, and motif. Arranged theoretically, these are the four concepts that describe and evaluate culture from an Afrocentric perspective. This study offers an assessment of Asante’s body of literature that continues to position the philosophy and ideals of the Afrocentric movement internationally. In the context of being a public intellectual, the core of Asante’s analysis draws inferences in locating Africana occurrences in place, space, and time. Advancing this idea further, the purpose of these presages is to motivate scholars in the field of Africana studies to contribute to the intellectual history of W. E. B. Du Bois, Maria Stewart, Carter G. Woodson, John Henrik Clarke, and the countless others who have advanced Africana research and writing. For many cynics and associates, the scholarship of Asante has not been thoroughly vetted. Directly or indirectly, Asante offers a foundation of optimism in forming the outliers of breakdown and breakthroughs for victorious thought of an Afrocentric perspective.

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Editor’s Notes



Wherever does one inaugurate with consolidating and coordinating the research and scholarship of Dr. Molefi Kete Asante? Conceivably, the beginning should address the operative term dispensed by this scholar, “culture.” At the inmost of Asante’s research and commitment to studying the global Pan Africanist community subsists the term culture, which is gripped in the colloquial speech as Afrocentricity. Phrased another way, he explains and provides a common-sense perspective regarding the outliers of Africana humanism. At the core of the Afrocentric perspective is the retention and creation of autonomy and sovereignty. As illustrated by the body of literature presented in Chapter One, Asante probes into the treatment of ideology, literature, politics, and nationalism, all assessed within the paradigm of a cultural analysis. The term culture is defined in a survey analysis which expands four fundamental points: history, the record of human events, shaped in the image and interest of the chronicler of intelligence; mythology, a version of historical information which takes context and shape based on place, space, and time of the phenomena; motif, signs and symbols, which reaffirm a people in their cultural milieu, as subjects and not objects; and lastly, ethos, the concept of memory which is accountable to people in their place in history.

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