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Defending the Paradigm • by Adisa A. Alkebulan

Defending the Paradigm • by Adisa A. Alkebulan

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Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 37, No. 3, Sustaining Black Studies (Jan., 2007), pp. 410-427
Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 37, No. 3, Sustaining Black Studies (Jan., 2007), pp. 410-427

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Published by: ☥ The Drop Squad Public Library ☥ on Mar 02, 2013
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Defending the ParadigmAuthor(s): Adisa A. AlkebulanSource:
Journal of Black Studies,
Vol. 37, No. 3, Sustaining Black Studies (Jan., 2007), pp. 410-427Published by:
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Accessed: 05/07/2011 12:38
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DEFENDINGTHEPARADIGM
ADISA A. ALKEBULAN
SanDiegoStateUniversity
Recent ttacks n Africana tudies ollow historicathf nstitutional-ized racism nthecademynd ts ustodiansuestioninghediscipline'srelevance.heseongoingttacks emonstratehisociety'sefusal oallowAfricaneople'sfullparticipationithint.Therefore,he ssaultonAfricana tudies sreallyn assaulton Africaneople.Thisarticleseeks o remind cholars n African tudies hat heAfrocentricdea hasbeen theguiding aradigmf thedisciplinend t notonlyneeds o bedefended,utAfrocentriccholarshipeeds to bevigorously ursued.Theparadigm istinguisheshisdisciplinerom ll others. his articlealsoconfrontshefalsenotionf Afrocentrismnd critics' seof theclaims ffewnon-Afrocentristss anndictmentgainstheAfrocentricmovement.ndefendingndreassertingheAfrocentricaradigm,hisarticle ets out to furtherefinefrocentricity.inally,t addresses hefalse laimsttributedo tbytscritics.Keywords:Africanatudies;frocentricity;frocentrism
DebatinghemportancefAfricana tudies s notnanomaly.Fornearly0years,cholars n thisdisciplineavebeenncon-stanttrugglesithheirnstitutions.anyhavebeenfightingortheir wnprofessionalurvival,n onehand,ndtheir ometimes-fledglingepartments,ntheother.nspitef the ttacks n thediscipline,ld andnew,heymust e understood ithin muchlargerramework.t theheartf this ebate s noteallyheig-nificance fAfricanatudies ut atherhevalue,r ackthereof,thathisocietyasplacedonAfricaneople.Afterll,what stheignificancefapeopledeemedworthlessyracistociety?Thisarticlettemptsoreassert heAfrocentricaradigms theframeworkoguidethediscipline.ndoingo,theAfrocentricparadigmistinguishesfricana tudies romraditionalisci-plines.he aim salso todefendfrocentriccholarsgainsthe
JOURNALOF BLACKSTUDIES,Vol. 37 No.3,January007 410-427DOI:10.1177/0021934706290082© 2007SagePublications
410
 
AlkebulanDEFENDINGTHEPARADIGM411
false claims and mediadistortionshatypifyheEurocentricresponseoAfricangency.The recentdebate smerelyhelatestmanifestationf adecades-oldWhite mericanilemma: heNegro roblem."hispredicamentlaystself utnacademiawithhe ack ofsupportformanyfricanatudiesepartments,utmoremportant,ts adirectssaultonAfricanntellectualshemselves.istorically,academic nstitutionsavebeenhostile oscholarswhochallengetraditionalcholarshipnddisciplineshatromoteuropendtsideasas themodel fcivilizationhile,ttheameime,mittingordistortinghemeansywhichuropeansbtainedheirlobaldominance. his s mostpparentithhengoingttacks n theAfrocentricaradigmrwhat as beenmisnamedAfrocentrism"byits critics.lthoughcademic ndmedia criticsistort heAfrocentricdeatowheret s unrecognizableoAfrocentricchol-ars,t neverthelessepresentsheongoingwargamesovertheaudacityfAfricancholars onterpretfricanealityromheirown culturalerspective.aulanaKarenga2002)accuratelyexplainshe ifferenceetweenfrocentricitynd hemedia's seofAfrocentrismhenhewrites,[Theerm]frocentrismppearsmore ftennideologicalis-course etweenfrocentricdvocatesndriticsspeciallynpop-ulariecesn heubject..[Theresa]popularppropriationftheategoryyomef tsdvocates,riticsnd hemediawhousetforurposeshich end odefinetas an deologicalos-ture atherhan n ntellectualategory.tstransformationromAfrocentricityoAfrocentrisms ndicativef his. or he seof"ism" endsouggesthatt s seen s more fpoliticalosturethanmethodologyrorientationn ntellectualork.p.46)Afrocentricitysplacingfricandeals tthe enter fanynalysisthatnvolves fricanulturendbehaviorAsante,987,.6).Thepublicationf MolefiAsante's1980/1992)ook,Afrocentricity:TheTheory fSocialChange,n1980and hissubsequent ubli-cations ntheubject,heAfrocentricdea(Asante,987,1998)andKemet,frocentricityndKnowledgeAsante,990),revolu-tionizedhewaywestudyfricanhenomena.heparadigmro-vided thetheoreticaloundationormanycholars oquestion,

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