Talk:Afrocentricity/Archive 9

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Ancient Egyptians are not Semitic but Afro-Asiatic

I would like to know what mainstream scholar sees ancient Egypt as more related to Semitic than the rest of Africa. Ancient Egyptian civlization definately had more in common culturally with Africans because of the notion of divine kingship,circumcision at puberty,and the rainmaker king. The late Egyptologist Frank Joseph Yurco upheld that ancient Egypt was not Semitic but African! Linguist Arnold Lorpenio place the modern Beja language as most related to ancient Egyptian.

The old view that some dyanstic race came from Western Asian and civilzed the ancient Egyptians is called the dyanstic race theory that has been discared.

I am editing in these facts.

Plus the early languages of the Fertile Crescent were not Semitic but a non-Semitic language know extinct.

First of all we need to establish what you mean by "Ancient Egyptians". You could be referring to any number of peoples who have lived there from the Hyksos, Nubians, Jews, Greeks, Romans, etc. There were definetly Semitic Egyptian dynasties. Also I would like to point out that just because a couple of scholars uphold an idea, that that means its true. There are scientists who say that the true Jews originated in Scandinavia, and if you believe that well... you've got some problems. Canutethegreat 22:55, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

  • Semitic is an Afroasiatic language group of African origin. Saying Egyptians are not Semitic, but Afro-Asiatic is like saying I don't speak English, but Indo-European. Also, simply speaking a Semitic language does not make one not culturally related to Africa; please see Ethiopia and Eritrea where many indigenous Semitic languages are spoken including Amharic. In short, Semitic languages are African. Also Ancient Egyptian is not a Semitic language, but a separate branch of Afroasiatic.--Wonderwaffle (talk) 18:34, 5 December 2007 (UTC)

Unsourced information removed

I removed some unsourced information from this article, as per our Wikipedia:Verifiability policy. Futurebird has rather rudely reverted me, and without an edit summary at that. I will be removing the unsourced information again, and hope Futurebird uses the talk page to explain where, exactly, the sources for this information are. Picaroon (t) 03:17, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Actually I don't think that removing entire paragraphs because of tags refering to single sentences is at all helpful. In fact the latter paragraph referred to a specific study by a named scholar, so it wasn't unsourced. It would have been more helpful to have added a relevant footnote. Paul B 07:57, 5 November 2007 (UTC)


this article is in an appalling state, and major cleanup is necessary.

  • ToC: we have a "Criticism of the race theory" section, a "Afrocentrism and academia" and a "Criticism of Afrocentrism"
  • WP:FRINGE: the article needs to state up front that this is about a racialist ideology, not an academic hypothesis. Academic views should not be ushered to a "Criticism" section, but the entire article needs to be based on academic (sociological) study of the movement.

dab (𒁳) 21:37, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree it needs clean up, but disagree with "stating up front that it is a racialist ideology". Also, it seems to disparage the scholarship of Afrocentrism, by using pejorative terms such as pseudohistory. ~Jeeny (talk) 21:46, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Jeeny. Mainstream Afro-centrism isn't a racialist theory. Of course every group has a few on the lunatic fringe, and Afro-centrism in no different. But those ideas aren't widely accepted and meet as much ridicule in Afro-centric circles as elsewhere in academia. futurebird 00:01, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Also this-- "the entire article needs to be based on academic (sociological) study of the movement." Whose academic studies? Eurocentrics? If so, wouldn't that be biased? ~Jeeny (talk) 21:49, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
the whole "Eurocentrism" allegation is a red herring, and a blatant conspiracy theory. There is no such thing as "scholarship of Afrocentrism". There are bona fide African studies, but "Afrocentrism" isn't a valid academic field any more than "Eurocentrism" is. Both are ideologies, not hypotheses. --dab (𒁳) 11:36, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
This is certainly part of the problem. Scholars who study African-American experience or African history are not typically labelled Afrocentrists, anymore than scholars who look at the experience of Chinese-Americans in relation Chinese culture are "Sinocentrists", but Afrocentrism is an ideology that can draw on scholarship and can take a moderate non-racist form. I'd like to know what Futurebird means by "mainstream Afrocentrism" and which writers he has in mind. Paul B 11:44, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Taking the pains to look through Linus A. Hoskins, Eurocentrism vs. Afrocentrism: A Geopolitical Linkage Analysis, Journal of Black Studies (1992), which I am now quoting in the lead from which it was linked (but which may be merged into the body in the course of the necessary restructuring), it becomes perfectly clear that Afrocentrism has nothing whatsoever to do with scholarship, and is a purely political ideology of ethnic mysticism. Not necessarily supremacism at all, but pure ideology untempered by research or rational criticism nevertheless. Seeing that the point is driven home even by proponents, it is simply no way to portray this otherwise. Detractors tend to focus on the intellectual muddleheadedness involved, but that, it goes without saying, is the hallmark of any ethnocentric ideology, not Afrocentrism in particular. Afrocentrism does elect to be unacademic, since academia together with rational criticism and the whole establishment grown out of the 17th century Age of Enlightenment is dismissed out-of-hand as un-African. Afrocentrism wants to argue "world history" based on subconscious notions of "Africanness". That makes it an ideology unamenable to academic criticism. Afrocentrists believe what they believe, and peace to them. There is no way, however, that we will portray this in any way related to the fields of actual history, archaeology or academic study of African culture. Now, seeing that Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and that the very concept of encyclopedia is purely based in the 18th century Age of Reason, I really don't see why afrocentrists even bother with the project. Wikipedia, by the basic fact of its being an encyclopedia project, cannot write articles from the afrocentric point of view. It can and should report on afrocentrism, but any editor contributing to that needs to step out of their afrocentric world-view as incompatible with Wikipedia core principles, or else leave the project and express their opinions elsewhere. We ask precisely the same of any editor contributing to Christianity, Islam, Germanic mysticism and Atlantis, and most people seem to be able to grasp the concept. Now I am sure Gene Ray feels strongly about Time Cube, but there is no way Wikipedia will state "Religious Singularity is Evil" as an opinion as good as any other. See also the sword-skeleton theory ("experts are [eurocentric] scum"). dab (𒁳) 11:54, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Afrocentrism, as conceived by Asante, was about "centring" African-Americans in a positive vision of African cultural identity. It clearly arose from various forms of the black-power movements of the 60s and drew on earlier debates dating back to disputes over "race theory" in the early 20th century and the history of Africa. We need to identify individuals who self-define as Afrocentrists or teaching programmes that disccuss "Afrocentricity". I don't think we can make sweeping statements about what Afrocentrists as a whole think about the Age of Enlightenment. Back in the 80as and early 90s numerous feminist "theorists" influenced by pop-postmodernism were asserting that the concept of the Enlightenment is phallocentric, and that the very idea of scientific laws is inherently "male". But I don't think that's so common these days, and we can't insist that feminists all think alike. I'd still like to hear from Futurebird and Jeeny what they think "mainstream Afrocentrism" is. Paul B 13:13, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
To Dab: fine, but then we should be especially careful not to label a scholar expressing academic views related to a part of African studies (whether it be historical and/or archaelogical views, or anything else) as an "Afrocentrist", if their research is legitimate scientific research, no matter how controversial their views, if as you say "Afrocentrism" has to be construed this narrowly as an ideology detached from any real science.--Ramdrake 13:16, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
I really don't agree with that. I think a more fair assessment is that *some* "Afrocentric" work is pseudo-science. A lot of it is totally valid, and, for whatever reason, I suppose because controversy is most interesting, this article gives undue weight on fringe theories that make most Afrocentrists cringe. futurebird 13:49, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
That's a valid point. In this case, maybe both viewpoints should be presented in this article. Mostly, what I wanted to avoid was a dismissal of legitimate science on the grounds that their proponents were "Afrocentrists", which to me is an argument that seems biased.--Ramdrake 13:52, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Except that Futurebird keeps referring to "most Afrocentists" without saying who he means. We need to know how he - or rather the scholars in question - define "Afrocentric work" and how it differs from simple scholarly study of African history or African-American culture. If it does differ is that difference specifically ideological? Paul B 13:59, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

"Mainstream Afrocentriam" says that African cultures have had significant but not exceptional influence on the cultures of the world. It's essentially asking that African cultures not be exoticsied or treated as "primitive" but rather studied in the same manner as other cultures. And, frankly, the study of human history has experience a big change in this century with respect to how it views the influence of African cultures. In many ways "Afrocentriam has won." We don't need to claim that the Egyptians all looked like dark-skinned Black folks, or that brown skin has magic powers.

One of the most exciting projects is working on telling the history of colonialism from the perspective of the African nations involved in it, and piecing together the names and histories of those nations and calling them "nations" not "tribes" (when applicable.) Hence this kind of history is Afrocentric, because it includes the African perspective. It also relates to how African cosmology and philosophy are described. Not in terms if "fetish" and "superstition" but as "religion" and "philosophy" when it makes sense to do so.

As far as the whole thing about Eurocentrism being a "red-haring" --I mean, wow. That's a sheltered way of looking at it. Eurocentrism isn't an evil plot by white men in a dark room, it's just the way that history turns out when it's written mostly by people from Europe incorporating their local customs scholarship and tribal superstitions philosophies about Africa. Do you see what I mean?

That's what its about. futurebird 14:05, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

With respect, Fururebird, you still haven't named a single author or given a specific academic context in which what you say can be ascribed to "mainstream Afrocentrism". What you are discussing here seems to me to have little to do with Afrocentrism as such. For example when you talk about studying African cultures "in the same way as other cultures" that notion could easily be applied to South American tribes, or Mongolian ones, or even to Eastern Europeans complaining that they don't get as much air time as Western Europeans. In other words it's not about centring identity and values in Africa, which is what the term Afrocentrism comes from. And yes, the term tribes is not and never has been restricted to Africans. We use it of European peoples too if they have similar social structures and kinship patterns. Replacing it with the word "nations" is maybe appropriate in some cases but not others. There's nothing unique about its application to Africans. As a matter of fact the distinction has always been recognised, and was even part of official imperial nomenclature in the 19th century when European imperial powers tried to identify different patterns and degrees of governmentality in various cultures around the world.
Again the concept of "fetishism" is not specific to Africa. It was a theory of a particular type of religious culture. It certainly derived from studing West African traditions, but it was heavily criticised as a model in the 19th century, and largely displaced by the theory of totemism - derived fom Native American cultural models! So it seems to me that what you describe is not unique or special to Africa, and so I still don't understand why you think the term Afrocentrism is appropriate when we don't call - say - an Indian who complains about excessive stress on "superstition" in India and wants India to be treated "like other cultures" an Indocentrist. Paul B 16:42, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
By the way, if you genuinely believe that there is no difference between "scholarship" and "local customs" and "superstition" and "philosophy" then we may as well give up on any form of liberal project. You can't have it both ways. Paul B 16:46, 6 November 2007 (UTC)
Here is a source for you:

That interpretation stems largely from a misreading of multiculturalism as ethnocentric. When the word multiculturalism came into vogue, critics of the movement saw no distinction between Afrocentrism and ethnocentrism, on the one hand, and multiculturalism, on the other. Controversies over public school curricula in New York City in the early 1990s clarified the distinction. In 1990 the historian of education Diane Ravitch, opposing Afrocentrism in the public schools, distinguished it from pluralism but treated both as brands of multiculturalism. Yet she noted that Afrocentrism does not embrace a common culture. That distinction should have led her to dissociate multiculturalism from Afrocentrism since the existence of common cultural ground in a society—in this case, American society—is a fundamental issue. In debate with Afrocentrics, self-identified multiculturalists such as the public intellectual Henry Louis Gates Jr. have distanced themselves from Afrocentricism by insisting that European and mainstream American culture have shaped the culture and identity of people of African descent in the New World. It was not until the fallout from the debate on Afrocentrism in public schools and higher education that one leading Afrocentric scholar, Molefi Asante, saw the advantage of repacking Afrocentrism as a form of multiculturalism. Others, such as the late John Henrik Clarke, continued to see multiculturalism as a separate movement. By the mid-1990s, the debates between Gates and Asante had distinguished multiculturalism from Afrocentrism and ethnocentrism.

This only covers what happened in the US. The word "Afrocentrism" is used today to talk about a certain kind of research with regards to history on the African continent. I'm sorry I didn't cite sources before, I thought that you just wanted me to explain the idea. I grew up with Afrocentrism in the 80s and 90s and I remember how everyone was rejecting ethnocentric ideas. Ethnocentric Afrocentrists were voted off of the board of the African American Museum in Cleveland,for example, I was just a little girl but I remember this. Multiculturalism became the new buzzword. And the new idea was that all history should have many perspectives. The people I know who call themselves Afrocentrists are essentially multiculturalists, but they use the old name to indicate that they are working on topics related to Africa and the diaspora.
Maybe we could write about the 'decline' of ethnocentric Afrocentrism? The way I look at it it served it's purpose in the time when it was most prominent. Afrocentrism along with anti-Orientalism were key forces in starting the multicultural movement in historical and cultural research. If you read Jared Diamond's books, or the whale and the super computer, or the book 1491 you'll see the influence of these ideas.
I'm not saying Afrocentrism has no flaws! I'm saying it should not just be demonized as "a bunch of nutty ideas to make the poor black folks feel better" --I know that some sources state that opinion and we should represent the fact that the opinion exists, but let's show all sides of this, OK? This article lacks dynamism, it makes Afrocentrism sound rather static, when in fact Afrocentrism keeps changing. futurebird 17:22, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

futurebird, "Afrocentric work" isn't pseudoscholarship. It's non-scholarship. It's community work, political propaganda, a spiritual quest, or what have you. Only when it begins to pretend that it is scholarship does it become pseudo-scholarship. You can't have pseudo-scholarship without the pretense of being scholarly. Just studying African history isn't Afrocentrism, it's African history. Afrocentrism by merit of its core postulate of "Africanness" is a racialist ideology on exactly the same grounds as Nordicism or any other race-based worldview. Study of a notion of "Africanness" in African-Americans is a valid topic of African-American studies: it's about a cultural identity that exists in the real-life United States. Projection of this notion into historical times is either pseudo-history (if claiming to be academic), or just ethnocentric fantasy. "asking that African cultures not be exoticsied" has nothing to do with Afrocentrism. That's just a request for neutrality and isn't anything-centric. A necessary pre-condition for Afrocentrism is an unverifiable notion of Africanness that goes beyond a pragmatic geographic division, but somehow postulates, for example, that Egyptians have a mystical connection to Bantus by virtue of being located on the same landmass. Eurocentrism is a long-dead horse. It is a hallmark of the Afrocentrist conspiracy theorist to keep unearthing 19th or early 20th century Eurocentric fallacies (which really did exist, although they were hardly ever part of the mainstream), ignoring historical criticism of Eurocentric fallacies, and creating a dishonest impression of academia as inherently Eurocentric. This is exactly parallel to the Indigenous Aryans people claiming Indologists are Eurocentric or colonialist simply to cover up the fact that they do not in fact have a case that would stand academic scrutiny. This is cheap playing of the race card. If there is any case to be made, it can be made within academia, without ideological bells and whistles. As indeed cases for "indigenous continuity" are being made within academia all the time. They just never are quite spectacular enough to match ethnocentric fantasy. History never is. dab (𒁳) 14:17, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Just studying African history isn't Afrocentrism
There is no real consensus among the sources that this is the case. And, to be honest this is the first thing I think of when I think of Afrocentricity. (Though, I would add to that "... and studying the influence of African cultures on other cultures globally.") futurebird 14:21, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Afrocentrists and the larger multicultural movement

Some sources:

  • The Importance of an Afrocentric, Multicultural Curriculum (1993) Notice the way they are paired together in this journal article. Afrocentric views are one aspect of multiculturalism.
  • African American Scholarship and the Evolution of Multicultural Education James A. Banks The Journal of Negro Education, Vol. 61, No. 3, Africentrism and Multiculturalism: Conflict or Consonance (Summer, 1992), pp. 273-286 (From the excerpts I see that it talks about the link between Afrocentric views and multiculturalism.)
  • The Canon Debate, Knowledge Construction, and Multicultural Education James A. Banks Educational Researcher, Vol. 22, No. 5, 4-14 (1993) QUOTE: "Some multiculturalists may also perceive Afrocentric ideas as compatible with a broader concept of multicultural education."
  • Cultural Wars and the Attack on Multiculturalism: An Afrocentric Critique Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 37, No. 3, 390-409 (2007) QUOTE: "The need to maintain power relationships has caused many social conservatives and the American anti-multicultural movement to engage in cultural wars. This article offers an Afrocentric critique of cultural wars and multicultural discourse in some of their contemporary manifestations. The authors make the claim that Black studies and the Afrocentric paradigm should be concerned with the connection between anti-multiculturalism, the cultural wars debate, and attempts aimed at derailing the Black studies project both inside and outside of the academy. Some contemporary challenges for the Afrocentric paradigm and its place in the multi-cultural project are discussed. The authors conclude that the burden of Afrocentricity is to define and develop African agency in the midst of the cultural wars debate." (It sounds like these Afrocentrists think of themselves as one part of a larger multicultural movement.)
  • From black aesthetics to Afrocentrism by Tejumola Olaniyan Issue 9 (2006) West Africa Review. QUOTE: "While black aesthetics argued in the name of blackness, which often intimidated and therefore short-circuited sympathies from a white public as yet not too willing to share their racial privileges, or from blacks who would rather protest in a less confrontational manner, Afrocentrism argues strategically in the name of multiculturalism, a quietly "high moral ground" agenda it shares with other American ethnicities as well as radical and activist groups able to influence public opinion."

Look at the dates on the article, you can see the way this is evolving over time. futurebird 18:23, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the sources. Of course a word like "Afrocentric" can be used in many different ways, and in some contexts may mean nothing more than "centring on Africa" in some way. Your first quotation seems to be saying that Afrocentrism and Multiculturalism were completely separate - presumably because Afrocentrism stressed that African culture is best. It then says that some Afrocentrists repackaged themselves as multiculturalists. I can see how that happened, but I still don't see what that's got to do with the issue of scholarship in the discipline of history. This seems to be about Asante's view that Afrocentrism is primarily about emphasis on "centring" African-American experience on African cultural identity, which moved from the ethnocentric position (African is best!) to the multicultural position (African is equally valid). The other articles seem to be about the same issue. I don't really follow the summary of the last two articles, but both seem to be equating Afrocentrism with the notion of political claims about the status of racio-cultural groups. In other words, valorising African history, cultue, religion etc is seen in the same context as valorising any other community's identity and history. Paul B 15:12, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

It's not so much valorizing as it it correcting for several centuries of Eurocentric scholarship. In many ways, central elements of Afrocentriam and Multiculturalism are now mainstream. Some of the things the early Afrocentrists criticized, have now been corrected and accepted. If you look at the quotes in the section on Eurocentrism you'll realize that few if any scholars have ideas like that these days. How did that transition happen? futurebird 15:27, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, that's where I think I differ, and I don't see evidence for what you say in the citations. They are not about correcting errors as such, which is a normal part of what scholarship does - or is supposed to do. Obviously it does not do so in a political vacuum, and scholars are influenced by their own assumptions and goals, but error correcting is not in itself an ideological position. All the citations you present are about an orientation towards Africa/Africanness and the political context in which that is being presented. They are pursuing a cultural-political agenda (as is their right). The comparison, I suppose, is with feminism, which also has its "lunatic" fringe, and has also moved away from the extremism of many early proponents. Likewise, the continuing usefulness of the term "feminism" is often debated. There are scholars who consider themselves to be feminists and there are scholars who simply choose to examine the social, historical and cultural ideas about women and femininity without identifying themselves as such. I don't think the transition happened because of Afrocentrism as such, precisely because exactly the same transition occurred during pretty much the same period in attitudes to other cultures without the "Xcentrism" concept, but like feminism it funtioned as a motivator and challenger. Paul B 15:38, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

So you're saying the work of Afrocentrists had nothing to do with this:

When we classify mankind by colour, the only one of the primary races...which has not made a creative contribution to any of our twenty-one civilizations is the black race. — Arnold J. Toynbee, respected 20th-century scholar, historian and author

Racist idea being debunked and rejected by most well accepted scholars? Or am I misreading you? Did people just spontaneously decided that this was wrong?

I think the comparison you draw with feminism is valid. It's another word that has been demonized and is associated too often with only the lunatic fringe of the movement. The reality is, of course, that there is a spectrum within both movements-- and much of the spectrum fuses with good scholarship and mainstream ideas. futurebird 15:49, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Oh did didn't see your last change "but like feminism it funtioned as a motivator and challenger." OK. that makes more sense. futurebird 15:54, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

Changed my mind again after your last comment. futurebird 16:15, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I rather doubt that the movement "Afrocentrism" as such was crucially significant, yes. I think it's more to do with a decine in thinking in terms of the contributions of defined "races" altogether. Incidentally, if you read the context in which Toynbee writes it's actually part of an anti-racist and anti-Eurocentric argument (hence "the only one"). The crucial point is that he is discussing the specific twenty-one civilisations of his particular model of history, and he has just spent a long time arguing against biological theories of racial hierarchy. It comes across as racist now, but in the context of the time - ie out-and-out white supremacism - he's trying to create a model that validates multiculturalism. Paul B 15:58, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I don't see how that "context" makes it any better or less racist. futurebird 16:15, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I suggest that you read the book. Also, Afrocentrism barely exists as a concept outside the US, but the same anti-racist and scholarly viewpoint became normative throught Europe. Paul B 16:26, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
I should clarify that I think there should be more on the fact that Afrocentrism is an ideology without that being portrayed as necessarily bad ('it's not scholarship. It's an ideology'), but with a sense that it is defined by particular views about cultural orienation. Do you think that's appropriate? Paul B 16:05, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
No. I don't think that works at all. Some of it could be called ideology. But a great deal is simply doing normal research that nobody else thought was important. futurebird 16:15, 9 November 2007 (UTC)
But the same could be said of feminism. That doesn't alter the fact that feminism is an ideology. Paul B 16:26, 9 November 2007 (UTC)

I've changed the language in the lead. Afrocentricity isn't generally considered ideology -- and it isn't, except among a relative few, although it may sometimes have an ideological component. deeceevoice 11:52, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

um, of course Afrocentrism is an ideology, on precisely the same grounds as any kind of ethnocentricity is ideological. dab (𒁳) 12:35, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Eurocentrism isn't described in its lead paragraph as an "ideology." It's described as being ethnocentric. Furthermore, your note here does nothing to explain your wholesale revert of my edits. Don't start edit warring here, Dbachmann. It won't be tolerated. If you make a change/revert, state your rationale. deeceevoice 12:53, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

your edit was flawed beginning to end. If you introduce controversial content, don't act surprised at being reverted. Eurocentrism is definitely an ideology just as much as Afrocentrism, what is your point? If we can agree that Afrocentrism has precisely the same flaws as Eurocentrism, why do people keep touting the one and deprecating the other? It is an ideology to perceive the world in terms of Eurocentrism pitted against Afrocentrism. To the sane mind, both ideologies are equally fringy racialist peudoscholarship. Only that Eurocentrism has been all but rooted out since the 1940s, while Afrocentrism seems to have actual proponents today. dab (𒁳) 13:06, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

And, no, we cannot agree that Afrocentrism is as flawed as Eurocentrism. This "if I'm one, then what are you?" crap is tiresome and just doesn't fly. You can't paint the entire Afrocentrist paradigm with the same, broad brush as that used to rightfully debunk and denounce unscholarly claptrap frontin' like knowledge. Among respected scholars, there is ample room for debate and contention with regard to human history -- particularly ancient human history. Deviating from commonly accepted viewpoints doesn't automatically make one an extremist or a wack-job. All it means is that person has a different interpretation of available information.

My edits were "flawed from beginning to end"? "Saying so doesn't make it so," to paraphrase your edit note here. Where's your rationale for your wholesale, block revert of my edits? That is, after all, what edit notes are for -- and this discussion page. So, let's start with the first edit I made which you reverted. It involves the placement of commas. How is it flawed, Bachmann? Come on. Out with it. It's a simple edit. Your reversion of it should be equally simple to explain. Let's have it, Bachmann. I'm waiting. deeceevoice 13:18, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Can you produce reliable, verifiable sources supporting your claims? So far, they come across as being your own personal assertions.--Ramdrake 13:10, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
And Bachmann is an administrator? God. Another one. deeceevoice 13:21, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
wait, you mean it is I who has to produce evidence that Deeceevoice's changes are not flawed? Strange, I was under the impression that the burden of establishing credibility was on the part of the editor introducing material. I am sorry, but that the fact that there is room for academic debate in some topics has nothing whatsoever to do with "Afrocentrism". Afrocentrism is an ideology or a cultural movement. Academic debate in African studies is academic debate in African studies. Why is African studies a neglected stub while everyone is intent on making Afrocentrism look as if it was something it simply isn't? dab (𒁳) 13:42, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Note: A post by Dbachmann tacked on 11 minutes later to the above post has been separated and repositioned below to more accurately reflect the nature of the discussion. deeceevoice 14:29, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

What? No response to my post yet, Bachmann? Not even an attempt at justifying the simplest revert in your block reversion of my edits? I made it easy for you. Explain the deletion of the commas. Let's stick to the issue at hand. Explain your reverts -- point by point -- just as I explained my edits when I made them. Time to put up or shut up. deeceevoice 13:50, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Deeceevoice is a well-known Afroentrist pov-pusher with no respect for Wikipedia fundamentals. It would be a waste of time to disect her edits one by one, because they are intended to be controversial. You reverted another editor. re-instating strawman illustrations. Statements like

"Some would classify her as Caucasoid. Afrocentrists dispute such a characterization as misleading and inaccurate."
are about as low as you can get in the weasling department. Who are the "some"? Do they have any credibility whatsoever or are "they" just paraded as strawmen? And who are the "Afrocentrists" who have discussed the racial classification of Alek Wek? If this isn't "flawed editing", I am afraid you must live in some parallel universe editing some parallel encyclopedia project, and this confusion is just due to dimensional flux or something. Really. If I am going to invest time in this "debate" try to show a little bit of inclination to display cognitive activity. (inserted by User:Dbachmann 13:53, 14 November 2007, repositioned by User: deeceevoice to more accurately reflect the discussion)
Gee, looks like someone's getting a little twitchy/bitchy when called to account. ;p
I suggest you try reading the supporting text, Bachmann. It's quite clear from the information provided -- as I indicated in my edit note. (Duh.)
Still no point-by-point explanation of your edits. Dunno about "dimensional flux", but I do know bullsh*t deflection when I read it. And any fool can recognize a classic ad hominem attack when they see one. Mine is a simple request. It's Wiki procedure. As an admin, I shouldn't have to school you. One more time: put up or shut up. deeceevoice 14:04, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Please don't tack on a response to an earlier post to make it seem that you actually responded to my requests for rationale -- when you didn't. Don't alter the record. deeceevoice 14:17, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
Furthermore, you examples are flimsy/don't stand up to scrutiny. I reinstated two photos deleted by Wikidudeman without adequate or appropriate justification. He simply labeled them as POV pushing, when neither was anything of the sort.
I see you're still ranting. Unfortunate. I see futurebird has removed your latest little hissy fit. Also unfortunate. It just makes it harder for others to find your intemperate comments for later possible use. Say, in an RfC, or whatever they call those things.... deeceevoice 14:25, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

(I removed that last comment because I thought it would simply cause an unproductive argument. I think we need to focus on making the article better and personal attacks like that don't help.) futurebird 14:27, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

I know/understand, fb. :) My comment is just a flag to anyone who wishes to follow the real discussion here -- just as I repositioned Bachmann's add-on to make it plain to the reader that he wasn't responding to my request for justification for his block revert of my edits. deeceevoice 14:33, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

great, dcv, now you have "repositionsed" things to the point of making it impossible for anyone to follow this. Look, if you don't want reasonable debate and npov, why don't you just spare everyone the bother and write a personal blog. This talkpage is in dire need of moderation. Editors cannot be expected to invest time in answering incoherent ramblings. dab (𒁳) 19:02, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

"Incoherent ramblings?" You just can't help yourself, eh, Bachmann? And since when is putting posts in chronological order confusing? Confusing is tampering with the talk page to give the impression you were being responsive to repeated requests -- when you clearly were not. Yep. Busted.  ;p deeceevoice 20:40, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


There are quite a few citing Edward Wilmont Blyden's African Life and Customs, but it doesn't cite which publication, as there were a couple of re-pubs since the first book. So which book do the references refer? The first pub of 1908, or later? Please use {{Cite book}} for proper formating and clarification on what citation refers for verification. Thanks. ~Jeeny (talk) 22:26, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Vast improvement

The article is looking a lot better than it was before. Great job to all of you who are working on this article. Titanium Dragon 00:58, 12 November 2007 (UTC)


... to Wikidudeman for cleaning up the cites. Dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it. deeceevoice 11:44, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Afrocentricity developed in response

Afrocentricity developed in response to the pervasive Eurocentrism members of the African diaspora and Africans under colonial rule experienced when they were exposed to European ideas of history.

Deecee, I think I can find sources to support this, but I'd rather know why you feel it's controversial first? Admittedly, I just write it off the cuff, since I thought the section needed a better intro instead of just hitting people with the quotes right away. So, how should we change it? futurebird 14:24, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Because there are so-called "afrocentrist" scholars like Ivan van Sertima who reject such a characterization of his work. He says he simply follows the historic record and interprets it as best he can, without an agenda. Presumably, the same can be said for other historians as well.
Afrocentricity as a paradigm actually began because the historical record spoke for itself. It is obvious that, examined in the clear light of day, certain truisms presented as fact by Eurocentric scholars simply were untrue -- absurd fabrications.
Afrocentricity as a movement camem later in the continuum and owes to the simple fact that there has been a tremendous broadening of educational opportunity over the last 50 years for non-Whites to study history, who have approached the study of their own peoples -- women, Latinos, Asians, East Indians -- with new eyes, greater focus, and with, perhaps, a deeper understanding of their respective cultures and history than, often, former colonizers/oppressors who assumed a sexist, "white man's burden," thoroughly Eurocentric and often blatantly racist course of human history.
Afrocentricity as an "ideology," such as it has been espoused by those who see it as a palliative to racism -- which is not a problem in and of itself if the integrity of scholarship is maintained -- orthose who have twisted/contorted it, merging it with some of the most extreme and ridiculous fabrications of Melanin Theory and other notions came later, still, with the latter of those two being on the far, outermost fringes of Afrocentrist thought and an extremely small minority.
In examining Afrocentricity as a paradigm, we should be respectful enough and open-minded enough to acknowledge the serious and dedicated scholarship of those who seriously and honestly seek to wrest from not just the racist lies of the past, but from the original historic record itself, some semblance of truth, some semblance of coherence in examining and interpreting the course of human events. Many such scholars, while their findings diverge to a significant degree, or in fundamental substance, from mainstream schoarship, are widely respected by their colleagues and others in the world academic community, even by those with whom they may disagree. In point of fact, there is substantial meeting ground between Afrocentrist scholars and mainstream scholars on a wide variety of subject matter; rather than producing controversial findings, oftentimes Afrocentrist scholars, by virtue of their areas of concentration/interest, have made important contributions to the collective storehouse of knowledge on previously neglected subjects, about which there now exists a general consensus.
Afrocentricity is not merely a reactionary phenomenon; it is at its core and most importantly a different paradigm, one by its very nature that is often and quite naturally diametrically opposed to the Eurocentrist weltanschaung in which most Westerners have been indoctrinated. Understandably, perhaps, it is often viewed as reactionary. But that is not the whole of it. Characterizing it solely in such a manner, IMO, gives it short shrift and sets the stage for precisely the kind of misapprehension on full display here -- that Afrocentrism is a crackpot enterprise, with the word itself being viewed used as a pejorative by those with little understanding of its genesis or scholarship beyond the sensationalist media fodder fed consumers, through an endless stream of electronic/digital media, many who can't locate Texas on a map, let alone Egypt -- consumers too lazy to get off their rumps to change a TV channel without the remote -- much less the capability/willingness to critically examine an issue with an open mind.deeceevoice 21:06, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

In light of your concerns I've replaced the sentence with something else that is sourced. Let me know what you think of it. I don't know if the sources all agree with your description of Afrocentricity. These are issues that we need to discuss someplace in the article. When you get back from being banned (?) let me know what you think of the new version.

Afrocentricity is not merely a reactionary phenomenon; it is at its core and most importantly a different paradigm, one by its very nature that is often and quite naturally diametrically opposed to the Eurocentrist weltanschaung in which most Westerners have been indoctrinated. Understandably, perhaps, it is often viewed as reactionary.

What sources support this? I've found sources that say that it is reactionary in the sense that if histories had not become so Eurocentric in the first place there never would have been a need for Afrocentrism. futurebird (talk) 21:53, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Those are facile assumptions that, while true in many instances, militate against the very nature of human curiousity and intellectual inquiry. If there were never any history written, people would write it eventually. One need not have been exposed to Eurocentrist lies in order to search for truth about one's people's true past. And, having been exposed to Eurocentrist lies does not mean, ipso facto, that such myths/falsehoods are the raison d'etre of someone's interest/drive to examine the original historical record and determine the truth for oneself. It's perfectly normal and natural for someone to be motivated to do so absent any outside factors. Such is the nature of the human mind and scholarly inquiry. deeceevoice (talk) 15:52, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree, too, with pointing out that knowledge changes as people accumulate more data or information and finally understand what they see, as you note is the way Van Sertima characterizes his work. The search for knowledge is a human enterprise, and perspectives (some peoples) do get changed with information.--Parkwells (talk) 13:13, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Original research in images

  • The image of the Papuans of New Guinea if Original research because it says that they "are considered black in some cultures" and there is no reference showing this to be true. That means it is original research.
  • The image of Alek Wek is original research because it says that "Some would classify her as Caucasoid". There is also no reference to this either. There is a reference from Diop claiming that proponents of the Dynastic race theory (a historical theory) assert that Dinkas are "Caucasoid" but it doesn't specify that Alek Wek is. The quote also needs to specify who "some" are and also specify that those who belief(ed) this were proponents of the historical Dynastic race theory which is no longer mainstream, if it ever was.

Wikidudeman (talk) 17:42, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

I think it would be good enough if we have sources that show that the Papuans of New Guinea are considered black in some cultures, and if we specify who said that those people are "Caucasoid" in the Wek photo's caption. With those things added, I think it's fine to use Alek Wek, it's much better to use a famous person who can be named than just an anonmyos picture of people in these kinds of cases. It would also be better if we had the names of the people from New Guinea.futurebird 18:24, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Actually, no. It obviously doesn't mean that, WDM. It simply means it requires substantiation by an acceptable, verifiable source. If you have a problem with it, then put a fact tag on it, and someone will get to it. I'm not sure I get your point about Wek. The caption states she is Dinka, and as such, hers is a suitable example to illustrate just what others are wrong-headedly calling "Caucasoid." per the Diop quote. IMO, it certainly belongs in the article. If someone wants to add something about the DRT, then fine. But it's not appropriate to arbitrarily delete it with some excuse that it's somehow POV. deeceevoice 18:32, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Unless a source is provided for the photo of the Papuans of New Guinea then it has to go. And I'll also have to change the caption from the Wek photo. Wikidudeman (talk) 18:26, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
At this point the Wek, photo is fine. But, one of the links to sources on the other photo is broken. We need to fix that. futurebird 18:43, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

My take on the reverts

First of all, I would like to encourage everyone to keep their tempers at bay and cool their exchanges. I think this talk page could use more civility right now.

Second, here's how I see the situation: it seems some editors see Afrocentrism as merely a "social movement", a politics totally disconnected from any possible connection to academic endeavor. Other see Afrocentrism (or Afrocentricity - I'm not particular about this bit of semantics) as partly a social movement, but one whose better ideas has also permeated legitimate academia, thereby changing in some measure recent views of history, among other things (and please - I'm no expert, so I may be missing things, but I'm just trying to sum up everything to everyone's benefit). Therefore, I'm wondering if any editors (surmising my appreciation of each position isn't entirely wrong) could supply additional references to substantiate exactly their position. Otherwise, I think we're doomed to suffer quite a bit more of unnecessary POV-slinging before we can sort this out. It's also possible that both are competing views of Afrocentrism, and that both shuld be presented side by side; like I said, I'm no expert. The only thing I know is that this battle about who's right and who's wrong shouldn't be allowed to continue longer.--Ramdrake 19:29, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

I was asked by Ramdrake to look at the article as an uninvolved admin, and I'm seeing a lot of uncivil behavior. Everybody needs to calm down and not violate 3RR. I'm considering protecting the article for awhile so that all of you can cool down. I'd also like to suggest that you open a mediation regarding this article, WP:MEDCAB or WP:MEDCOM may be able to help you. Again, please don't violate 3RR, it will most likely lead to you being blocked, and please discuss the matter civilly. I'm going to keep an eye on things here for awhile, please come talk to me if you have any concerns. Regards, Neranei (talk) 19:44, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't think it needs to be protected.

In response to Ramdrake: That's just the problem. Afrocentricity isn't monolithic. It has changed over time. At at any given time it has carried multiple means ranging from political concerns to the purely academic. There is plenty of material in the article to support this view and it is sourced. Read the article carefully and look at the sources that are there. I've sent out an email to a Black Studies listserv to get feedback for additional sources. As these come in I'm reading them and adding them. I think that if we sort the data by the time it was published a better image of what this topic has been over time will emerge. futurebird 19:55, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Just asking here: is it possible that Dab's vision of Afrocentrism be closer to what it might have been at its origins, and that it has evolved since? If so, could some sort of working compromise be hammered out along the lines of "Afrocentrism - then, and now"? BTW, it looks like the article's been protected for a day or two, which I don't think is too bad, considering everything.--Ramdrake 20:01, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I honestly think it should be protected, as I've seen 3 reverts from 2 parties today, and another one would most likely result in a block, setting back any hopes of a discussion. It's only been protected for 1 day, by the way. Hopefully that'll give everyone a chance to cool their heels, I don't want to have to start handing out blocks unless it's absolutely necessary. Please discuss the matter civilly. Regards, Neranei (talk) 20:03, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

I think Dbm thinks of Afrocentricity only with respect to it's most extreme claims, those extreme claims have been there all along, just as you can find astronomers who think there's life on Mars. (they have evidence! it could be true! But, it's just a side show that steals attention away from the real less glamorous scholarship.) But some of the early ideas are so basic, that it's hard to see that they were once radical now. For example the radical idea that: African people have cultures. In many ways the early work is the most "main stream" because some, but not all of the racism has gone away. In some ways as aspects of Afrocentricity are accepted and become mainstream, they lose the title "Afrocentricity" so all that remains in the real wild stuff about Egyptians with gliders. And, at this point, you can pinpoint most of that stuff to a few folks in the 70s and 80s. To some people the word just means "radical ideas about Africa" and depending on the context what is "radical" has changed. futurebird 20:15, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Cases where a term is broad or vague, can be tricky of course. There is some pseudoscholarly claptrap that falls under this term, and there's some legit stuff too. The article should present competing views of afrocentrism (insofar as they're backed up by proper sources) without authors trying to insist that they alone have the One True Definition of the term. Friday (talk) 20:22, 14 November 2007 (UTC)


The link to Kamau Kambon is to be removed. This is blatant POV. No major Afrocentric writer has ever advocated killing any race of human beings. Nuwaubianism should also be removed. It borrows from non-african traditions. If one can explain why Nuwaubianism is Afrocentric one should put it back.
"Afrocentricity, or Afrocentrism, is a controversial ethnocentric approach to the study of history which stresses the distinctive identity and contributions of African cultures to world history." (blatant POV)---change to
Afrocentricity, or Afrocentrism, is an approach to the study of history which stresses the distinctive identity and contributions of African cultures to world history.
Positive developments on article. Omniposcent 06:25, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I concur fully. Who on earth put that there? It reads like trolling. deeceevoice 11:29, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree that the word "ethnocentric" should be removed. It's not accurate to call it all ethnocentric, when there are writers who stress that ethnocentrism is not their aim. Some critics have made that charge, true, but it is hardly part of the definition. futurebird 14:06, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I added "ethnocentric" as an alternative to the characterization of Afrocentrism as an "ideology" -- which it clearly is not in its purest/truest, broadest sense. It was a word used to characterize Eurocentrism in the lead paragraph of that article (whereas "ideology" was not), and I was using it in the sense of primary focus of concern/interest, rather than a kind of inward, self-absorption/bias projected outward. But given the way others -- particularly given the rampant antagonism/antipathy toward such matters on this website -- are prone to interpret the term, I would agree. Strike it. It was an attempt at compromise, but one which ultimately does as much a disservice to the subject matter as the characterization of Afrocentrism as an "ideology". deeceevoice 15:50, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
For the record, agreed too. Strike, please.--Ramdrake 15:52, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Unprotection stipulation

I want to get this article unprotected but this can only happen if it is agreed that no edit warring will occur on it. Would you all agree to a 1 revert rule on the article? 1 revert of the same material per week. This means that if material is added and then reverted only once, no other editor can re-add it for a week. Would you all agree to this stipulation? Please sign your name here in agreement or in disagreement. Wikidudeman (talk) 15:11, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Will do

Wikidudeman (talk) 15:11, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Ramdrake 15:15, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
futurebird 15:39, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Won't do

deeceevoice 15:43, 15 November 2007 (UTC) If you want to know why, we can discuss.


Yes, I'd like to discuss, as I'd like to have a chance to change your mind if I can.--Ramdrake 15:49, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I'm trying to get this article unprotected so that we can improve it and the only way to do this is for everyone to agree never to edit war or revert war on it. This means at least the stipulations I've outlined above. Wikidudeman (talk) 15:55, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

First, WDM got off on the wrong foot by sending me a note about this, along with Wikidudeman -- and no one else -- as thought I was guilty of edit warring, when I did absolutely nothing of the sort.

Second, I've been here long enough to know how issues like this attract antagonistic and racist elements which are plentiful here on the website. They glomb on to an article and engage in tag-team edit warring, oftentimes openly handing off to other edit warriors, as if in a POV-pushing relay, in order to avoid breaking the 3RR, to block reversions as in the case of the Giza Sphinx article. Also, in contentious articles it's very easy to mistakenly break the 3RR, even while not intending to edit war at all. I know I myself have done it. Hell, I've been accused of edit warring here. Oh, yes. And "trolling". lol

So, I think the idea, though possibly well-intentioned, sux. Hay-o to the naw! ;p deeceevoice 16:00, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

If disruptive editing is encountered then we report it to ANI, we don't edit war over it anyway. If it's clearly disruptive then there is no need to edit war over it, just notify the ANI discussion board. Wikidudeman (talk) 16:05, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Not convinced. You started off wrong and not being straight up. I don't trust you or the process you propose. deeceevoice 16:12, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Give it a try, just for 2 weeks and let's see how it goes. How about that? Wikidudeman (talk) 16:13, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Your proposal assumes a naive belief that editors don't collude to gang up on a minority editorial presence (in perspective as well as ethnicity) to skew, subvert or trash/gut an article -- and I know it happens here all the time. Not on your life, WDM. And have you forgotten your antics at AAVE? I haven't. deeceevoice 16:18, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

(edit conflict)

Yes, WDM should either have sent a note to all editors involved, or not at all and just this one central note on the talk page instead, but he changed minds in the middle. I'd say he's human, and he's entitled to making a few bad calls in good faith.
Second, if you look at my contribution history, you'll see that I've been here awhile too (not as long as you, I think), and that I've been particularly active on race-related articles, fighting racist attitudes. I think I know exactly what you're referring to. And while I haven't been accused of trolling yet, I've been accused of "vandalizing" and "siding with the trolls". I'm just letting that fly; it's not worth getting upset over so little.
What I see as positive in this proposal is that it will force editors to hopefully discuss more on the talk page, and revert less. While this may not be the ideal way, I do know this: the situation as it is now isn't really tenable, nor is it productive, so soemthing needs to change. I also see that a good show of consensus towards doing the right thing to see this article reach proper NPOV will go a long way towards showing what is really NPOV on this article. However, if you feel you can suggest a better solution, I'm all ears. It's just that I personnally don't have one.
Well, that's all I can think of now. Hope it can change your mind.--Ramdrake 16:16, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
WDM didn't place the notice here until after I called him on it. And given his history -- sorry to say it -- but he's just got no credibility with me. I left him a thank-you note for his cleaning up of the article's citations, but that's about where it ends. (edit conflict) deeceevoice 16:27, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I see no other alternative deeceevoice. What would you suggest we do to get this article unprotected and improved? Realistically? Wikidudeman (talk) 16:23, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
P.S., As I've said on your talk page deeceevoice, I was in the process of sending the notice to other editors but I changed my mind midway and decided that posting it here for everyone to see made more sense. I wasn't selecting you out of the crowd for scrutiny. Wikidudeman (talk) 16:25, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

deeceevoice, I don't believe that's true. I placed the note on this page at 11:11, 15 November 2007 and your note on your talk page asking why I selected you out was on 11:21, 15 November 2007, 10 minutes later. I placed the note here before you ever asked why I only left the note to you and Dbachmann. Wikidudeman (talk) 16:30, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I decided to check the diffs and returned to find your note. You're correct. Okay. So, I buy the change of mind. But that doesn't change my other reservations. I'm not buyin' it -- for precisely the other reasons I've stated. deeceevoice 16:31, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Let's try it for just 2 weeks to see if it works. If you agree then Dbachmann would be the only one not agreeing and it would show that you at least want to try something to resolve conflicts with this article and improve it. If you don't think that my scenario will work then please explain to me an alternative. We can't do nothing and then wait for the article to be unprotected and then have it protected again due to edit warring, regardless of who is doing it or who isn't. So either let's try it for two weeks or you come up with an alternative way we can get this article unprotected and improved. Wikidudeman (talk) 16:37, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

WDM, I think your idea is a little too strict. And, I didn't see any edit warring either, people were being uncivil on the talk page, but it seemed like it was moving to the talk page, and not just reverts... and we were even getting to some kind of agreement on the images, when all of a sudden it gets blocked. (??) I still don't know why? I don't mind extra rules, I mean, I don't care, if people think that will help... but, honestly, it seems kind of silly. But, that all said, I want to move forward, I think this argument is going nowhere, regardless what the revert rules may be, the minority/majority problem will always be there, deecee. The only think we can do about it is finding good sourced information. Deecee, I sort of hope you'll give this a chance... I'm totally frustrated with all of this talk that has nothing to do with the subject of this article. I don't like this plan, either, but, whatever, if it lets us move forward I'll roll with it. K?futurebird 16:38, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Excuse me, WDM, but I don't have to do a single, freakin' thing to demonstrate my willingness to resolve conflict here. I didn't edit war. I didn't troll. I wasn't being disruptive. It seems you're pressuring the wrong individual here. Your efforts are misdirected/wasted here. I suggest you start at the source of the problem: DBachmann: "Don't start none, won't be none." deeceevoice 16:50, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

You're wrong, fb. DBachmann was clearly edit warring. His was a block revert of everything I'd done without any attempt whatsoever at justification. His antagonistic, bitchy, attitude/words expressed here on this talk page and elsewhere speak for themselves. If he stays the hell away, we'll be fine.
Frankly, I think the admin overreacted in this situation. He/She was asked to take a look at the page, and he/she responded with a block. A new admin -- and it was just plain overkill. deeceevoice 16:43, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Agree that the admin overreacted. Did DMB break 3RR? I don't feel like going through the history, but if he did then you're right about that too. He was editing agaist what seemed to be a consensus. --and WDM took up the things he didn't like on the talk page in a normal manner... hmmm...futurebird 16:52, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

The admin even went so far as to leave a 3RR warning on my page -- clearly inappropriate. Frankly, I just don't think they were paying close attention. Chalk it up to inexperience?

In answer to your question, fb, one can edit war without violating the 3RR. That's simply a guideline and a metric for enforcement. What dBachmann did was clearly edit warring, clearly arrogant, clearly disruptive. And when he didn't get his way, he got huffy and bitchy and unilaterally slapped a tag on the article two (or three?) days after another editor left a note on this page complimenting the editors for the improvements made in the article. deeceevoice 16:54, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Fb, if you think WDM's idea is "too strict," and if you agree that the admin jumped the gun, then why are you still signed on? (edit conflict) deeceevoice 17:10, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

That bothered me too, and he's not been back to explain that tag. (?) We were making progress. Trying to address concerns as they came up. But yeah, I looked at the edit history and the only reason why I think you get a "warning" too was because of your comments on the talk page. The admin saw the heated discussion and assumed that you were edit waring-- futurebird 17:05, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Actually, if memory serves, after I changed his edits, WDM replaced Bachmann's tag -- after I removed it with the objection that it was done unilaterally. In either case, there wasn't any discussion about affixing a tag. It seemed the two, WDM and Bachmann, were feeding off, supporting one another. (You see why I don't have any faith in the guy?) (edit conflict) deeceevoice 17:15, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm doing this because I want to move forward, and I can work with it if it makes people feel better. I'm flexible. I think WDM has good intentions, even if we don't agree about a heap of things. :P futurebird 17:14, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

My experience with WDM has been completely different. I'm skeptical of the entire Wiki process -- and with good reason. I ain't buyin' in. I ain't taking the Blue Pill. ;p deeceevoice 17:18, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
I never added or removed any tags, nor did I ever revert anything that was previously reverted. See the history. Wikidudeman (talk) 17:19, 15 November 2007 (UTC)
Yep. My bad. Guess I do need some sleep. It was Bachmann who placed the tag there and then reinserted it. As soon as the lock expires, it should go. I'm still remembering AAVE, though, WDM -- and the fact that, based on your comments here, you don't seem to know the difference between when something needs citation and when something is POV. ;| (edit conflict) deeceevoice 17:26, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, but I might have done that. It bugs me when tags get removed without a reason and there were all of the deletions that WDM made that you put back-- I think he had a point in a few cases, but was overzealous in removing things. But, we're addressing that, right? BTW, do you have a source for that photo? The link to the "DNA TREE" is dead so it needs a source. I don't know, what's the worst that can happen? An edit war stars and the article is protected again? Let's move on... WDM has a POV but he's nota "pusher" (everyone has a POV IMHO) futurebird 17:24, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

"WDM has a POV but he's nota "pusher" -- that's almost funny. Presumably, you're speaking about his actions here and here only. If you'd experienced his stubborn, anti-scholarly antics at AAVE, you'd think differently. It certainly negatively impacted his bid for adminship. (And, no, I don't intend to keep bringing it up, rubbing salt in a wound. WDM is as entitled as Rob what's-his-face to try to make a new start.)
Don't know about the photo. I didn't upload it and didn't place it in the article. Certainly, there must be some free images of Papuans around here somewhere! I know there are at least two that were used in the article Black people a while back. If they're not still there, they should be in the edit history. That's an easy one. deeceevoice 17:30, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

(edit conflict)

To address a thing or two from this section: we could also agree not to remove anything that looks unsourced until the editor who put it there has a chance to fish up a proper source. Also, we could agree to discuss anything that looks OR prior to removal to ensure everybody's on the same page. As far as the adin actions on this page are concerned, I'm the one who asked her to take a look at the page, and she did indeed see several reverts, plus a particularly heated argument on the talk page. She warned the parties to stop reverting (possibly the only reason she didn't warn me was that I brought the situation to her attention in the first place, but I'll be the first to admit I should have gotten one along with the lot of you). So, recent admin, sees an edit war, wants to d the right thing without blocking anyone (as she's unfamiliar with the situation), so she warns everyone in sight and protects the article for a minimum span of time (protection should be up in a few hours). I totally understand that. Now, we all have our reservations about this, but I think the only way to move forward is to get out of our individual comfort zones and start compromising to some degree about how to get out of this problem. What say all of you?--Ramdrake 17:37, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

I know you called in the admin, Ramdrake. I looked it up. And, no. She didn't warn "everybody in sight." And she accused me of being close to violating the 3RR rule, which I wasn't. Furthermore, getting out of our "comfort zones"? Hell, I stay laid-back. And I'm fine with the way things are. And unless and until WDM engages the unruly, hostile DBachmann, the cause of this silly situation, at length about this the way he's bugging me to go along to get along, then I got absolutely nothing more say on the matter. This whole thing is bogus. II intend to keep on editing the way I have been, improving the article and acting in good faith. You guys can do whatever floats your boat. deeceevoice 18:26, 15 November 2007 (UTC)

As the admin in question, I stand by my action. I was asked to take a look at the talk page and the history, and I saw two people close to violating 3RR. I informed both of them of this, as I highly doubt that they would want to be blocked for 3RR, and it was fair to give warning. Deeceevoice, you had reverted 3 times within 24 hours. One more revert would have gone over the limit; I personally define that as close. I didn't mean that unkindly, I simply meant to inform you. I also protected the page for 24 hours to halt the edit war so that no one would violate 3RR and be blocked, thus forestalling necessary discussion. That is all I meant. Ramdrake, I considered your message an admission that you were violating it, and thus didn't see it as necessary to warn you. The protection should be done by now, anyways. Thanks for your time/comments. Regards, Neranei (talk) 00:41, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Question for Futurebird

Just read your edits, look good to me, but pray tell, what is the difference between African studies and Africana studies? Care to enlighten me? Thx!--Ramdrake 13:21, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I know, the words, get a little crazy, do they! Africana studies, as I understand it, relates to the African diaspora so, African Americans, Afro Cubans, etc. on the other hand 'African studies' studies are about Africa. (I think) though, the African American studies page makes it sound like Africana studies are just another name for African American studies... I think that is wrong, but I need to find some sources. futurebird 13:54, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Africana Studies covers the African diaspora and Africa itself. See, e.g.,, which says that Africana Studies "provides students with a comparative perspective in their approach to the study of the histories, politics, cultures and experiences of peoples of African origin." --Akhilleus (talk) 15:58, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. I did some work trying to fix the links on those pages. -- futurebird (talk) 19:56, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

sourced quote

Where should this quote go? I don't think we need it. My reasoning is he's talking about race in biological terms and the concern of nearly every Afro centrist is cultural influence, not race. Ideas? futurebird 14:53, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Removed from the section on race

Such results however, are generally misleading. Many scholars have noted the fallacies of typological thinking as it concerns indigenous eastern African populations. The inhabitants of East Africa right on the equator have appreciably longer, narrower, and higher noses than people in the Congo at the same latitude, features that are sometimes erroneously labeled "Caucasoid". However, such features have always been indigenous to Saharo-tropical African and many anthropologists point out that there's nothing to suggest that these populations are closely related to "Caucasoids" of Europe and western Asia.[2] Indeed, genetic analyses have indicated that Somali people in particular, are overwhelmingly indigenous. The male Somali population is a branch of the East African population − closely related to the Oromos in Ethiopia and North Kenya − with predominant E3b1 cluster lineages that were introduced into the Somali population 4000−5000 years ago, and that the Somali male population has approximately 15% Y chromosomes from Eurasia and approximately 5% from other parts of sub-Saharan Africa. Thus, determining that Somalis and those in the Horn of Africa are of the Elongated African type.[3] Similarly, Ethiopians are found to share maternal lineages in common with both sub-Saharan Africa and Eurasia. Both Ethiopians and Yemenis contain an almost-equal proportion of Eurasian-specific M and N and African-specific lineages.[4]However, even these results may prove misleading since a great number of geneticists cite M1 lineages as being native to and emerging in Ethiopia some 60,000 years ago.[5]

This long discussion of DNA, and the length of Caucasoid noses isn't related to Afrocentricity. The sources say nothing about Afrocentricity. Including this paragraph may be original research. (and to be honest I don't know what point it is trying to make?) futurebird 15:10, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

If that isn't relevant then neither is any mention on African racial characteristics in that section. What you removed was a counter to the opinions by Risch and Brace. It would be POV not to include information that disagrees. If information saying that East Africans aren't Caucasoid is not relevant than neither is information saying that they are. Wikidudeman (talk) 15:16, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I thought that was oK because it was an example of what the Diop quote was talking about. The point of this section isn't to answer questions about DNA or race, it is to explain what the Afrocentrists were objecting to when they objected to the definitions of race at the time. But we should show that these view are not around as much anymore. So we should add part of it back. futurebird 15:31, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

It all needs to be phrased differently then. It can't be phrased as "This is a fact (source)" but rather "Afrocentrists believe that..(source)". Wikidudeman (talk) 15:48, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Where do you see this problem? futurebird 15:53, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Firstly, It says "According to Neil Risch of Yale "East African groups, such as Ethiopians and Somalis, have great genetic resemblance to Caucasians and "are clearly intermediate between sub-Saharan Africans and Caucasians"." Then it says: "Today, in agreement with the Afrocentric view, many anthropologists point out that there's nothing to suggest that these populations are closely related to "Caucasoids" of Europe and western Asia.". So which is it? Are Ethiopians and Somalis genetically similar to Caucasians or are they not? The second sentence gives the impression that it is contemporary and the previous ones aren't yet the one from Risch is about 3 decades more recent than the second one. Wikidudeman (talk) 16:17, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Okay, that's my mistake. Let me see if I can fix the wording. futurebird 16:30, 16 November 2007 (UTC)


We're retreading old ground. This is getting far too much into the argument about the ethnicity of the ancient Egyptians, which is another article. There should be some reference to this debate, but that's it.
But, FYI, here's the deal. The view that, IMO, makes the most sense is that some Ethiopians and Somalis and Kenyans (because they are also diverse phenotypically) have physical characteristics that have been described as "Caucasoid." The huge, honking problem with this is that they are indigenous to Africa. They are called "Caucasoid" simply because it suits the agenda of those who would try to claim dynastic Egypt as a non-black civilization. Chief among these so-called "Caucasoid" characteristics is the lack of, or lack of substantial, prognatism. But the fact is Senegalese and other indigenous Africans also lack prognathism. Yet, curiously, there has been no rush by these same anthropologists/Egyptologists to label the people of Senegal "Caucasoid." Why? Because there's nothing to be gained from doing so -- not to mention they would be, figuratively speaking, be laughed out of the room.
The fact of the matter is the physical characteristics exhibited by the peoples of tne Nile region -- again, some Ethiopians and some Somalis and Sudanese and some Kenyans as well as some Nubians (limited prognathism; relatively straight, fine hair) that deviate from the so-called "true Negro/Negroid" or "Equatorial African" (coarse, very curly hair; wide nasal index, dolichocephalic, full lips, etc., etc.) are merely expressions of the natural biodiversity of indigenous Africans, much as the Bantu, Khoisan, pygmies differ among themselves and from very tall, gracile, Nilotic peoples, such as the Tutsi and the Dinka. It makes no more sense to separate them out from other indigenous blacks of the African continent than it does to separate out the Khoisan because of the women's steatopygia and genitalia, or their epicanthic eyefolds, or Nilotic (used here in the phenotypical sense, rather than the geographic sense) peoples, because of their gracile stature; or, to separate out the Sherpa from other Asian peoples because of their substantial physical and physiological adaptations to their high-altitude environment.
DNA analysis suggests that those groups singled out by some anthropologists as "Caucasoid" are actually proto-Caucasoid. That is, it is primarily those peoples who migrated out of the Horn into parts east and west, who gave rise eventually to that branch of humanity we call Caucasians -- hence, the phenotypical similarities. And that is why Afrocentrists -- backed by mainstream scholarship in this matter -- argue that the tag "Caucasoid" is a deliberately misleading misnomer, one used to appropriate African culture/history by those who twist the language to suit a Eurocentric paradigm. There is no so-called "Mediterranean race." It is a fallacy. The brown-skinned "Mediterranean race" is actually comprised of indigenous, black Africans. And calling the father (proto-Caucasoid blacks) after the son (Caucasians), "Caucasoid," runs counter to all known naming conventions. Africans should be described/classified according to their geographic origin (Africoid), just as Europeans (Caucasoid) and Asians (Mongoloid) are named after theirs. User: deeceevoice 14:58, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Role of Ancient Egypt

In the last paragraph here and in other places, the article sets up Arnold Toynbee as a great Eurocentric person to do battle with. This weakens the article. First of all, the Wikipedia article on him shows that he wasn't that influential, and secondly, he did his major work before 1961. He doesn't seem that significant.---- Parkwells (talk) 19:26, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. Wikidudeman (talk) 19:27, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

This is one of the reasons that I'm trying to reframe this article in such a way that it shows how Afrocentricity has changed over time. The criticisms of toynbee require historical context. (I also think this section is just way too long.) But in general I agree. -- futurebird (talk) 20:37, 16 November 2007 (UTC)


The article would be more substantive if it dealt with sources and criticism other than Time magazine. It doesn't represent scholarly work, but rather the effort to make ideas more sensational for popular consumption.---- Parkwells (talk) 19:26, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. Wikidudeman (talk) 19:27, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

What source would you suggest? Time isn't the only one mentioned. I shortened the emphasis on the Time article, are you saying we should remove it? I think it's fine, these ideas aren't just academic, the public perception if the ideas is also a part of the story. I had some criticism from an Afrocentrist of Afrocentrism that deeceevoice removed, perhaps we should put it back? Let me find it so both of you can weigh in on this. -- futurebird (talk) 20:40, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Cain Hope Felder, a supporter of Afrocentric ideas writes that it is important for Afrocentrists to avoid certain pitfalls.[6] These include:

  • Demonizing categorically all white people, without careful differentiation between persons of goodwill and those who consciously perpetuate racism.
  • Adopting multiculturalism as a curricular alternative that eliminates, marginalizes, or vilifies European heritage to the point that Europe epitomizes all the evil in the world.
  • Gross over-generalizations and using factually or incorrect material is bad history and bad scholarship.[6]

Here it is, should we restore it? -- futurebird (talk) 20:45, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I;m adding this back post any objections here. -- futurebird (talk) 22:09, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I deleted this section because I found it offensive. It is an affront to any serious student of history, let alone scholarly Afrocentrists. If it is restored, take care to place it where it belongs -- in the section treating the lunatic fringe -- because it is to that group only that such rudimentary, commonsense/"duh" advice has any possible useful application. deeceevoice (talk) 15:13, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

That's where it is. There seem to be a fair number of people who don't "get" that many Afrocentrists are serious and that Afrocentrists are also disturbed by bad scholarship. I know what you mean, though. It's really BASIC stuff and a little silly that it needs to be said at all.futurebird (talk) 15:28, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

Let's keep this simple. The opening paragraph needs to be edited, because it gives no specific context for "Afrocentrism". Afrocentrism is something that is relevant in Africa - as the definition says African issues should be central. If it is not within Africa, it is racial supremacy, commonly known as racism and therefor demands a much less idealistic style. As the only white person who seems to acknowledge that black people can be racist too (usually more so) I will be the one to step up and tell you that this article should be treated with more skepticism. Unless, of course, it is a phenomenon wholly confined to Africa, in which case it is perfectly and, in my opinion, totally justified. But then the article needs a rewrite.

80s and 90s

This section starts with a lengthy quote that appears to be suggesting it's the current state of Afrocentric thinking, but the author isn't identified, nor are we told on the page (not in the reference) why we should pay attention to this person - what is his role? Why should we care? Similarly, Kunjufu is noted later in the section, but not why we should pay attention to him. You need to help out all readers, not just those who might already be familiar with the topic. ---- Parkwells (talk) 19:36, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. Wikidudeman (talk) 19:37, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree, but I don't have answers to your question as I'm still looking through the sources. I put the quote there, rather than delete it (it is sourced) becuse it was from the 90s. Simple as that. If you want to write an intro, or remove it it's fine with me. -- futurebird (talk) 20:48, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Chancellor Williams - Although his book was noted in this section of "80s and 90s", it turned out he first published the book in 1971, which puts it in a much different timeframe/context. I don't know how much he added to it in the years in between the first and second version, which was published in 1987, according to the note. That's nearly a generation of life and thinking. He was born in the 19th c., so was shaping his book from an earlier mindset.---- Parkwells (talk) 22:41, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I bought Williams' work when it first came out in 1971. About the subsequent edition, I believe I recall hearing him say that edition contained more copious citations/documentation in response to reader/critic requests. I believe another edition may have come out that is titled something like The Destruction of Black Civilization: Great Issues of a Race, (prehistoric date) - 2000. Williams, I think, passed in the '90s, though, so I'm not sure under what circumstances that version was reissued/re-edited or whatever. deeceevoice (talk) 19:54, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
The note in the article refers to the 1987 edition. I just added the comment because of reading more about him and noting the first edition in 1971 - which made me wonder if he should have been included with earlier scholars, as he probably represented their thinking more than that of the late 1980s. I dont' have an opinion.--Parkwells (talk) 20:23, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I still have the book, so I'll go back to the article when I return after Thanksgiving and see how these writers are characterized. Williams' book was trailblazing, and I always got the impression the second edition of TDBC hadn't changed significantly from the first, as I stated above. But I'll let you know. deeceevoice (talk) 03:04, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I moved him back to the 70s, if he was still a big deal in the 80s and 90s we can mention him again. Let us know when you take a look at the book deecee, if it seems significantly updated, and worth mentioning. (could help to show how the focus shifted over time... or not) futurebird (talk) 03:42, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Early 19th and 20t c

In noting the work of Drusilla Dunjee Houston, the section doesn't say anything about how her work has held up. Is it supposed to be substantive, as Du Bois' was, or an inspirational assessment/personal meditation on what that civilization might have been like? Scholars are always looking over and revising past opinions. When I looked up information about Houston, this site <> noted that Houston didn't include any notes or bibliography with her work. So, can it be considered a contribution to historical thinking? A contemporary scholar is trying to add those sections for republication. ---- Parkwells (talk) 19:47, 16 November 2007 (UTC)


The fact that 19th c. scholars made mistakes (as in directions of migration movements out of or into Africa) doesn't always mean that they were totally biased and always had evil intent. There were many mistakes made by 19th c. scholars. Aren't there any critics who note that some of the proponents of Afrocentrism are sounding a lot like the original biased Europeans themselves? That point of view doesn't appear here. Surely we can do better than an attempt to get rid of "all European and Arab influences" and focus on "Africa only", whatever that is supposed to mean. If people study history, linguistics, archeology or art, or almost anything seriously, it becomes obvious that peoples were always on the move (at least traders and marauders were), trading languages, arts, foods, sex, etc. for tens of thousands of years. There weren't those simple separations. Yes , from family to tribe to clan, each group likes to claim it is the center of the universe, and we all see the world through a screen. ---- Parkwells (talk) 20:10, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Perhaps adding the text I posted in your thoughts on the criticism section will help with this. However, I have to say I don't agree that "scholars made mistakes" is the right way to frame this. There has been a lot of resistance to the idea of African agency and civilization early on. Most of it has dissipated, but it was real, it was necessary to justify the slave trade and a part of the colonial world-view. -- futurebird (talk) 20:52, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Didn't mean to oversimplify.--Parkwells (talk) 21:58, 18 November 2007 (UTC)


There was no note taken of the fact that the person calling for a return to true Africa - language, culture, government, etc. got a master's at Catholic U. in Washington, DC and practices as a priest in Charleston, West VA. Does that affect (or should it?) what we think of his views? How does he explain his decision to work in the US instead of Nigeria? Does he tell American children to return to true African values? Some of these views sound a lot like the resistance to change by nativist Americans in the early 20th c. US, as society was changed by major population movements within the country, and major new groups of immigrants to it. When do Afrocentrists define the "true Africa"? how do you keep that from changing? Societies (and individuals) go through cycles of renewal and trying to reach back to past values, but they can't hold back change.---- Parkwells (talk) 20:20, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Tagged that section as POV - surely there's undue weight being given to his views, in addition to blatantly POV endorsement. Wikipedia is not here to advocate for him! Quite apart from the lamentable lack of sourcing. Moreschi If you've written a quality article... 21:40, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Please feel free to add better, more numerous sources.---- Ramdrake (talk) 22:00, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Moreschi, I understand you concerns about the first paragraph, but in what way is the rest of the section NPOV? -- futurebird (talk) 22:08, 16 November 2007 (UTC)
Good heavens, if you couldn't see my concerns about the first paragraph, I would be really worried :)
Some people seem to be confused about my role here - I'm not going even to try to add new content - for one thing I'm not competent to do so in this area, and even if I were, I haven't got the relevant reference material to hand - I'm simply here to take pot-shots from the side, and perhaps remove now and again material that so grotesquely fails Wikipedia policy that even I can spot it (so, then, that's most of the article).
Now that section. In addition to the laughably bad first paragraph, the second paragraph seems almost completely off-topic (as the final argumentative sentences implicity admits. Nice try!) The third para also has an implicit bias ("racist Eurocentric ideas about history", ", European history commonly receives more attention within the academic community than...) - cites, please? The fourth para I also feel uncomfortable with, as it fits in with the general POV tone of the article, that Afrocentrism is simply a nice cuddly warm multicultural movement (and, hey, dude, everyone likes multiculturalism, right?), rather than Something Else. Moreschi If you've written a quality article... 22:20, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

I've made some changes that I hope makes it more clear that the views expressed are those of some Afrocentrists. There defiantly was one sentence in there that need to be qualified. I honestly see nothing wrong with the last paragraph, it's what the sources say, and it says that that is how some of them describe the movement. It's not like it just says "Afrocentrism is multicultural" it says "some Afrocentrists view the movement as multicultural" you can't really dispute that. How is that POV? -- futurebird (talk) 22:40, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Moreschi, if you're going to continue to sit in judgment on the well-intentioned work of the editors here, then it would be helpful if you would adopt a tone that does not mock their contributions, that is not snide, condescending or patronizing. Show some common courtesy, please. deeceevoice (talk) 03:10, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

Lead paragraph

Given the conflicts here I won't make any edits to the article itself just yet. But I do have two suggestions to make the lead paragraph more NPOV.

(1)"Therefore, Afrocentricity is a paradigmatic shift from a European-centered history to an African-centered history."

Before "Afrocentricity," add "they view" and change the "is" to "as" (or find some other way to make identify whose view this is.

(2)"The ideas of some Afrocentrists have been called pseudohistorical by Western mainstream scholars, especially claims regarding Ancient Egypt. Contemporary Afrocentrists may view the movement as multicultural rather than ethnocentric."

I think that in between these two sentences you need another sentence attributing to someone the view that Afrocentrism is ethnoicentric. Doing this would add another (critical) view. But unless you add something like this, the subsequent sentence is a non-sequitor. It seems like there are two distinct criticisms of Afrocentrism:first, that it is pseudohistory, second, that it is ethnocentric. These may be related criticisms but I think they are still distinct criticisms. Slrubenstein | Talk 11:45, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Thank you. I took care of #1. I'm not knowledgable enough for the others. But, I agree with you %100 above, and especially that another sentence is needed between the two views. I just don't know what that is. BTW, good to see you Steve! Missed you. :) ~Jeeny (talk) 12:10, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

analysis of the topic/organization of the article

Would it make sense to distinguish between Afrocentrism as a social movement and as an intellectual movement? I know that they are connected but based on admittedly limited knowledge I thought that civic and political leaders, compared to academics, often have different agendas and are subject to different kinds of criticisms. Slrubenstein | Talk 11:48, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

In addition to social and intellectual, there is also a political aspect. I was going to include that when I added that it was a cultural movement. But, I didn't want to go there as it may be considered original research. ~Jeeny (talk) 12:17, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that he article gets more confused and barely legible by the day. It is not constructed in such a way as to give a clear account of the development of Afrocentrist ideas. Almost every sentence reads as argumentative and evasive rather than designed for clarity. As I've repeatedly pointed out the article gives no sense that that Afrocentrism is an idelogical model (or 'paradigm' if you prefer) that was constructed to provide diaspora Africans (mainly, in fact, African-Americans) with a model of cultural identity centred in Africa. The Encyclopedia Britannica is much much clearer about this:
Afrocentrism also called Africentrism: cultural and political movement whose mainly African American adherents regard themselves and all other blacks as syncretic Africans and believe that their worldview should positively reflect traditional African values. The terms Afrocentrism, Afrocology, and Afrocentricity were coined in the 1980s by the African American scholar and activist Molefi Keti Asante...
The concept of Afrocentrism has been fundamentally about centring identity in concepts of Africanness. It has, as part of that model, sought to emphasise the positive achievements of African cultures in history and of African relgious and other traditions. But unless we make it clear that these different views about Africa emerge from this model we will not be able to properly place both the more extreme and more reasonable things that people who label themselves Afrocentrists say. The model should be feminism. Feminists have said some downright mad things, and some very dubious things, but have also said many, many sensible things. Scholars who research women in history or social life may or may not see themselves as 'feminists'. But feminism is a persepctive, ideology or paradigm, whatever word one prefers, and that's the central defining feature of it. If we are clear about that then the history and the contemporary debates should fall into place. Paul B (talk) 12:23, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Paul: that Afrocentrism is an idelogical model or ('paradigm' if you prefer) that was constructed to provide diaspora Africans (mainly, in fact, African-Americans) with a model of cultural identity centred in Africa

That's not the primary purpose and certainly not the only purpose. Afrocentrists would argue that Afrocentricity is just as important for people of all races/ethnicities who want to understand African history and the diaspora. For example, the Afrocentric method as can be used in researching African indigenous culture. (See: Using the Afrocentric Method in Researching Indigenous African Culture Queeneth Mkabela The Qualitative Report Volume 10 Number 1 March 2005 178-189 )

Metaphors of location and dislocation are the principal tools of analysis as research situations and researchers are seen as displaying various forms of centeredness. To be centered is to be located as an agent instead of as "the Other." Such a critical shift in thinking means that the Afrocentric perspective provides new insights and dimensions in the understanding of African indigenous culture, in a multicultural context.

So, in other words, it's a method for getting more accurate higher quality research. Or, at least, that's the goal. This isn't about feelings.

The therapeutic aspect of Afrocentricity for members of both African and Diaspora communities (it's not just about African Americans) is not, by any means, the only objective. I added some information about how, in the 80s and 90s, the therapeutic idea was in vogue, it was mostly conservative Afrocentrists who didn't even see the connections between Diaspora cultural developments like Hip Hop and African culture. I'd guess that not many Afrocentrists even agree with that idea anymore. (In fact they are more likely to look for Manifestations of Afrocentricity in Rap Music See: Howard Journal of Communications, Volume 13, Issue 1 January 2002 , pages 59 - 76) To say that African Americans are culturally poor is just as bad as the early Eurocentrists who found Africans culturally poor. So, it would be incorrect to represent the movement as primarily therapeutic and only for African Americans.

Though, I do understand you concern that it won't be clear that ideas are coming from certain sources and perspectives, though that is remedied easily enough by simply mentioning the source. I agree that the feminism article could be a good model. I think it is the correct approach to try to place most of the ideas in to a historical time-line for context. futurebird (talk) 13:31, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

"That's not the primary purpose and certainly not the only purpose. Afrocentrists would argue that Afrocentricity is just as important for people of all races/ethnicities who want to understand African history and the diaspora." I said it was constructed for the purpose I stated, not that every person who now uses the word Afrocentrism always intends that. Furthermore this is clearly what the EB says. It's not the fountain of all truth, but I don't think you can dismiss the EB definition out of hand simply because you don't like it. Asante's model is clearly about African diaspora identity. He created the concept (though its roots are older) and yet he is barely mentioned in the current article. You seem to want redefine Africentrism according to your personal view of what it is, or what it has become. If you are redefining Afrocentrism to mean simply "objective scholarship about Africa and disapora African identity", then this vacates the word of any meaning and effectively allows one to block out both the problematic aspects of the tradition and what distinguishes it from exactly the same developments in relation to non-African cultures. The quotation you give is entirely consistent with what I said, and what the EB says, but, oddly, not, I think, with what you claim it says. The quotation is about "centredness", just as I said. It is arguing that claiming such "centerdness" helps to achieve objectivity. Of course one could just as well say that objectivity is best achieved by decenteredness, or even alienation from the culture being analysed. It's an arguable point. But what is distinctively Afrocentric about the argument is the claim that "centreredness" in African culture is crucial. That what makes the arguement Afrocentric scholarship rather than just standard trying-to-be-objective scholarship. That is exactly why we need to explain these concepts which define Afrocentrism, but what are currently barely present in the article. Paul B (talk) 13:49, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
The quotation is potentially useful to include, say in comparison to the rather more extreme claims of Hoskins, but I suggest that it should bpart of a wider discussion of this concept of centredness and the scholarly and political claims made for it. Also, all the stuff from Hume and others is really really marginal. We all know that many Western intellectuals though Africans were inferior. We don't need great chunks of text repeating the same point. Paul B (talk) 14:16, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

"You seem to want redefine Africentrism according to your personal view of what it is, or what it has become."

Paul, that's not my intention. I am concerned that the article will fail to show the many forms that Afrocentricity takes by making blanket statements about its purpose, this would not agree with some of the sources. These sources happen to be the most recent (post 2000) publications that discuss Afrocentricity. That's why I made the section called "contemporary" What I'm gathering from my research is that Afrocentricity has changed significantly. Ethnocentric Afrocentricities need to be placed in context. Therapeutic Afrocentricities need to be placed in context. Don't leave anything out, but also don't describe Afrocentricity as if it was just one thing, and we describe ideas that are no longer in circultion we need to make it clear that they come from a time period that may have influenced their content and approach.

But what is distinctively Afrocentric about the argument is the claim that "centreredness" in African culture is crucial."

Yes, exactly, do you know if there is much controversy about this approach when dealing with African people? (I don't know off hand.)

If you are redefining Afrocentrism to mean simply "objective scholarship about Africa and disapora African identity", then this vacates the word of any meaning and effectively allows you to block out both the problematic aspects of the tradition and what distinguishes it from exactly the same developments in relation to non-African cultures.

I don't want to get too sidetracked and philosophical, but isn't the closet thing you can get to objective scholarship an amalgamation of multiple perspectives, since every history is written with some perspective or "center"? Hence a multiculturalist historian who agreed with my last statement would say that the Afrocentric method is a necessary part of complete scholarship and without it the picture is incomplete less accurate and objective. What I have just stated is a view of the place of Afrocentricity-- I think we should represent this view. (along with others, if we have sources for them)


The quotation is potentially useful to include, say in comparison to the rather more extreme claims of Hoskins, but I suggest that it should bpart of a wider discussion of this concept of centredness and the scholarly and political claims made for it.

Okay, sounds fair.

Also, all the stuff from Hume and others is really really marginal. We all know that many Western intellectuals though Africans were inferior. We don't need great chunks of text repeating the same point.

I don't know if people know that. I think it's really important to include it because it helps people to understand why there had to be a whole movement-- It adds context. But, I'll see what the other editors think. futurebird (talk) 14:23, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

I think the context of European racial theories should be in the history section. Hume is completely irrelevant, since he is simply expressing a suspicion that Africans may be inferior. It's easy to find much more confident and definite statements that they are inferior, belonging to the period when the precursors of Afrocentrist ideas start to emerge in reaction to such views. The 1911 EB is full of such statements. The scientific racism article has many sources. Paul B (talk) 15:36, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

PaulB and Futurebird provide distinct views as to the origins and functions of Afrocentrism. Can both agree that any view supported by a verifiable source should be represented in the article? In some cases it is not either/or but this and that (because Wikipedia is concerned not with "the truth" but with all notable views). That said, I would ask if PaulB can provide other sources besides EB. We are engaged in the same endeavor as the authors of EB - writing an encyclopedia. We have an NOR and V policy because our articles are only as good as their sources. In this spirit, I think the value of an EB article is not that it claims that Afrocentrism exists for reason x, but that their article hopoefully has a list of sources we can draw on ourselves. If the EB article does not provide its sources, well, then I am not satisfied using it as an authoritative source for a notable view. If EB were the definitive encyclopedia, then there would be no point at all to our working on a competing project. I am not dismissing the view PaulB wants included in this article. I am saying that if it is a truly notable view then we should be able to cite better sources than EB, I mean, books published by academic presses or articles in peer-reviewed journals.

Now, let's say that PaulB and Futurebird have plenty of sources to show that Afrocentrism emerged in part as a cultural expression of the African diaspora, and in part as a movement in academia to correct a Eurocentric bias (I happen to know this is true because i know Martin Bernal, retired professor of Near Eastern studies and author of Black Athena who is not only not black, he is very proud of his Irish heritage; his book is explicitly an example of the view Futurebird invokes). Can we go back to my point bout the organization of this article? My question is, instead of talking about "Afrocentrism" might it not make more sense to talk about "Afrocentrisms" i.e. a set of related, at times intersecting or overlapping, but nevertheless diverse (in origins, proponents, propositions, functions and objectives) movements? If so, could this article be better-organized to make this clear 9and to lay out for editors areas that need more work)? Slrubenstein | Talk 15:06, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Martin Bernal has never, as far as I know, described himself as an Afrocentrist. Asante's book Afrocentricity is the source of the term. As so often, the problem is in part that different authors use the term in different ways. Stephen Howe's book Afrocentrism: Mythical Pasts and Imagined Homes is probably the best known book which discusses Afrocentrism as essentially tied to disaporia African identity, as its title indicates. Paul B (talk) 15:46, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I concede I may be wrong. However, I did not mean to suggest that Bernal claims to be an Afrocentrist, only that his book has been used by Afrocentrists. I believe (yes, I could be wrong, no I do not have any sources handy) that his book was accused of Afrocentrism. I thought the book had entered into (i.e. has been mentioned) by people debating Euro- and Afro-centrism. Even if Bernal himself does not claim to be an Afrocentrist, the book itself can reveal things about Afrocentrism IF it is refered to by people who self-identify as Afrocentrists or are accused of Afrocentrism. PaulB, are you satisfied that Howe's views are adequately represented in the article? Futurebird and others - are you satisfied that Howes' views are clearly represented as his views and not as "the truth?" If so then can both PaulB and Futurebird agree we are together moving towards full NPOV compliance? What are other areas of concern? Slrubenstein | Talk 15:59, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Oh yes, the book has been called Afrocentrist, that's for sure. It's one of the targets of Lefkowitz's famous critique ("Not Out of Africa: How Afrocentrism Became an Excuse to Teach Myth As History"). There are may sources - both pro and anti which define Afrocentrism in terms of disapora identity-politics. The analogy with feminist hsitorys as liberatory/ideological scholarship is evidenced in articles such as Kershaw's Afrocentrism and the Afrocentric Method in the Journal of Black Studies, 1992, which states that "African-American studies is a necessary discipline if Afrocentric scholars are to be generated who have a commitment to being scholar activists." Paul B (talk) 16:08, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
Lefkowitz' book is evidence enough that Bernal has been said to be an Afrocentrist; I've read at least one article by an Afrocentrist that says that Bernal isn't one. I'll try to dig up the cite later; I think the Bernal stuff is relevant to this article, since it seems important to many Afrocentrists to claim Egypt as a "Black" civilization. --Akhilleus (talk) 16:04, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
As far as I am aware we are not working on a "competing project" to the EB. Our aim s not to provide some alternative view to the EB. There are still quite number of articles that replicate chunks of the 1911 EB, the Nutall and other encyclopedias. However, my view about the organisation is that it should start by describing the emergence of Afrocentrism as a distinct and defined concept (with Asante's Afrocentricity), looking at the immediate background to that. It should then go into the deeper history and the context of early debates from black intellectuals in Crisis, JNH etc, as well as the more "extreme" ideas associated with Garvey and James. We can then explore how these traditions came together and eviolved into a variety of overlapping and competing views. Paul B (talk) 15:57, 17 November 2007 (UTC)


Two of the most important sections - "Role of Ancient Egypt" and "Eurocentrism" - come AFTER the chronological development of ideas within Afrocentrism. When you look at the references, however, you see that many of the ideas of these two sections developed in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. This was the time of intellectual ferment also caused by revisionist historians looking at the roles of minorities, women and working class (also influenced by earlier French intellectuals); intellectual historian Edward Said's 1979 "Orientalism"; and paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould's "The Mismeasure of Man", which showed how cultural biases distorted "scientific" measurement and conclusions. All efforts are human.

Because of this placement, though, we revisit ideas that were developed in earlier times (and only know that IF we look at every reference). Also, the argument/discussion seems to go in circles. I think both these sections have to be moved up much earlier in the article.

Also, I still find it confusing from the article - as it stands - to try to figure out just WHAT people in the Afrocentric movement thought WHEN about Egypt. These ideas have really taken hold popularly, wrong or right.

It appears that many Egyptologists don't think there is much reason to believe that Egyptians were black as we understand it, but that message isn't very clear. Other scholars have clearly shown that Afrocentric claims of "Aristotle stealing from the Alexandria Library" couldn't have happened.

I made better written comments here this morning which I lost by failing to save properly. If you want me to work at reorganizing the article, I will.--Parkwells (talk) 15:34, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

Role of Ancient Egypt

I tried to reorganize this, but it needs supplementation. I think the ideas about culture have to be separated from the ideas (and evidence) about physical characteristics or "race". To me they seem to be mixed in almost every paragraph, and it's impossible to understand what people were referring or responding to. I reordered it somewhat to put earlier thinkers (as shown by references) earlier in the section. In these cases of archeology and other studies, I think it's important to show within the article when people were writing or thinking. It is still unbalanced, but this is a start. It shoudl not be ending with conclusions of an early-mid 20thc. historian set against someone writing in the 1990s. Also, the reference to "writing through the centuries" about Egypt's contribution to Mediterranean culture is pretty vague. I'm not sure what it means, although I took a stab at historiography--Parkwells (talk) 16:13, 17 November 2007 (UTC).

Views on Race

The early (in chronology) Afrocentric cultural claims/beliefs about Egypt or groups of Africans such as Somalis can't be equated as equivalent and just as good to "believe" as later physical evidence derived from DNA and archeology. The last paragraph of this section particularly goes in circles as it goes through some ideas/claims in almost chronological fashion, but then in almost the last sentence refers to a scholar writing in 1974, when more recent DNA evidence seems to have overturned his theories of anthropology. So I ended up confused again there, just when I thought I was getting it.--Parkwells (talk) 15:34, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

That last paragraph is awful. I tried to fix it... but... it's still a mess. So, I agree, I only ask that when you re-organize things that you not delete anything that's sourced (at least initially) without posting it on the talk page. I've been working hard to add sources and tidbits and I want to know if anything gets deleted. (I mean maybe some of it needs to go, but I just want to know...)

That said, I'm all for both of your ideas, we should try to re-factor each of these sections in to the sections on history. futurebird (talk) 15:50, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

removed from the section on Eurocentrism

"Recent work on skeletons and DNA suggests that the people who settled in the Nile valley, like all of humankind, came from somewhere south of the Sahara; they were not (as some nineteenth-century scholars had supposed) invaders from the North. See Bruce G. Trigger, "The Rise of Civilization in Egypt," Cambridge History of Africa (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1982), vol I, pp 489-90; S. O. Y. Keita, "Studies and Comments on Ancient Egyptian Biological Relationships," History in Africa 20 (1993) 129-54."

Do we need this? Where should it go if anywhere? futurebird (talk) 16:26, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

What would be the purpose? We should not be adding material meant to support a particular view-point. We should however provide whatever material is necessary to describe and explain a particular view-point. Does this material help us better describe or explain the position of Afrocentrists, those they criticize, or those who criticize them? If so, it should go in; if not, then I see no point. (On the other hand, this material seems very relevant to an article on ancient Egypt or the history of Egypt!!!!!!) Slrubenstein | Talk 16:30, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

I assume someone put it there and it made sense at the time. That's why I'm asking. I don't just want to delete it without finding out if it ought to be moved to some section. I don't see how it's connected to the topic except tangentially. futurebird (talk) 16:49, 17 November 2007 (UTC)

People are infinitely stupid and don't have reasons for saying or doing things. But what I hate here is people trying to intellectualize Egyptian ethnicity when they are clearly not Egyptian. I hate these people. If you're not from Egypt, you truly have no right whatsoever to an opinion on whether Egypt is African or not. that debate is founded on two things: what is African (should it be "Subsahara" instead?) and what is Egypt. Most Egyptians do not call themselves African inasmuch as identifying with distant lands such as Capo Verde and South Africa. Greece is in a similar position with Europe. However, and finally: If you are excluding Egypt on the basis of race then you are admitting that "Afrocentrism" is in fact a racist term that discriminates between blacks and whites. This is all very stupid. Sort it out.

Sorry i misunderstood - I was offering my opinion on general principles. Now I understand you were asking for a specific answer from someone involved in the article ... Slrubenstein | Talk 16:56, 17 November 2007 (UTC)
I understood that material (above) as supporting the Afrocentrist idea that Europeans had made errors in developing theories of history and civilzation based on their own assumptions of superiority. Thus, 19thc. European thinkers thought "invaders from the north" had settled in the Nile Valley and were the ones who later created the magnificent Egyptian civilization. Instead, in more ancient times tens/hundreds of thousands of years ago (before people's comprehension), peoples had migrated north (like the many streams of mankind) from south of the Sahara. Those peoples and their descendants were settled in the Nile Valley for huge chunks of time before the Egyptian civilization arose. That said, there are limits to Afrocentrists claiming that very ancient history means that Egypt was directly connected to African cultures as they much later developed among the peoples who lived in southern and western Africa tens/hundreds? of thousands of years later - but that's a separate issue. If timing is not used to separate/define some limits around cultures, then it is difficult to talk about them at all. --Parkwells (talk) 14:31, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Well, if that is the case, I think adding it violates NOR (unless an Afrocentrist scholar whom we can cite actually uses Trigger's work to support this Afrocentrist idea; then we can cite that Afrocentrist scholar. Slrubenstein | Talk 16:17, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Agree, so then we can't use it. futurebird (talk) 20:10, 18 November 2007 (UTC)


I've added to the introduction here to provide context for what was originally a Western Hemisphere argument among intellectuals and leaders - of course it also had political implications, and added some events to provide background.--Parkwells (talk) 14:19, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

I think we need more sources for the things you added. futurebird (talk) 20:08, 18 November 2007 (UTC)
Hi Futurebird - I changed this section slightly and added a source. See what you think. I was trying to link it to Woodson and Du Bois's positions later in the 20th c. --Parkwells (talk) 18:24, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
I think it's much better now. And the flow is starting to come together. futurebird (talk) 18:29, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

What is Asante saying here?

In the West and elsewhere, the European, in the midst of other peoples, has often propounded an exclusive view of reality; the exclusivity of this view creates a fundamental human crisis. In some cases, it has created cultures arrayed against each other or even against themselves. Afrocentricity’s response certainly is not to impose its own particularity as a universal, as Eurocentricity has often done. But hearing the voice of African American culture with all of its attendant parts is one way of creating a more sane society and one model for a more humane world. Asante, M. K. (1988). Afrocentricity. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press Inc. Page 28

I'm reading this quote as "Asante thinks that the Eurcentric world view is one where there is only one world view, but the Afrocentric world view acknowledges that other views exists." Is that what he's saying?

In theory, Asante sees Afro-centricity involving the interpretation analysis from the perspective of African people as subjects rather than objects. In practice, Afrocentric principles are used to interpret and explain issues in the search for understanding within the historical context associated with underrepresented groups overlooked for generations. On the rhetoric of Afrocentricity. Journal article by Karen Strother-Jordan; The Western Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 26, 2002

futurebird (talk) 00:42, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

What is Afrocentric research?

The repeated complaint for Afrocentrists is that all things related to African people and their decedents are underrepresented as serious foci of study in "traditional western scholarship" --when research is done about topics related to Afrian and diaspora people it is often clinical in nature (statistical surveys of test scores, crime, poverty) there is in the opinion of Afrocentrists far less work exploring diaspora cultures and their relations to African cultures. So, research the explores these kinds of questions is often labeled "Afrocentric" Here is an abstract:

Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 35, No. 6, 730-750 (2005)

DOI: 10.1177/0021934704268575
© 2005 SAGE Publications
Afrocentricity, the Adae Festival of the Akan, African American Festivals, and Intergenerational Communication
Yaw Owusu-Frempong

University of Ghana

African American communities celebrate different kinds of festivals each year, but little has been published on this subject. This article is intended to fill part of the vacuum, demonstrating the importance and functions of African festivals and their relationship with contemporary African American festivals. African festivals are a tool of community gathering and unity and place us at the center of our culture and social environment. They are also a medium of cultural education and intergenerational communication and play an important role in the preservation of our cultural heritage, transmitting knowledge and our experiences as a people to future generations. The celebration of festivals in the African American communities must not be seen merely as an annual congregation of street and food vendors, marching bands, and musicians but also as a tool of cultural reconstruction and transmission of knowledge to the younger generation.

Key Words: Afrocentricity • African festivals • Akan festivals • intergenerational communication

Notice that Afrocentricity is not mentioned in the title of the paper, or in the abstract, but it is a key word. That is because the kind of scholarship that this abstract describes: one that catalogs what one group of diaspora people do culturally, and one that compares it to African traditions is by nature "Afrocentric scholarship." One could also look at African American festivals and compare them to traditions in Europe. We would find many parallels there too, and in fact, an european standard has often been used to asses the degree of assimilation of African Americans in to the broader American culture. But if we want to understand the entire history we also need the Afrocentric perspective. I think that's the idea here.

I bring this up to point out that not all Afrocentric scholarship carried the label explicitly. Not all sources will agree that ANY research that looks at African influence in by nature Afrocentric-- But this is one interoperation of the topic. futurebird (talk) 00:42, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Er, what are you talking about? The title of the paper starts with the word "afrocentricity". Unless that italicized section is not the title of the paper? It looks an awful lot like the title. Not to mention it is in "The Journal of Black Studies". That sounds a bit, I dunno, Afrocentric, and indeed you'll find that its very own page says it covers afrocentricity. So, a bit dubious. Who writes for it? Titanium Dragon (talk) 04:08, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
The article also starts: "The central feature of the Afrocentric paradigm is that there is a certain African worldview and value system to which can be related all other central concepts, including those of religion, morality, and social organization." That's actually a pretty nice definition, since it seems like one of the core claims of Afrocentrism is that there's a common African identity uniting the entire continent. --Akhilleus (talk) 04:36, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

The Journal isn't always Afrocentric, though it has carried many articles and argue both in favor of and against Afrocentric ideas. It's been around for about 25 years and article it in are cited regulary by scholrs writing in other more famous JOurnals. Here is information from the publisher, Sage Publications, Inc. they publish a few other journals which all seem to be pretty reputable.

Bu um, you're right, the word is in the paper, I don't know why I missed it. (?) Here is where this is all coming from: I asked about this topic on a listserv for black studies if "Afrocentricity was still important" one of the responses I got from a few people was "there is a lot of Afrocentric research going on today, people just don't always call it that, because some view the term as political." This seems reasonable enough, but I'm looking for a real source that might back such a claim up, (if true.) One thing I've noticed is the use of the term "Africa centered" (possibly) in place of Afrocentricity. Take a look at this. Do you see what I mean? futurebird (talk) 04:55, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

That doesn't look particularly Afrocentric to me. It's one thing to do work that is "Africa centered"; The Nuer (by Evans-Pritchard) is Africa-centered in that it creates "theoretical constructs derived from the African experience" (to quote the abstract you linked to), but no one would call it an Afrocentric work. --Akhilleus (talk) 05:01, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Okay, I'm confused. It talks about Eurocentrism as a problem then talks about taking an "Africa centered" approach:

I argue for the possibility of confronting Western bias and contributing to broader theoretical debates by creating theoretical constructs derived from the African experience.

That is text book Afrocentricity if anything ever was. What would it need to say in your opinion to be "Afrocentric" ? futurebird (talk) 05:07, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Nah, "textbook Afrocentricity" is positing a pan-African identity (i.e., one that unites the Nuer, Tiw, Zulu, and ancient Egyptians), and explaining African/African diaspora history, culture, etc. as parts of that identity. That's what Owusu-Frempong is doing in the article linked above. What Myers is doing is explaining the urban development of Ng'ambo through concepts derived from what the inhabitants themselves think about their city; this is a sound ethnographic principle, but there's nothing particularly Afrocentric about it. I mean, if I go to Brasilia, Kolkata, or Manila and examine the urban development of those cities with reference to the views of the natives, I'm not doing Lusocentric, Indocentric, or Philipinocentric work; I'm just being a good anthropologist/sociologist/whatever. Similarly, Evans-Pritchard was doing a great job of creating "meso-level conceptual guides for understanding [the Nuer] derived from the ideas of [the Nuer] themselves", to rewrite Myers' abstract; but as I've said, the mere fact of focusing on indigenous worldviews doesn't add up to Afrocentrism (or any other -centrism). --Akhilleus (talk) 05:28, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

What Myers is doing is explaining the urban development of Ng'ambo through concepts derived from what the inhabitants themselves think about their city; this is a sound ethnographic principle, but there's nothing particularly Afrocentric about it.

Here is a description of the Afrocentric method for researching indigenous African cultures:

From a research point of view Asante argues that Afrocentricity can have a significant impact upon the way African researchers view their identity, specifically considering the African people as centred, located, oriented, and grounded. Afrocentricity is therefore a philosophical and theoretical perspective that when applied to research can form the essential core of the idea. In terms of research outcomes the issue of cultural location takes precedence over the topic or the data under consideration. The argument is that Africans have been moved off of social, political, philosophical, and economic terms for half a millenium. Consequently it becomes necessary to examine all data from the standpoint of Africans as subjects and human agents rather than as objects in a European frame of reference. Of course, this means that Afrocentricity has implications for indigenous African culture. Here, the motifs of locations and constituents of centredness or de-centredness become important when using the Afrocentric method.
Using the Afrocentric Method in Researching Indigenous African Culture The Qualitative Report Volume 10 Number 1 March 2005 178-189

But isn't this the same thing? If not, how is it different? futurebird (talk) 06:12, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I don't think it's the same thing. If you read the rest of Mkabela's article it looks like she's making a strong claim of an African identity, e.g. "It [Afrocentrism] focuses on Africa as the cultural centre for the study of African experiences and interprets research data from an African perspective." Implicit in this statement is the idea that it makes sense to talk about Africa as a (relatively) unified sociocultural entity, which implies that there's an essential sameness between the !Kung, the Kushites, and the ancient Egyptians--because they're all African. In contrast, Myers' article, as far as I can see, talks about the views of the residents of Ng'ambo about the urban development in that place. (I can't access the full text, though, so maybe he makes similar claims about how the people of Ng'ambo are representative of African thought--it's hard to make arguments based on abstracts.)
I wouldn't want to deny that there's some similarity between what Mkabela and Myers are saying, but the aim of getting away from Eurocentrism and expanding the discussion to include indigenous points of view is common to many scholarly approaches. Almost any historian who deals with Africa is going to treat Africans "as subjects and human agents rather than as objects"; if they don't, they're bad historians. It takes more than this to make someone an Afrocentrist. --Akhilleus (talk) 06:55, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree and I can see that what you're saying was true for some Afrocentrists in the past, but I was under the impression that Pan-Africanism and Afrocentricity are distinct. Do you have any recent sources that talk about the things you're mentioning? I'd rather use a 3rd party source instead of trying to guess the intentions of Mkabela and other from the text. I'm prepared to learn something new that contradicts everything I "know" from experience but I need to see a source for it. I'm going to look around myself. (What I expect that we may find is that some pan-africanism is still alive but that most scholars avoid it.)

I wouldn't want to deny that there's some similarity between what Mkabela and Myers are saying, but the aim of getting away from Eurocentrism and expanding the discussion to include indigenous points of view is common to many scholarly approaches. Almost any historian who deals with Africa is going to treat Africans "as subjects and human agents rather than as objects"; if they don't, they're bad historians.

But it wasn't always like this, right? With respect to the study of African cultures did Afrocentricity play any role in this change in scholarly methods or is the movement entirely irrelevant to the contemporaneous shift from object to agent in these fields? I mean, it's not like only black people read W.E.B. ... For example, here is a paper on how Langston Gwaltney's Afrocentric reserach had an influence on African American anthropology. (Gwaltney's Influence on African American Anthropology by Cheryl Rodriguez. Transforming Anthropology. July 1998, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 71-72) Do you think there are other examples? futurebird (talk) 13:15, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Afrocentrism plays a role, sure. But it's part of a larger trend in academia and world culture more generally, of giving voice to marginalized and oppressed groups. It's also heir to earlier social movements, and part of a tradition of fighting for African American liberation that goes back to the 19th century. I think we all realize that Afrocentrism doesn't exist in isolation, and that it's important to contextualize it; that's a big part of what I'm saying here. But it's also important to realize that within academia, Afrocentrism (or Afrocentricity) refers to a specific set of scholarly positions, because there's a danger here that we're going to say that any scholarly work that focuses on Africa in a sympathetic way is Afrocenrist. But there are many scholars who work on African or African disapora history/literature/etc., who agree fully with the notion of making Africans subjects, but do not claim to work from an Afrocentric perspective. --Akhilleus (talk) 17:24, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Okay I think we've come to a point where we can agree. It's not my intention to rope all research under the heading of Afrocentricity, rather, I just think we could point out that some of the research that is called Afrocentric is almost indistinguishable from "normal good ethnography" -- What do you think of my recent additions from Glazer? He's no fan of Afrocentricity, but I found that in his book he acknowledged a lot of the things that we've been talking about. futurebird (talk) 18:09, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Contemporary: Vodou

Likewise, religious movements such as Vodou are now less likely to be characterized as "mere superstition", but understood in terms of links to African traditions. Scholars who adopt such approaches may or may not see their work as Afrocentrist in orientation.

Could someone please list their source for that little tid-bit?? I know nothing of the topic, but, it seems plausible and in line with the other types of research I've documented, but the "citation needed" tag is bugging me. futurebird (talk) 03:53, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

This bit seems to be claiming that scholars study Vodou in terms of its links to African traditions because of Afrocentrism, then says that such work is not necessarily Afrocentrist. Well, of course it's not necessarily Afrocentrist--studying the historical origins of religious phenomena is part of what responsible scholars do. But this article seems to be written in such a way that any positive treatment of anything relating to Africa, African-Americans, or the other peoples of the African diaspora is the result of Afrocentrism. Obviously things are much more complex, and this article should really pay more attention to Afrocentrism's historical origins and contextualizing it in broader cultural and academic movements. I mean, the article only uses the word "postcolonial" once! --Akhilleus (talk) 04:29, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
It is hard to find a citation that supports the quoted material because the issue is still in play in academic circles. However, anyone involved in the study of African diasporic spirituality is aware that the tide has turned and that not only Vodou, but also hoodoo, Umbanda, Candomble, Lukumi, Obeah, Palo, Santeria, and other African diasporic spiritual traditions are being trated with greater respect by academics since the coming of the Internet. Yet, truth to tell, i know of no scholarly survey that statistically evaluates that trend. It would be nice to be able to locate a survey demonstrating that highly negative adjectives such as "superstition-ridden" and "primitive" are being phased out in favour of value-neutral terms like "African diasporic" and "traditional" -- but, to my knowledge, no one has yet written that PhD. thesis. :-) cat Catherineyronwode (talk) 04:54, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Really for this article all we'd need is some evidence that the topic was being investigated from an Africa-centered view point. futurebird (talk) 04:58, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Obviously things are much more complex, and this article should really pay more attention to Afrocentrism's historical origins and contextualizing it in broader cultural and academic movements.

I agree, I've been working on this and I'd love some help. I'm a math person so I find all of these humanites things confusing. futurebird (talk) 05:00, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Completely reworking the article

The ban on editing this article, as well as the one-year block have been lifted temporarily with the proviso that I do not edit article main spaces. I understand that to mean actual articles. So, I feel free to add this.

The definition of Afrocentrism is far too narrow. It's curious that my change about it being a paradigm (called by Dbachmann "trolling" and "POV pushing") has been worded as though it is an opinion; it is not. It is widely recognized, even by the mainstream, across fields, as a paradigm. Further, my change was preparatory to a suggestion that the article be renamed to "Afrocentricity" and reworked to a more general framework, to begin with, with references to Afrocentric manifestations -- "Afrocentrism (history)," "Afrocentrism (education)," for example. Depending on the amount of information available, these could remain within the text of the article on Afrocentricity, or (more likely) split into separate articles.

But my ban and block preempted that effort.

I'm still preoccupied with deadlines (I'm taking a wiki break right now, goldbricking ;) ), so I haven't read the article. But it appears that much of the text is still useful, but the lead paragrahs would have to be completely rewritten -- and the subsequent information would have to be placed in proper context and the article completely reorganized.

I suggest you google "Afrocentric paradigm." You will find that a wide range of fields use the term, from those involved in providing social services, to historians, healthcare delivery, psychology, sociology, to -- you name it. (This may send some contrarian editors/overseers into proxysms of protest, or apoplectic fits, but, yes, my friends; it's a legit paradigm.

I have a variety of useful links I've turned up, if anyone is interested in investigating this highly mainstream acceptance of Afrocentricity as a paradigm and a model for working with peoples of Africa and the diaspora in education, social work, historical research, etc. deeceevoice (talk) 14:36, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

When you have a chance, DCV, yes, links would be very much appreciated.--Ramdrake (talk) 14:40, 19 November 2007 (UTC)
#Please post the links!
#I think we should consider a name change to "Afrocentricity" but I have not proposed it yet since I'm finding the sources confusing. Some sources suggest that "Afrocentrism" and "Afrocentricity" are not the same thing, others suggest that they are the same thing-- What sources do you have? futurebird (talk) 14:43, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

I do recall a while back that a visiting professor (whom I believe I enlisted from a contact I found in cyberspace) suggested a name change a while back, and that "Afrocentricity" did briefly exist as an article, but that it still focused solely on history, rather than approaching the subject as a paradigm for African peoples in which to operate, live, work and think -- and as a general framework for institutions and others who deal with African peoples to operate in. I think it might be useful to separate the two once again, because, while the terms are interchangeable in certain, if not most, contexts, "Afrocentricity" is the more value-neutral and generally not as politically charged, because it is more commonly used solely in professional, governmental and academic circles than Afrocentrism (not that the latter is not used in such contexts; it is) and has not been the subject of pop-culture media fodder and vitriolic debate poisoned by ignorance, racism, anti-black animus and those with political and social agendas -- much in the way "Ebonics" has been, as opposed to African American Vernacular English. deeceevoice (talk) 14:53, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Afrocentricity and Afrocentrism were once separate articles. They were merged. Lester Spence created Afrocentricity and defended it against merger, but when he left the two were merged. The Afrocentriocity article was always isolated and had almost not contributors aside from LS. However, it would be reasonable to inclusde discussion of the different usages of therse terms. Paul B (talk) 15:01, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Paul. I couldn't remember his name. (I think I enlisted him, but I can't be sure. It easily could've been someone else for another article.) I returned from checking the edit history. This[1] version of the lead, dating back almost a year ago, is much closer to an accurate definition of "Afrocentricity"/"Afrocentrism". You will note, however, that it goes on to discuss history only. Still, it's a useful starting point. I'll see if I can remember what I did with that list of links....

I've got to get back to deadlines, but in the interim I suggest we all go back and read some of the old discussion threads, utilizing Spence's edit history, and contact him -- if he's still interested in the project -- to see if he'd like to contribute. deeceevoice (talk) 15:06, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

That versions is so much better than much of what we have now. It also hits a few points that we're missing such as "Although the largest African diasporic population exists in Brazil rather than in North America, the scholarship is overwhelmingly concentrated on the latter, and the experience and values of Black Americans have been taken as normative." I also like the tone it seems NPOV not trying to make it sound like the best thing in the world or the root of all evil, and I think the article now, at times does both. futurebird (talk) 15:20, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Broader movement

It's always hard to identify where intellectual movements start and end. Some of the history shows activities/efforts in Africa, related in part to relationships to the whole colonization and Egyptologists.

It is interesting to note that there's been a lot of scholarship on Afrocentricity coming out of America and reflecting US experience, but maybe that's also because of the US intellectual structure - universities, plus the 60s and 70s having been filled with intellectual ferment and reworking of a lot of history due to a variety of factors. And people in the US trying to solve US problems.

There were a couple of themes going on - many groups saying they hadn't been represented in American history, and all this new work by historians on the experiences of African Americans, different ethnic groups, women - their stories/history, etc. from their own points of view and experience, much new work on labor history and the working class, immigration, etc. That shifted history and cultural studies from the 1960s on, and had precedents before.

Huge amounts of new work were done, including the beginning of more findings in African American archeology, especially in SC, which contributed to understanding the extent of African continuities in African American culture, as did the work in linguistics about Gullah. I know this wasn't defined as Afrocentricity and didn't mean the same thing - I just wanted to provide some perspective. People began to learn and see differently.

This started before Asante at Temple.

While Edward Said's (1978) book "Orientalism" was about a different topic,it had tremendous influence on history and cultural analysis of many sorts.

There were also changing ideas about continuity of cultures and the construction of cultures across the board. US historians starting looking less at evidence of American exceptionalism, which had operated for a long time in early histories as part of the nation's construction of its story of Revolution and triumph, and looking at continuities.

So David Hackett Fischer had a book of synthesis (1989) "Four British Folkways in America", in which he looked at continuities of cultures as they developed (and were expressed in naming patterns, housing, family formation, education, voting patterns through the 1960s, etc.) in New England, the Chesapeake Bay Colony and South, the Mid-Atlantic and the backcountry during colonial times. This was one slant.

Other historians and a variety of scholars were looking/appreciating cultural continuities among other groups, too, including accumulating work on African Americans, which was also in the US much influenced by the Civil Rights Movement, Black Power and other movements. There was new recognition, too, of W.E.B. Du Bois' history of "Black Reconstruction" and a reevaluation about Reconstruction and post-Civil War history. Don't mean to bring everything into it, but many strands played into the importance and rise of Afrocentricity.--Parkwells (talk) 16:09, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

But much of this work also focused on how all these groups created something new in the US - the music, the arts, the language, the literature, the foods, have been products of creolization - the creative back and forth among the different groups that takes place and has taken place no matter what theories are stirring above. Many historians have focused on that, too.--Parkwells (talk) 16:13, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks. I actually addressed some of the the broadening of historical studies you write here about, with work by, and focusing on, women, blacks, Latinos and other groups, in an earlier post in response to a query by futurebird -- and my perfectly reasonable response ended up being used as "evidence" of my purported "POV pushing" in an ANI procedure. Just hilarious. It helped get me banned from editing this article. And it's potentially still in effect. Just peachy. deeceevoice (talk) 16:20, 19 November 2007 (UTC)


It's really looking good! I think the changes have added so much to readers being able to understand how Afrocentricity developed, and also how it has changed through the decades. --Parkwells (talk) 13:39, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I agree. Though the sections on "Definitions of Pan-African identity" and "Views on race" still need a lot of work and they are missing many sources. I've been thinking that maybe we should merge them? After all Pan-African identity is mean to replace race... I think. futurebird (talk) 13:52, 21 November 2007 (UTC)
Those two sections do need work, and I think I may try moving them forward in the article, too, as so much of what people were writing in the 40s-60s seemed to grow out of those earlier ideas. Pan-African theory in the most extreme form, to include indigenous peoples in Southeast Asia or Melanesia, who "left Africa" tens of thousands of years ago, seems so stretched in time as to lose meaning. If pan-Africanists base their idea on "how people look" and disregard how people self-identify or what their genetic characteristics are, isn't that just going in a big circle on race - aren't they creating a situation like the objections to earlier conceptions of race which they started with? (But I'll just focus on the article.)--Parkwells (talk) 18:48, 21 November 2007 (UTC)

I would also agree progress has been made. Thanks for your efforts. We will now soon be able to progress to the notorious Race of ancient Egyptians and address the question of identifying Afrocentrist material as separate from mainstream Egyptology. This may either result in an "In Afrocentrism" section there, or in a merge into this article, or again in the creation of a separate Afrocentrist Egyptology article. The important thing is that enough skeptical eyes remain directed hither. dab (𒁳) 16:15, 26 November 2007 (UTC)

What is you understanding of the "Afrocentrist" idea about Egypt and race, dab? JJJamal (talk) 23:13, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
please review, oh, let's say the past two years' worth of talk archives of the article. dab (𒁳) 23:16, 26 November 2007 (UTC)
Part of the problem is that you're fighting a straw-man. Well, that's what I think. Let's talk about this, dab. Can we do that? JJJamal (talk) 00:38, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
I am fighting to uphold WP:UNDUE, not more and not less. I have no problems with articles on Afrocentrist views, as long as they are presented for what they are. The main problem over a the "AE and race" article is that it discusses Afrocentrist ideology without stating up front that it is doing that. There are lots of options of how to solve that, such as introducing an "in Afrocentrism" section, just as long as we do solve it. My only motivation to be involved here at all is to combat the passing off of Afrocentrist ideology as bona fide Egyptology. You want to discuss Egyptology -- you rely on academic Egyptological literature. You want to discuss Afrocentrism - you state that you are discussing Afrocentrism. That's all. I am sure that if everyone can forgo the temptation of letting the trolls shout down the debate just because they happen to share your basic ideology, we can come to a satisfactory compromise solution. The trick is to stay skeptical of all edits, those supporting the gist of your personal point of view just as much or (even more) than those contradicting it. dab (𒁳) 08:54, 27 November 2007 (UTC)


If you need to talk about Egypt and race, please take it to that article and don't get into it here.--Parkwells (talk) 02:21, 27 November 2007 (UTC)

well, it is pertinent to this article. The point is that a lot of material from the "AE and race" article belongs merged into the "Egypt" section here. The "AE and race" article is still protected. If we can agree to move the Afrocentrist stuff from there to here, we can do it now, and take away the main burden of the "dispute" at the protected article. dab (𒁳) 08:44, 27 November 2007 (UTC)
After looking at recent entries at the discussion page at Race of ancient Egyptians article, it doesn't look as if there will be an easy way to resolve those differences. People have entered the fray who seem way off point.--Parkwells (talk) 17:05, 13 December 2007 (UTC)