The case against Afrocentrism /
Tunde Adeleke.
Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, c2009.
xiv, 223 p.
1604732938 (cloth : alk. paper), 9781604732931 (cloth : alk. paper)
More Details
Jackson : University Press of Mississippi, c2009.
1604732938 (cloth : alk. paper)
9781604732931 (cloth : alk. paper)
contents note
Introduction: Afrocentric essentialism -- Africa and the challenges of constructing identity -- Conceptual and paradigmatic utilizations and representations of Africa -- Essentialist construction of identity and pan-Africanism -- Afrocentric consciousness and historical memory -- Afrocentric essentialism and globalization.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Tunde Adeleke is the director of the African and African American Studies Program at Iowa State University. He is the author of Without Regard to Race: The Other Martin Robinson Delany (University Press of Mississippi), and UnAfrican Americans; Nineteenth-Century Black Nationalists and the Civilizing Mission.
Flap Copy
A shot across the bow of Pan-African claims of a unified African culture
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2010-08-01:
Presenting seemingly as much a brief for the prosecution as a work of scholarship, Adeleke (African and African American studies, Iowa State Univ.) pretty much announces his intent in his book's title. The initial impetus for the book came from a conference presentation nearly two decades ago, in which Adeleke presented the earliest stages of his criticisms about Afrocentrism, which he finds to be essentialist, reductionist, and, perhaps most significantly, ahistorical. At the conference, Adekele found little but vitriol in response, which pushed him along his intrepid path of pursuing this project. And what a rigorous project it is! From start to finish, Adeleke finds little to redeem Afrocentrism, and his arguments, especially about the ways in which Afrocentrists either misunderstand or misrepresent both African history and its relationship to the diaspora, are compelling. Afrocentrists will likely accuse Adeleke of reducing their cause to men of straw. But his book provides a formidable rejoinder to the prevailing Afrocentric scholarship. This book will likely not work especially well in most undergraduate classes, but graduate students and scholars will find much in Adeleke's impassioned case with which they will have to engage. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Graduate students, faculty. D. C. Catsam University of Texas of the Permian Basin
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, August 2010
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Main Description
Postcolonial discourses on African Diaspora history and relations have traditionally focused intensely on highlighting the common experiences and links between black Africans and African Americans. This is especially true of Afrocentric scholars and supporters who use Africa to construct and validate a monolithic, racial, and culturally essentialist worldview. Publications by Afrocentric scholars such as Molefi Asante, Marimba Ani, Maulana Karenga, and the late John Henrik Clarke have emphasized the centrality of Africa to the construction of Afrocentric essentialism. In the last fifteen years, however, countervailing critical scholarship has challenged essentialist interpretations of Diaspora history. Critics such as Stephen Howe, Yaacov Shavit, and Clarence Walker have questioned and refuted the intellectual and cultural underpinnings of Afrocentric essentialist ideology.Tunde Adeleke deconstructs Afrocentric essentialism by illuminating and interrogating the problematic situation of Africa as the foundation of a racialized worldwide African Diaspora. He attempts to fill an intellectual gap by analyzing the contradictions in Afrocentric representations of the continent. These include multiple, conflicting, and ambivalent portraits of Africa; the use of the continent as a global, unifying identity for all blacks; the de-emphasizing and nullification of New World acculturation; and the ahistoristic construction of a monolithic African Diaspora worldwide.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xiii
Introduction: Afrocentric Essentialismp. 3
Africa and the Challenges of Constructing Identityp. 23
Conceptual and Paradigmatic Utilizations and Representations of Africap. 59
Essentialist Construction of Identity and Pan-Africanismp. 94
Afrocentric Consciousness and Historical Memoryp. 134
Afrocentric Essentialism and Globalizationp. 151
Conclusionp. 172
Notesp. 190
Bibliographyp. 202
Indexp. 218
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