What Happened to Afrocentricity?

by Craig JC

Afrocentricity.

It used to be the default viewpoint of African-Americans. Asleep for decades, it restarted in the hip-hop community as a tremor in the late 1980′s and by the early 1990′s. A systematic quake of Afrocentricism ran like a current through the hearts and minds of Black folk in the United States.

Why was it so powerful? Because it was on the radio, in the streets, in the church pulpit and on TV. Back then word of mouth was still king. The World Wide Web was in its infancy, and households had yet to grab hold to personal computers.

Championed on college campuses, an organic movement began to sprout. Loud colors akin to the patterns of African fashions started to pop up everywhere. People began to wearing the triune of black consciousness: red, black and green. Black men started to grow their afros again. Black women started to twist their hair like they did in the Motherland. Historically ashamed about their appearance, Black people started to relish their chocolate skin tones, celebrating them with a prideful appreciation.

Even so-called gangsta hip-hop groups, freed from Westernized ideology and motivated to tell idealistic stories about unity rather than gun shed joined the party.

Merchandising popped up (remember the T-shirts, “It’s a black thang, you wouldn’t understand?”), medallions were sold. A whole cottage industry was built around buying Black products, African-themed furniture and cosmetics (shea butter, anyone?)

It wasn’t the first time the prideful vibe of Africanism hit the United States. It happened in the 1920s with Marcus Garvey’s teachings. It happened in the 1960s with the civil rights movement, albeit it was more bourgeois-flavored. But the tide came back in in the early 1990s. Terms such as “nubian princess” and “Black queen” were defacto on HBCU campuses nationwide. TV shows like “The Cosby Show,” “In Living Color,” “Living Single” and “A Different World” captured that world’s fashions and mannerisms.

But could it arise again?

The early 1990s in the United States, with a bullish economy that seemed unstoppable at the time, will forever be remembered as the golden age of Black Americana. For the first time, The American Dream had soul. Looking back at it all now, was it just a fad, a flash in the pan? The chants, the million marchers, the hopes — was it a mirage?

Or could Afrocentricity return?

In 2010, we are all witnesses to a watershed event in U.S. history. This is a time — the only time, when the most visible and powerful man in the world is a Black man. Could “Brand Obama,” as former White House socialite-in-residence Desiree Rogers once remarked, rock a Kente cloth?

Could the cycle of Afrocentricity — that elusive breeze of consciousness that brushes past us every now and then come back now?

And could the President of the United States, Barack Obama, and First Lady Michelle Obama bring it back? Would they? Or even, should they?

Imagine Obama, instead of getting a tight fade from his favorite Chicago barber, letting his hair grow full into tight curls. Visualize him with one of his father’s indigenous shirts from one of the Kenyan marketplaces frequented by his father.

Picture Michelle emerging from the White House’s Rose Garden with corn rolls atop her head, her black hair glistening in the sun.

Instead of a fist-bump, the two would hold hands and with the other, raise it in the sky making a fist. Of course, this consciousness would be more than just an adornment of clothes, but would be accompanied by an earnest effort to promote knowledge about the African continent. On the White House staff would be the Secretary of the Department of African Consciousness. They would work to foster a sense of unity with the people of the United States and the Motherland.

Could it happen? I don’t know. But we’ve tried the American Dream. Why not try an African one?

Photo Source

  • hehe

    love, knowledge, respect, and concern of and for ones self, people, history, and culture, should never be a fleeting fad, it should have been, should still be, and hopefully one day will be, a constant in the lives of all people of African decent.

  • http://revolutiongrl.blogspot.com anonygrl

    i am black american, my culture and viewpoint is one separate from that of the continent of africa. i’m proud to be a black woman, but at the same time there’s so much that goes into “afrocentricity” that i sometimes feel i am unequipped to understand. tbh, when i think of it, it reminds me of clinging to a culture that was ripped from me long before i was born. i don’t know my rightful last name, i don’t know what country (or countries) of origin in africa my family come from, and there’s just so much pain that comes along with it.

    black americans have our own culture too, although people would like to forget that or make us feel ashamed of it, like it’s not “real.” why should i embrace bits and pieces of something when i have my own culture to try and make sense of?

  • Black American

    I agree with Anonygirl. I’m a Black American and can’t completely identify with many cultures in Africa (because HELLO!! Africa’s a continent that has many different people with many different cultures).

    I’ve always felt that the afrocentric movement was over doing it. I love being Black and know that I’m part of the African Diaspora, don’t get me wrong, but I feel that it’s a bit much to try and overidentify with something that doesn’t truly reflect my everyday.

  • Joe Clyde

    What happened was that it became cool to be Euro-Centric.

    The new status symbol is knowing the latest “white” rock bands, saying you don’t listen to R&B (as if whites don’t listen to R&B), saying you date outside of your race…..etc.

    Black or Blackness is a synonym for ignorance, and shame now.

  • Miss Luna

    She said, “Afrocentricity was of the past”
    So she got into R&B, Hip-House, Bass and Jazz

    Great comment, Joe clyde.

  • toronto

    “what happened was it became cool to be euro-centric”

    lol.

    thanks for the article, clutch.

    how about afro-centricity never left?

    the way afro-centricity is accounted above relies mainly upon the visibility of ‘afro-centricity’ as a certain black aesthetic. through history, we know it is more than that, though it has been deduced. in strictly an aesthetic sense, one can speak about ‘afroc-centricity’ as ‘in’ or ‘not’. however, i think a more useful approach we can take up in the discussion thread are the ways that afro-centricity – though it may not always be referred to as that – has restructured itself ? So, maybe it’s not so much about whether Obama can wear Kente or not. Rather, what kind of conditions still harken a necessity for afro-centricity – as an alternative way of envisioning ‘self’, ‘history’ ‘worth’ and ‘change’? What is it about the politicization of blackness, african-ness – then and now – that has us thinking about unity, dissent, community or change in such limited – material terms that cannot see afro-centricity as a dis/continuity existing alongside other ways of being ‘black’? I think, even the biggest critics of afro-centricity are still able to appreciate what ‘afro-centricity’ attempts to ask: how can we live with our pasts that allow us to live in the present ? and that we still struggle with – obama or not – no?

    my two cents.

  • http://www.twitter.com/MrsJSoyibo Jheanelle

    I am still Afrocentric, for me it hasnt gone anywhere. I am just a multi dimensional person with different taste. I listen Fela Kuti but I also listen Madonna,

  • Akai*

    “What Happened To Afrocentricity?”
    ****************************************************************

    Maybe people realized Afrocentricity basically amounted to a temporary fad, fashion statement or clever marketing/money-making scheme (t-shirts, medallions, red, black and green clothing) at best.

    Maybe people saw that the Million Man March didn’t change anything for the better or produce jack diddly ding dong of substance.

    Maybe people studied extensively and traveled the world to find a lot of history passed off as ‘Afrocentric history’ was a bunch of baseless claims, shoddy academics and bunk based on naïve fantasies, wild distortions, wishful thinking, junk science with zero credible evidence or proof.

    Maybe people realized how little they knew and understood about “the Motherland” and how American they truly were.

    I hope the Obamas never have a thing to do with a resurgence!

  • daphne

    I concur. Furthermore, how “Afrocentric” can you really be with the state of our mother country being the way it is. The vestiges of colonialism are ever apparent; coupled with backward social norms, health epidemics, political corruption, and so on….

  • daphne

    *mother continent I should have said for all those that have not traced their origins to a specific country.

  • AJ

    EXACTLY…How “afrocentric” can we truly be if we look as Africa is not our problem. If we continue to do nothing.
    How about we start being proud of being black rather than putting some term on it.
    I have an African parent and an black American parent, so being “afrocentric” is a way of life for me. Or at least educating people about the continent is.

  • thinkpink

    I also have a black american parent and an African parent. I began to study and learn more about Africa so I could identify my background with something other than slavery. Everything that black americans have done in the US is from a reaction to slavery and I needed to see myself as more than a descendant of slaves. I think taking an afrocentric view of black culture is a personal choice and something that can only be done if you are truly passionate about wanting to know the depth of your cultural origins. For some it takes too much time but for me it has been an amazing learning experience.

  • Mazuba

    FYI:Africa has 53 independent nations ,not 47.

  • http://morningrailway.com/ miranda

    I think the unfortunate thing is that something like Afrocentricity becomes a fad. Should their be a resurgence if it just becomes a fashion statement or helps you fit in with a group of people? I was too young in the 90s to decide to dress in African cloths and wear medallions. My parents didn’t live that way either but they blared Arrested Development along with their Pink Floyd and it never felt like Afrocentricity had to overtake our lives. That something like that happened organically and you didn’t have to put a title on it.

    I think with life in the 2000s, it’s still going strong but it’s different because Black people are realizing that their are so many different facets of what Black is. A friend and I have been immersing ourselves in Brazilian culture, learning Portuguese. It’s an African culture down there but it’s a different African culture. We’re understanding that it can’t be boiled down to one thing and African culture changed and is different in countries all over the world. So if Afrocentricity is still here, we just don’t realize it. It’s not as easy to point out. And I think that’s a good thing. It doesn’t have to be this exclusive club nor a fad. It’s got to be real. Let’s not worry about it coming back, just live it.

  • Angela

    I can’t knock anything you’ve said. For the most part, all of the waves of Afrocentricity were hollow and shallow, and were ultimately exploited by “black leaders” who rode the wave of publicity and commercialism to wealth and fame, while the people they stirred up returned to their previous apathy. I don’t need to wear cornrows or rock kente cloth or celebrate Kwanzaa to pronounce my blackness–not only is it apparent, but I feel empowered and inspired in my heart. Most people who run around screaming “black power/pride/solidarity” are usually the type of people who use this as a reason to hate white people (and believe in revised histories of Africa, art, et al).

  • daphne

    @Angela

    Two examples of people I thought of when I read the latter part of your statement. The Nation of Islam and Black Israelites. They are always altering world history to fit their message. Many of the things they teach and believe is just so ludicrous you wonder why they have a following in the first place.

  • http://pgaesthetics.wordpress.com/ Jackie

    Though I can’t really identify with the continent of Africa I am still an American, but I want to learn more about it. I want to learn about my ancestors here in America. I’d like to trace my roots through DNA like they did in the documentary “African American Lives” so see what part of Africa my ancestors came from. Though I’m not straight from Africa, it is a part of me. I would look the way I do if it weren’t for my African ancestry.

    In reference to Joe Clyde, dating outside your race is Euro-Centric? I date outside my race, because I don’t exclusively like black guys. I like Blacks, Whites, Asians, Hispanic etc… Black is beautiful, but there is beauty in other ethnicities as well. I do feel that there is a Euro-centric beauty standard that permeates everything.

  • daphne

    This is off topic,

    but the model in the photo looks like “The Other Tyra” on Ru Paul’s Drag Race.

  • Akai*

    Angela wrote: “For the most part, all of the waves of Afrocentricity were hollow and shallow … Most people who run around screaming “black power/pride/solidarity” are usually the type of people who use this as a reason to hate white people (and believe in revised histories of Africa, art, et al).”
    ************************************************************

    Careful Angela.

    Though lies never solved one damn problem, there are people around that will have a hissy fit with ketchup, label you “racist,” and throw a whole slew of other ridiculous accusations in your direction for stating the above.

    Never ever ever think your own thoughts; let others bully you into silence then bow down to group think, cow-tow to PC crap and never tell the truth as you know it.

    I think the intention of Afrocentricity (pride) may have been noble but the whole thing was misguided and disjointed. Had fools running around claiming ancient Egyptians or that they looked like dark sub-Sahara Dinkas when that is erroneous as hell and most AA ancestors came from west Africa, not NE/E where Egypt is located.

    @Daphne: One good thing that could be said about the Black Israelites (speaking only of the AA transplants that have lived in Dimona in Israel for decades) is that mandatory exercise and a strict vegan diet has translated into virtually no obesity, heart disease, diabetes etc. I would have thought Afrocentrists worth their salt would have tapped into what those people have done right (outside of their polygamy) and incorporated those things in America.

  • Truly

    thinkpink, I strongly disagree with your statement that “Everything that black americans have done in the US is from a reaction to slavery and I needed to see myself as more than a descendant of slaves.” I feel no shame in being the descendant of slaves, and I feel no more proud listening to African music and feeling a part of that than I do listening to soul. I’m the descendant of slaves who went through hell to get our people to where they are today, and yes, there are plenty of cringe-worthy things about Black American culture that are leftover from slavery, but I don’t need to look to a continent I’ve never been to in order to feel proud of my ancestry.

    Same race, different circumstances, but American Blacks aren’t lacking anything in order to feel proud of their own culture. Negro spirituals, gospel, blues, jazz, rock & roll, R&B, hip hop- our musical legacy alone gives us a reason to keep our chin in the air in any company regarding cultural richness.

  • daphne

    @Akai

    If you admire that particular aspect of the Black Israelites than you would love the worldview Jainism. They practice nonviolence (ahimsa) against all life forms. So, they do not kill animals for sustenance. They are strict vegetarians. They take this vow of ahimsa so seriously that when outside they wear a mask in order to prevent the inhalation of even tiny microbes. Seriously! If they have to absolutely use natural resources like trees and grass, they pray and ask permission of these organisms first. I find this very interesting. This religion promotes a healthy lifestyle in many facets. 1) Healthy eating. 2) Environmental consciousness. 3) Also it appears to encourage different solutions for problems that do not require violence. This religion emerged around the same time as Buddhism in the 6th Century.

  • Akai*

    Girl, please. I can’t practice no Jainism!

    I despice violence and love nature, the outdoors, environment and animals yet would shoot a dog, bear, iguana, rat etc. that came at me stupid in a heartbeat.

    I believe in moderation and regular exercise but I’m a til-I-die-Catholic and a brat that wears fur and totally destroys a good steak every now and then (flexitarian and only eat meat about twice a month).

  • daphne

    LOL. Yea, I figured it would be rather difficult for us in this hemisphere to practice this world view but it is very interesting. Imagine if this was one of the major religions over here.

  • hehe

    dude, that’s Naomi Campbell!!

  • daphne

    1) I’m not a dude. 2) I was just pointing out the resemblance.

  • http://nesheaholic.blogspot.com Neshe

    I think it is about time we tried the African Dream. Afrocentricity should never die, but it seems to fade the farther African American lineage gets from ancestors from the motherland.

  • Reonna White

    But the tide came back in in the early 1990s. Terms such as “nubian princess” and “Black queen” were defacto on HBCU campuses nationwide. TV shows like “The Cosby Show,” “In Living Color,” “Living Single” and “A Different World” captured that world’s fashions and mannerisms.

    omg i had a nice walk down memory lane reading this article. Ugh, how i long for those days when rap was about saying something positive, not 2days anything goes esp ova a tite beat, ‘bitch’ and ‘hoe’ replaced ‘sista’ & ‘queen’ & reality tv shows about money power and status (I ♥ New York, Basketball wives, Tiny & Toya) began saturating my mind with all its superficial coonery buffonery. I currently attend a southern HBCU and see the afrocintricty coming back. Student vendors sell ‘I ♥ BLACK WOMEN/MEN’ t-shirts along with flags from the carribbeans for our west indies brothers and sisters.I see young ladies shedding thier perms and weaves for fades and fros, its the new thing. I personally feel like we as blk ppl can embrace our roots anyway we feel fit but there’s absolulty nothing wrong with coming together as the minorirty community we are and embracing and celebrating our said culture/history together.

  • http://www.innyvinny.com Alicia

    and there you have it.

  • 2010 Graduate

    You have taken words directly from my mind, heart, and mouth. Afrocentrism has always been stressed, however African American history isn’t. African American history isn’t looked at as a culture. For the past few years, I’ve been researching an unlost history; not realizing that my African American heritage is just as beautiful.

    I do believe that African history before slavery should be learned an accepted. Low self-esteem is the catalyst for all the problems occuring in black America. This low self-esteem is due to the lack of teaching on African history, and distorted African American history.

  • Jay

    Styles come and they go, fashion changes and evolves or devolves but one thing I am proud of is that my family for generations as far back as can be traced has always had a strong and sense of ourselves as who we were as a family and as a people.

  • http://thehappygoluckybachelor.blogspot.com Clnmike

    I dont think you can tie in physical apperance with “Afrocentricity” by now we should have figured out that just cause you rock a dashiki or natural natural DOES NOT MEAN YOUR DOWN FOR THE CAUSE. Educating your self on the African diaspora culture, supporting quality black businesses, being active in black community issues, are proof of Afrocentricity. To me it’s more then just a look it’s action.

  • http://migrationstoriesofnigerianigbo.wordpress.com/ Ms. Ezi

    @Clnmike

    It’s definitely more than a look.

    -Ezi

  • dela

    Its morphed into many things. Also it may be tucked away for fear of consience(sp) thinking. You can’t have that back to Africa thinking creeping through, because that would make black people more knowledgeable, free thinkers, and knowing about themselves. White power, right?

  • thinkpink

    I never spoke of feeling shame about being african american. However african american culture in the United States is rooted in slavery plain and simple. I think its fantastic that you can find fulfillment in african american culture by solely looking within the US. I on the otherhand can’t because a great deal of the lives blacks have experienced in america has been shaped/influenced by whites. Taking an afrocentric perspective on things is my way to connect with the part of my culture that belonged to itself and not a white majority.

  • Mila

    Do you recall when media made unecessary sensations with a photo of President Obama at an african ceremony? He was wearing a traditional outfit and they start saying he was pertaining to a terrorist clan. pathetic and hilarious
    Imagine if the man comes in the White house with his wife and kids all wearing afrocentric clothes, they will go crazy and remove him from his position.
    It’s the same thing in some companies where they will ask to get rid of your dreads or too ethnic style… This is ridiculous but true.

  • Mila

    I agree with the one who said it’s more than a look it’s a state of mind
    You could be afrocentric in the heart

  • daphne

    I have a question or two

    What is the difference between being Afrocentric and a Black nationalist?

    Are people like the Black Israelites and members of the Nation of Islam Afrocentric?

  • hehe

    REALLY, SOME OF YOU PEOPLE DO NOT KNOW HOW TO ACT!!!! BUT I LEARNED A LONG TIME AGO TO EXPECT NO DIFFERENT!!!! SO HAS THE REST OF THE WORLD , WHICH IS WHY AFROCENTRISM AND PAN- AFRICANISM WILL NEVER WORK, BECAUSE NO ONE WANTS TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH YOU!!!!
    SHOOT ME FOR RUSHING BACK UP TO CHECK OUT THE PIC AND CHUCKLING AT THE FACT THAT IT IS NAOMI AND SHE WAS COMPARED TO A DRAG VERSION OF TYRA, BUT WHATEVER!!!! SAVAGE!!!

  • hehe

    “Imagine if the man comes in the White house with his wife and kids all wearing afrocentric clothes, they will go crazy and remove him from his position.”

    and at that point i would burn this $*%$&# to the ground!!

  • Akai*

    I think Black Nationalism spawned a lot of Afrocentricity and both Afrocentrists and Black Nationalists may share some views. However, a defining part of Black Nationalism is total separation from white society or an all-black nation within America.

    When I read about nationalism a couple of years ago while in undergrad, I remember thinking it pure stupidity, racism in drag and not understanding why Nationalists didn’t walk their talk and simply take their behinds to Liberia which was founded by AAs?

    People can like the truth or hate it but few can compile a long list of stable successful majority black countries and it’s not about ‘race’. Hallmarks of successful countries include no civil wars or greedy, thieving, corrupt, oppressive and murderous dictators, a viable economy, protection for basic human, civil and voting rights, operating under the rule of law, harnessing whatever natural resources are there for the greater benefit of all, accessible education where students are free thinkers and gain knowledge to create innovative industries and improve their country’s standard of living, adequate infrastructures etc.

    **********************************************************
    Dela wrote: “…it may be tucked away for fear of consience(sp) thinking. You can’t have that back to Africa thinking creeping through, because that would make black people more knowledgeable, free thinkers, and knowing about themselves. White power, right?”
    **********************************************************

    Are you insinuating whitey is to blame for the demise of ineffective Afrocentricity of the 90s? If so, generally speaking I think the antic of always pointing outwards to assign blame is played out and has been/remains one of the most detrimental things of all. I’ll restate what I wrote about any “back to Africa” push in a previous article.

    Africa is a huge continent of 53 countries, a billion people, hundreds of ethnicities, over 1,000 languages and various religions – so which country should is a group neither born, raised or cultured there supposed to connect or go back to? Most on the continent rightfully view those not born on their soil as outsiders and – while many are kind, generous and welcoming – they don’t necessarily feel a connection or view AAs as ‘like them’ ethnically, culturally etc.

    There are modern and cosmopolitan cities in various countries but I always suggest “back to Africa” types travel across the continent. Live for one month in, say, Goma in the Congo and see how they dig having no electricity to power their laptops and satellite TV, walking to collect clean water, abject poverty, bathing in a lake, pooping in a hole, no nasty McDonalds, and access to quality health care hours away. …it’s amazing how quickly most naïve “I’m a African!” political fakes come to the truthful realization of just how American (and spoiled) they really are!

  • daphne

    How are you getting all bent out of shape because I think the model in the picture and “The Other Tyra” share an uncanny similarity in appearance. Get a grip. All of this extra antagonism on this site is uncalled for.

    Only foolish oafs resort to name calling and hostile confrontation. I can’t blame you though since you are clearly functioning with a double digit IQ. It is clear who the real savage is; you can’t even restrain your pugnacious nature. I bet you sling your feces at the walls when you don’t get your way. I wasn’t even talking to you in the first place.

    Go read a book, a book without pictures.

  • hehe

    then who were you talking to when i am the person who pointed out that it was Naomi, me pointing out the models identity was not me getting “bent out of shape”, it was me simply realizing it was Naomi!!! would know anything about a drag show, i don’t watch television!!

    “Only foolish oafs resort to name calling and hostile confrontation. I can’t blame you though since you are clearly functioning with a double digit IQ. It is clear who the real savage is; you can’t even restrain your pugnacious nature. I bet you sling your feces at the walls when you don’t get your way. I wasn’t even talking to you in the first place.”

    PLEASE READ THIS AGAIN AND TELL ME WHATS WRONG WITH THIS PARAGRAPH!!! YOU KNOW, BESIDES THE GLARING HYPOCRISY!!!!

  • AJ

    I love it
    HELL YEAH

  • daphne

    I made a general statement. I was not talking to you directly now was I. Your disgusting display antagonism is better suited for the projects. I wasn’t impudent or insolent with my statement but yet you decided to attack me, unprovoked I might add.

    I don’t care who is in the picture. I don’t follow model’s portfolios. I made a simple harmless statement and you decided to attack me. There is nothing hypocritical about my statement. Do you even understand the definition of that word? You attacked me and I responded. Did you think I was not going to address your unnecessary attack. The real hypocrisy is you claiming people do not know how to act and then calling me a savage. Not only is that hypocrisy it is a blatant contradiction in your statement that you should have thought about before you typed it. No sane person calls someone a savage because they disagree with a simple assessment of appearance; especially if that assessment is benign in nature. It’s not like I said the model in the picture looks like Fred Flinstone.

    If you are incapable of refraining from aggressive interaction do not bother responding to any of my posts.

  • http://beautyandthestreet.blogspot.com amber

    I don’t listen to ‘R&B’ like that, I listen to alternative, rock, and experimental. When on earth did Black become associated with just ‘R&B’ and ‘Rap’? You need a history lesson.

  • http://beautyandthestreet.blogspot.com amber

    I do not use labels to describe myself but I am very conscious of my blackness. Afrocentricity never left, it’s just not in the mainstream.

  • http://beautyandthestreet.blogspot.com amber

    I concur. Though clothes CAN play a part.

  • http://www.innyvinny.com Alicia

    All “-centric” terms refer to a particular type of worldview and the assumption of the preeminence of the culture that adopts that worldview (i.e. Afrocentrism is the practice of adopting the worldview of Africa and holding Africa at the proverbial center of the universe with everything and everyone else at the periphery).

    I don’t think any of the groups you named are particularly Afrocentric when it comes to the strict definition. The Black Israelites I don’t know much about, but I’m assuming they identify more with Israel’s culture the same way the NOI identifies with Islam.

    Black Nationalism has more to do with a Black-Americentrism and the repression of the idea of multiculturalism (NOT to be confused with Eurocentrism which I see a lot…and is very prevalent within this comment section) in favor of creating a strong black identitiy and state independent from white American culture. Definitely not Afrocentric.

  • daphne

    @Alicia

    Great post! : ).

  • MadameAlami

    The “African Dream” was just that–romantic, nostalgic, and naive. And as a lot of the previous posts have said, better than I can, Africa is a really big, astonishingly diverse place, with thousands of cultures and languages and landscapes. Nowadays, instead of dreaming back to the marketable, manufactured symbols of an imaginary, homogeneous “Africa” (think cowrie shells and dashikis), I think that the natural yearning of Black America for a homeland and an identity that acknowledges our origins beyond an America in which our participation as a people has always been complicated at best, and deeply traumatic at worst, has matured into something beyond the fashion trend Afrocentrism became. These days I think the identity has become more whole–that black Americans have indeed learned to claim Africa proudly as a place of origin, and have begun to enjoy an identification with the cultural parallels and social struggles of people across the African Diaspora, while still understanding the unique forces that have shaped our heritage in this particular country, taking pride in our uniquely powerful contributions as a people to the US and to the world.

  • Rodney Williamson

    In a sense Afro-Centrism was a victim of it’s own success. It got us to take pride in our African heritage, and it made us reject ‘his’ story. Afro-centrism was a case of African-Americans projecting their fantasies of an idealized racial identity on to Africa. This was a natural and necessary reaction to the diabolical white supremacist version of history that preceded it. Sure Afrocentricity was full of pseudo history and some bunk ideas but the over all effect was that it woke many blacks up to the truth that we could and should define ourselves. Once our minds were open to the truth the Afro-Centric excesses were no longer useful and it faded into the back ground. Once you see that white supremacy is BS , you can’t just replace it with some black supremacist BS either. On that score Afro-centrism contained the seeds of it’s on destruction.

  • Joy

    Please tell them it’s a continent! I get tired of hearing people say “I’m going to Africa!” You better tour that whole continent on your one week stay, lol.

  • binky

    @ Anonygirl

    You took the words right out of my mouth!!! Exactly, I’ am a black American first, my culture, heritage and upbringing is different from those in Africa so I can’t identify with something I barely know and understand and leave my own black culture in American behind. I’am not knocking my African heritage and the linage it took to create me and my family but we as black americans have been so far removed from Africa that their isn’t a real pull. And how can there be a true African movement until we know where we come from exactly? Africa is just not one type of people and culture but some much more… so to try and pin “Afrocentricity” into one box isn’t going to work. Because just like the whole black american experience isn’t the same, the African experience isn’t the same there. And it is more than a look but the way you carry yourself and how you feel.

  • http://paddedroom.tumblr.com Gabrielle, the Taj.

    There are tons of black people with Pan-African and Afrocentric ideologies. Just because the mass public isn`t enveloping it in a trend doesn`t mean it is alive and well. Some of the black people so consumed by those concepts had no real internalization of its meaning. But it was useful as a uniting method. I don`t consider myself an Afrocentric- I don`t believe one`s world view should be completely centered on a race, or nationality or continent or ideal. That`s my personal opinion. I`m a humanist. But to each his own.

  • http://www.renwl.org Derrick Mathis

    This photo of Naomi Campbell is THE BOMB!

  • Pingback: friends with benefits show » Blog Archive » What Happened to Afrocentricity?

  • artofkawaii

    @ Daphne “coupled with backward social norms, health epidemics, political corruption, and so on….”

    and as you point ot later, Africa IS a continent. The above is not the stock of all African countries. In fact the above applies to most countries everywhere across the world, especially America.

  • daphne

    I’m not talking about the rest of the world. I am talking about Africa. So what was the point of this statement?

  • http://twitter.com/AfROCKcentric AfROCKcentric

    @Truly – I concur. Black Americans should be proud of who they are! Looking at them as an African, I feel nothing but pride. I dont have to be Black American to be proud of a people who survived the brutality of slavery and who now contribute tremendously to the word’s culture. However, music is not the only thing that Black/African-Americans have contributed to the world. There are innovations and scientific discoveries that have made this world a better place – thanks to Black Americans. Why dont more people know this?

  • http://twitter.com/AfROCKcentric AfROCKcentric

    oops I meant ‘world’s culture’

  • shariff ashanti

    Afrocentricity was a movement that had to be stopped. People were becoming too conscious, as reflected in the hip hop of the early nineties. When Mandela came to Brooklyn, the hardest, grimiest ghetto cats were out there lining the sidewalks. That kind of unity was a threat in certain quarters. Hence, gangsta rap was promoted and then the even more denegerated present form of hip hop. All this shit is planned and designed, make no mistake about it. To keep cats’ minds off the increasingly frigtening reality of African people.

  • http://twitter.com/AfROCKcentric AfROCKcentric

    Perhaps the New Afrocentrism has to do not with a dictionary definition – or even a definition given by black/African academics, but with one given by ordinary people. I define it as having a love for Africa, Africans, people of African descent – and as being equals in relation to the rest of the world. Just as others in the world love the fact that they are European, Asian North or South American, so too do we New Afrocentrists love being African.

    There are things wrong with the Motherland as some call it – but for those of African descent to question how can you still be proud of it just because of those things that are wrong is the result, I fear, of much brainwashing and a sustained campaign against black folk not believing that where you come from is any good. That where you are right here right now is the best it’s gonna get. That is a problem! That is part of our collective low self-esteem.

    Africa is not only problems – it is not only Goma, Mogadishu and…any other wartorn areas we are regularly told about in the media but which I cant quite remember or think of now because there are a great many more places that are NOT wartorn, corrupt or have health epidemics. Sure there are problems – on a scale you or I cannot take in, but that is not the only truth that exists. Just as there exist almost a billion people on this continent, there are possibly a billion truths. So to parrot the only things that the Western media in particular like to dish out for you, is an error in judgment. It will hurt you, and it will hurt US (and I mean all black people because there is a practice called generalization that Western media, in fact, much of the West be they commoners or part of the 4th estate – likes to adopt)

    Be wary of painting us all in one fell swoop and an itty-bitty brushstroke that seeks to demonise the good in all things African – that we have so-called backward social norms, only. Which ones do you refer to, because I can name a few, and throw them rght back atcha. We are too vast, too multi-faceted, to be neatly wrapped up and efficiently swept under someone’s prejudiced rug. I say WE, proudly, even if I have not encountered the other 995 other cultures or ethnicities across the 53 coountries so refreshingly catalogued in some of the comments.

  • http://twitter.com/AfROCKcentric AfROCKcentric

    Please excuse the spelling! quite atrocious today – right not rght, countries not coountries (lol! aiaiai – someone will have a field day with that!)

  • http://www.pyramidoftruth.com IKHNATON

    The main point is to know yourself and be yourself. Also know other then yourself. My people are destroyed because of lack of knowledge. Or ignorance. Black people were from other countries beside Africa, during the last 6,000 years. In fact what is now called Israel, Iraq and Lebanon among other countries in the middle east, were before called the land of Canaan, which consisted of Black people. Many of whom fled into Africa. So there were a lot of migration of Black people even as there still is today. Now the uncall for comment, that you date outside the race seem to be more of a confession. People are all tried one way or another. Black people lived without seeing a white person for millions of years. But now it seem that they have lost their compass and sense of being. see http://www.pyramidoftruth.com meditation on self will help.

  • http://twitter.com/AfROCKcentric AfROCKcentric

    I think what you pointed out to Daphne is true – that’s a generalization. That’s the point. I’d like to know what the “and so on” is in that statement. Maybe you’re saying something, but just what that is – we dont know. What picture are you painting? The elliptical statement is there for what reason exactly? To ensure that everyone knows exactly what you mean and they got the news from the same source? To get a few head nods because of course what you’re saying is true? What?
    “how “Afrocentric” can you really be with the state of our mother country being the way it is. The vestiges of colonialism are ever apparent; coupled with backward social norms, health epidemics, political corruption, and so on….”
    Man – that’s a loaded statement. I come from a country that’s got problems. And that country is in a continent that has more than its fair share of problems. Yet I will not turn my back on it just because this makes me uncomfortable, or threatens to ‘lessen’ me in some other being’s eyes. Because that’s the point isnt it? How we are treated or how we look to some other being. most notably the white people in our lives? Truth hurts. I am an African. We’ve got problems, yes. But we are so much more than the sum of our problems. I choose to be part of the solution not the background noise.

  • daphne

    @Afrorockcentric

    I am sorry if I come off impudent but my statement is pretty straightforward and I was not erroneous in my thinking when I made my statement. You cannot name one country in Africa that is not suffering (more or less) from the things I mentioned in my aforementioned statement along with many other issues. Also, if you don’t know what I mean by and so on then why don’t you do some research about the many issues that Africa faces. There are too many to name hence me saying and so on.

    If you do not understand the point of my statement perhaps you should reference AJ’s comment. This person has understood what I am saying in part and I would also like to add. You can love the people of a particular region but you do not have to love their actions. A lot of what is going on in many parts of Africa is inherently wrong but is culturally acceptable as a whole. For example, curative rape, sacrificing people, ostracizing the disabled because of the fear that they will bring a curse upon the family, systematic rape of women, genital mutilation these are all things that are wrong but are culturally acceptable in many parts of Africa.

    Afrocentrism or even Eurocentrism in my opinion is a delusion of sorts. Both tend to teach a particular view of white and black people to the exclusion of other groups and actively ignore the negative aspects of each. Basically, it’s pretty absurd to have any race-centric ideology if you have not addressed and rectified all negative aspects of your particular community. It’s one thing to be proud of where you come from and appreciate the struggle of your forefathers and it’s quite another to have a particular view of the world based on race.

    Your approach is rather hostile. Don’t you think you should have asked me what I meant by my statement instead taking this approach? You clearly are making assumptions about my meaning and intent without knowing what you are talking about.

  • http://CLUTCH ADRIAN HARRIS

    FIRST, HAIL!! TO THE ALMIGHTY STAR MAKER!!! THE AMERICAN DREAM IS A GRAND DREAM. AN AFRICAN DREAM IS INCREDIBLE!!!! AND DUE TO THE DIVERSITY OF CULTURE ON THE AFRICAN CONTINENT AND THE CONTINENTS’ SIZE THIS HAS TO BE SO. I FOUND THIS AND DERIVED THIS THOUGHT FROM OUR AWARDED BLACK HISTORIAN, LEORNE BENNETT JR. FROM HIS BOOK “BEFORE THE MAYFLOWER”. I AM AN AFRICAN, AND YET I AM NOT AN AFRICAN. I AM AN AMERICAN, AND YET I,M NOT AN AMERICAN. I AM BOTH/ AND, SOMETHING MORE, AND SOMETHING LESS. I AM SUSPENDED BETWEEN WORDS. I AM BETWEEN WORLDS. I AM BETWEEN MEANINGS. I AM STRETCHED TAUT, AS IT WERE, ON A RACK OF A HYPHEN: AFRICAN – AMERICAN. AND I CAN SAY THAT I AM, AMOUNG OTHER THINGS, THE FREEST PERSON IN THE WORLD. I AM SENTENCED BY HISTORY TO CONSTANT IMPROVISATION. I AM SENTENCED BY HISTORY TO CONSTANT CLARIFICATION. I AM SENTENCED BY HISTORY TO A CONTINUING. I AM SENTENCED BY HISTORY TO A NEVER – ENDING PROCESS OF GIVING BIRTH TO MYSELF. I AM SENTENCED BY HISTORY TO A NEVER – DIEING PROCESS OF GIVING BIRTH TO MYSELF. I AM SENTENCED BY HISTORY TO A NEVER – COMPLETED PROCESS OF GIVING BIRTH TO MYSELF. IT IS MY FATE. IT IS MY DESTINY. I AM CONDEMED TO GIVE MEANING TO MYSELF – AND TO OTHERS. I AM CONDEMED – EVERY DAY, EVERY HOUR, EVERY MINUTE – TO DECIDE WHO I AM———— AND WHAT MY NAME IS. (FROM PAGE 446, 3RD PARAGRAPH–BOOK “BEORE THE MAYFLOWER” BY LERONE BENNETT JR.) MY THOUGHT IS; BECAUSE WE ARE AFRICANS IN DIASPORA, AND HAVE BY THE FACTS AND ACTIONS WE HAD TO TAKE DURING OUR HISTORY( OUR FIGHT AGAINST SLAVERY AND FOR FREEDOM AND EDUCATION AND MONEY AND CIVIL RIGHTS) AND WHAT WAS DONE TO US BY WHITES IN OUR HISTORY AS WELL AS WHAT WE HAVE TO DO NOW, WE HAVE CEASED TO BE JUST AFRICANS. BY OUR OWN WILL WE HAVE FUSED AMERICAN-HOOD WITH OUR AFRICAN -HOOD. BECAUSE OF THIS, WE ARE SOMETHING MORE THAN JUST EITHER ONE OF THESE CULTURES OR THE COMBINATION OF THE BOTH. OF COURSE, BY THE BLESSINGS OF GOD , WE ARE AFRICANS. NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. AND OF COURSE, BY OUR OWN WILL, BLOOD, SUFFERING, TOUTURE METERED AGAINST US, GENIUS, COURAGE , INTREPIDNESS, CREATIVITY, CONSISTENCY, FEROCIOUSNESS, DISCIPLINE, EDUCATION, LOVE, KINDNESS, PAPTIENCE, FAIRNESS ECT…., AND BY THE BLESSINGS OF GOD, ARE AMERICAN. WHY NOT REFLECT THE NEW BEING THAT WE ARE OF OUR OWN NEWLY CREATED CULTURE. WE ARE REALLY UNLIKE NO OTHER AMERICANS OR ANY OTHER SETIENT HOME SAPIEN CREATED HINSEFORTH ON PLANET EARTH. OF COURSE AFROCENTRICISM!!!! BY ALL MEANS LETS CELEBRATE!!!! BUT WE ARE, BY THE WILL AND BLESSINGS OF THE ALMIGHTY FATHER IN HEAVEN, BECAUSE HE COULD ONLY DO IT, ” A HELL”(NO DEMEANOR TO THE HEAVENLY FATHER)( FOR HUMAN EMPHASIS ONLY) OF A LOT MORE THAN JUST THE TWO(AFRICAN OR AMERICAN CULTURES) AND FUSION OF THE BOTH.

  • http://twitter.com/AfROCKcentric AfROCKcentric

    @ Daphne – I live right here in Africa and have no need to go to a library to do my research. My research is these streets that I walk, these cities and villages that I call home.

    You wrote: “For example, curative rape, sacrificing people, ostracizing the disabled because of the fear that they will bring a curse upon the family, systematic rape of women, genital mutilation these are all things that are wrong but are culturally acceptable in many parts of Africa” Bullshit! Which many parts of Africa are you talking about? That’s my point! You make so many blank blanket statements you dont know which end of the stick you’re holding and end up beating yourself with the one that should help you walk! “Systematic rape of women” is a term we newshounds use for wartorn regions. You talk as if in each and every country women are gathered at gunpoint and raped, and no-one bats an eye. Culturally acceptable. Is it culturally acceptable where you come from to tell so many BLATANT LIES?

    I get so angry when people talk like you. When you say those things without qualifying and quantifying you are cursing my homeland. Giving all of Africa a curse that it does not deserve – by basically saying one part does this, therefore many or ALL also do this or that. That way lies racism, prejudice, misconception, misinterpretation and misrepresentation – all done by the most misanthropic amongst us, the most anti-African amongst us. Do you know that when you perpetuate stereotypes you are actually hurting people? That some of these stereotypes are used as fact although not wholly based on fact? That when people want to invest in countries, invest in regions, they bring to bear these stereotypes and criticisms (justified or unjustified) with them? That some parts of Africa remain under-developed because of just those stereotypes you’ve mentioned? Not all places in Africa practice FGM, and certainly no place I have heard of currently if ever at all practices/practiced human sacrifice. At least as a culturally acceptable norm. Note: Aberrations are everywhere! Which Hollywood movies had you just watched when you wrote that? DAMN but that’s just so comical. It’s so highly erroneous as to be almost funny. If it werent so sadly misinformed.

    You talk as if all those things happen all at once, in every single country on this continent. Open your eyes you hater! Yes, I think you are a hater because no self-respecting lover of Africa would dare to paint the whole continent with that brush in one fell swoop. Go do some research my ass! You’re the one who needs to educate herself on what’s what over here. Dont you have problems? Isnt there AIDS in America, especially in the black community? Don’t people get raped there – even children? And incest within the black community? Gangsterism, and drugs and a whole host of horrible things? Yet do you see people in Africa constantly pointing at this community and noting with a certain schadenfreude that this is all that’s to be expected? NO, because we know there’s so much more. So dont you dare go around spouting your mouth at things you barely know and cannot even scratch the surface of. Come to Africa and learn, understand then speak! And if you already have and still only see major problems then God help you, because your eyes were not open.

    I didnt have to ask you what you meant because I knew you were just going to sit there and write a whole bunch of BS about what’s wrong with Africa. Instead of only seeing what’s wrong (which, by the way, we’re constantly being hit on the head with by Westerners and Western media, so imagine how damn sick and tired we are of it – as if those places dont have their own damn problems) try to see the good and the things that we do have to be proud of. There are plenty. So no-one should ever dare to think that just because I come from a poor country with a certain set of problems I’m not going to be proud of it. It’s not about my past. It’s about my present and my future, and I will defend that with every breath.

    You dont need to have it all corrected, and perfumed, and perfect to appreciate it. Or to be Afrocentric about what’s right about this place. I dont see it as a race thing. That’s where you’re wrong. You think that the things that are wrong are symptomatic of a deeper rot, so you shove it away, and say no to that part of you – and that’s what you’ve been told to think. Everyone else gets to praise who they are, regardless of what rot has set in. But we Africans? ‘We sure as hell shouldnt’ is what the wind whispers, carrying on its back the voices of the same people we should be celebrating this place with. Shame. My culture is beautiful. My people are beautiful. Strong, resilient. There’s a lot that we go through, but there’s no need to be any less proud of being who we are. You think I dont know what I’m talking about, yet I could smell your ignorance from across the ocean. And yes, I have been hostile to you because I think there’s an arrogance and an ignorance in you that’s mostly detrimental to yourself – but when you start telling lies about a place I call home, and that I know something about – I wont take that lying down. That’s what we’ve constantly been told by others outside this continent, and that is why we’ve got to turn it around and say ‘enough’.

  • Esperance

    Some comments as the one by AfROCKcentric, ADRIAN HARRIS and others are very intelligent, articulated, fresh and… sexy :) I’m glad there are people like them and not just brainwashed parrots like Daphne poor you I would even go further and say that the world is far behind because of mentalities like yours. Yes it’s a blog and you can share your disease but a lot are now immuned.

  • Akai*

    I agree and disagree with things you’ve stated, Daphne, but adding to where I think you’re coming from.

    South Africa is in the grip of an unprecedented increase in the most despicable crime – baby rape. … Some surveys suggest that up to a third of South Africans believe in an ancient and bizarre “cure” for AIDS. This “cure” involves having sex with a virgin in the belief that it will cleanse the body of venereal diseases like AIDS.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/correspondent/2311067.stm

    “What he likes best is dry sex. In parts of sub-Saharan Africa, to please men, women sit in basins of bleach or saltwater or stuff astringent herbs, tobacco or fertilizer inside their vagina. The tissue of the lining swells up and natural lubricants dry out. The resulting dry sex is painful and dangerous for women. The drying agents suppress natural bacteria, and friction easily lacerates the tender walls of the vagina. Dry sex increases the risk of HIV infection for women, already two times as likely as men to contract the virus from a single encounter. …Chikoka knows his predilection for commercial sex spreads AIDS; he knows his promiscuity could carry the disease home to his wife; he knows people die if they get it. .”
    http://www.time.com/time/2001/aidsinafrica/cover4.html

    Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons. … Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later, potential childbirth complications and newborn deaths. … In Africa [28 of them i.e. Nigeria, Guinea, Senegal, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mali, Sudan etc.] an estimated 92 million girls from 10 years of age and above have undergone FGM.
    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/

    “The war in Congo, estimated to have killed three million people … In a country ravaged by war, where rape is used as a weapon and having a gun means you can act with impunity…”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3426273.stm

    “Albinos [Tanzania] are targeted for body parts that are used in witchcraft, and killings continue despite government efforts to stamp out the grisly practice.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7518049.stm

    Dunno but it seems to me that – since it is often westerners et al coming to the continent’s aid when there is a famine or to foot the bill and provide $$, knowledge, physicians, medications and assistance during epidemics – the volume would be a little lower on the indignant outrage!

  • Akai**

    @Daphne: I think I get where you’re coming from and just to add:

    South Africa is in the grip of an unprecedented increase in the most despicable crime – baby rape. … Some surveys suggest that up to a third of South Africans believe in an ancient and bizarre “cure” for AIDS. This “cure” involves having sex with a virgin in the belief that it will cleanse the body of venereal diseases like AIDS.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/correspondent/2311067.stm

    “What he likes best is dry sex. In parts of sub-Saharan Africa, to please men, women sit in basins of bleach or saltwater or stuff astringent herbs, tobacco or fertilizer inside their vagina. The tissue of the lining swells up and natural lubricants dry out. The resulting dry sex is painful and dangerous for women. The drying agents suppress natural bacteria, and friction easily lacerates the tender walls of the vagina. Dry sex increases the risk of HIV infection for women, already two times as likely as men to contract the virus from a single encounter. …Chikoka knows his predilection for commercial sex spreads AIDS; he knows his promiscuity could carry the disease home to his wife; he knows people die if they get it. .”
    http://www.time.com/time/2001/aidsinafrica/cover4.html

    Female genital mutilation (FGM) includes procedures that intentionally alter or injure female genital organs for non-medical reasons. … Procedures can cause severe bleeding and problems urinating, and later, potential childbirth complications and newborn deaths. … In Africa [28 countries i.e. Nigeria, Guinea, Senegal, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mali, Sudan etc.] an estimated 92 million girls from 10 years of age and above have undergone FGM.
    http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs241/en/

    “The war in Congo, estimated to have killed three million people … In a country ravaged by war, where rape is used as a weapon and having a gun means you can act with impunity…”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/3426273.stm

    “Albinos [Tanzania] are targeted for body parts that are used in witchcraft, and killings continue despite government efforts to stamp out the grisly practice.”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7518049.stm

    Dunno but it seems to me that – since it is often westerners et al coming to the continent’s aid when there is a famine or to foot the bill and provide $$, knowledge, physicians, medications and assistance during epidemics – the volume would be a little lower on the indignant outrage!

  • http://twitter.com/AfROCKcentric AfROCKcentric

    Just as I thought. The other one who likes to spout doom and gloom about Africa would show up, backing her girl, and would highlight Western media’s love affair with the craziest, most voodoo-filled stories about Africa. It’s a real addiction for them. Do you think we dont know about these things? I’ve already said I’m not interested in just highlighting the negatives, especially on this platform. We have people like you and Daphne and the Western media already doing a good job of that. Like I’ve said over and over like perhaps a broken record – we know. Got it, thanks. We got problems! But if you think that’s all we are you’re missing out on a great deal. You’re missing out on yourself. Many here are trying to be part of the solution, not the problem.

    And dont go around telling people they shouldnt be outraged or indignant when they are unfairly accused of tolerating certain things that happen in certain specific areas of an entire continent? so you think the donor community is squeaky clean? And they do these things only out of the goodness of their hearts? How about when they helped out in New Orleans? How people kept calling them ‘refugees’ in their own country? How about that? So you think we dont have doctors, medicines and money? Some countries dont have much, but that’s not everyone here. That’s ignorant. I know that in certain areas in the US the quality of healthcare is non-existent or such that you might as well go to Bara in Soweto and get treated there. For free. Go study aid and its effects. Go study the wealth and under/development of this continent then come back and tell me whether you think we should always be grateful to the West – as if they are angels. Sies! (that’s a South African cuss-word for you) You talk as if we must all pay for the sins of a small percentage of the population, when the majority of us are good, honest, hard-working people living under extraordinary circumstances in many instances. YOTBAOY!

    Ag man sies, it’s enough.

  • http://twitter.com/AfROCKcentric AfROCKcentric

    @ Akai – Just as I thought. The other one who likes to spout doom and gloom about Africa would show up, backing her girl, and would highlight Western media’s love affair with the craziest, most voodoo-filled stories about Africa. It’s a real addiction for them. Do you think we dont know about these things? I’ve already said I’m not interested in just highlighting the negatives, especially on this platform. We have people like you and Daphne and the Western media already doing a good job of that. Like I’ve said over and over like perhaps a broken record – we know. Got it, thanks. We got problems! But if you think that’s all we are you’re missing out on a great deal. You’re missing out on yourself. Many here are trying to be part of the solution, not the problem.

    And dont go around telling people they shouldnt be outraged or indignant when they are unfairly accused of tolerating certain things that happen in certain specific areas of an entire continent? so you think the donor community is squeaky clean? And they do these things only out of the goodness of their hearts? How about when they helped out in New Orleans? How people kept calling them ‘refugees’ in their own country? How about that? So you think we dont have doctors, medicines and money? Some countries dont have much, but that’s not everyone here. That’s ignorant. I know that in certain areas in the US the quality of healthcare is non-existent or such that you might as well go to Bara in Soweto and get treated there. For free. Go study aid and its effects. Go study the wealth and under/development of this continent then come back and tell me whether you think we should always be grateful to the West – as if they are angels. Sies! (that’s a South African cuss-word for you) You talk as if we must all pay for the sins of a small percentage of the population, when the majority of us are good, honest, hard-working people living under extraordinary circumstances in many instances. YOTBAOY!

    Ag man sies, it’s enough. You and Daphne enjoy your human sacrifices. The rest of us are living our lives in Africa and elsewhere on this planet, trying to engage in meaningful dialogue, and making a difference to people’s lives in our own small ways. That counts and is worth far more than Afropessimism.

  • Ms. Ezi

    Thank you AfROCKcentric

  • Akai*

    @AfROCKcentric: I distinctly recall specifically addressing my comments to another participant!!!!!!!!

    I agree with some things yet disagree with others, but genital mutilation was mentioned then the question of “which parts of Africa are you talking about?” thrown out as if the statement had no merit. I understood where Daphne was coming from, couldn’t care less what you feel about it, and sourced issues in specific countries like South Africa, the Congo, Tanzania as well as listed places where FGM occurs i.e. Nigeria, Guinea, Senegal, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Mali, Sudan etc. That way it’s clear who was speaking truth vs. going off on an emotional tirade.

    I don’t often waste time when individuals come with drama and make up stories (*I* never wrote a friggin’ thing about “human sacrifices”), fail to read in entirety, and blatantly overlook clear statements acknowledging that not all countries/areas are the same i.e. “there are modern and cosmopolitan cities in various countries. I don’t do straw men so, therefore, I also won’t waste time answering silly questions like “You think we don’t have doctors, medicines and money?”

    As a humanist, I’ve a kinship to the world/others who share this planet but I don’t feel one iota of a connection to Africa in the slightest. I’ve visited several countries various times, love the life-long friends I made, and adore and admire most of the people I encountered but I’m not African; I wasn’t born there, those cultures are not my culture, and I’m ridiculously proud and in love with my own ethnicity taking the good and bad.

    Various participants at Clutch honestly point out problems in America as well as other places. So, sorry, but, the continent is not immune from scrutiny or discussion and nobody wrote a word insinuating an African shouldn’t have pride or that they should turn their back on their own country.

    One of the most heartbreaking and vile acts ever was when ethnic Hutus armed themselves with machetes, knives etc. then proceeded to hack and kill 800,000 of their Tutsi (and some Hutu) friends, acquaintances, neighbors, co-workers etc. in 3 months time.

    Hell I don’t think even Hitler and his vile henchmen killed as many in such a short span of time but this happened only a short 16 years ago and Daphne mentioned health epidemics (of the 34 million people with HIV/AIDS in the world, 25 million are African), political corruption (hello, Nigeria!!) and backwards ass practices like female genital mutilation. She quantified that certain things were acceptable in **many** parts and never wrote they were “culturally acceptable in **all** parts of Africa.”

    Nevertheless you projected your own issues all over the place, responded in a hostile and disrespectful manner, then threw out an erroneous accusation of telling “blatant lies” because you didn’t like ‘hearing’ it – when many things stated were the damn truth!

    Soooo…bese mi culito (that’s a Spanish invitation for you)!

  • Ms. Ezi

    Akai said:

    “Hell I don’t think even Hitler and his vile henchmen killed as many in such a short span of time but this happened only a short 16 years ago and Daphne mentioned health epidemics (of the 34 million people with HIV/AIDS in the world, 25 million are African), political corruption (hello, Nigeria!!) and backwards ass practices like female genital mutilation. She quantified that certain things were acceptable in **many** parts and never wrote they were “culturally acceptable in **all** parts of Africa.”

    The Rwandan genocide needs to be put in it’s proper context. The influence of foreigners who have manipulated the minds of Africans both on the continent and in America is one of the major factors leading to this genocide. Hitler doesn’t even belong in the same context of the paragraph, unless one wants to discuss Germany’s use of some of the most horrific tactics at suppression on the African continent decades before the Holocaust in Europe even occurred.

    I am Nigerian and I agree with you that corruption is definitely a problem (as is it in the United States and governments around the world), but everything must be put in the proper context. It was the American Black Panthers who said “Power to the people”. The actions of corrupt politicians is not indicative of the beliefs and wants of the people. That’s where the line must be drawn.

    Hitler and his henchmen killed a ridiculously amount of people no doubt about it. And Hitler was one of the most vile people to walk this Earth. The Rwandan genocide was a combination of a number of factors and not as the media simply portrayed it. The same tactics are being used not only in Rwanda to divide folks, if only people would take off their rose colored glasses and see things for what they are.

    “From Africa to Auschwitz: How German South Africa West Africa Incubated Ideas and Methods Adopted and Developed by the Nazis in Eastern Europe” by Benjamin Madley

    The way things are going now in the world, there will be a time when folks will be looking to Africa for the answers and will have no choice but to love her once again. And I’ll leave it at.

  • Ms. Ezi

    *ridiculously large number

    *And I’ll leave it at that

  • Ms. Ezi

    To have anything other than an African-centered worldview would be fooling myself. It’s about self-preservation, plain and simple.

  • Akai*

    Ms. Ezi wrote: “The Rwandan genocide needs to be put in its proper context. The influence of foreigners who have manipulated the minds of Africans both on the continent and in America is one of the major factors leading to this genocide. Hitler doesn’t even belong in the same context of the paragraph… …corruption is definitely a problem (as is it in the United States and governments around the world), but everything must be put in the proper context.”
    ***************************************************************

    I’m sure I understand how to view things in “proper context.”

    Not saying you’re doing this but I’d never agree with any attempt to justify or excuse the genocide committed by Hutus (or any group) and twist things to, once again, blame others. A lot of these countries are 50-60 years into their independence and it begs the question of just how long does a people or country needs to finally get its act together? The blame game or ‘blame whitey’ is just tired, sometimes untrue and always ineffective and individuals should be held personally responsible for their own actions no ifs, ands or buts about it!

    I’m not saying Europeans had no culpability as far as the historical tensions and mistrust via colonizing, divide ‘n conquer tactics, placing Tutsis on a higher level and deeming them more attractive and intelligent than Hutus etc. But not holding individuals responsible for their own actions is like admitting Africans can never be held responsible for anything they do because they’ve been rendered mindless, perpetual children and damaged beyond repair by The Great Whitey!

    Goose, gander because attempting to justify the murders committed by Hutus in any way means it’s fair game to also excuse all murders committed by German soldiers, Gestapo and SS during WWII.

    In “context,” defeat in WWI and the Treaty of Versailles mandated reparations be paid to the Allies, loss of territory and overseas possessions, and Germany facing super-inflation, growing debt etc. Hitler played on Germans feeling demoralized and took advantage of their humiliation via convincing them of a lie that they were racially superior and Jews were to blame for every sin in the world, in addition to offering solutions to end their hunger and high unemployment. So, let’s absolve them of all personal responsibility and blame Hitler because he manipulated po’ gullible German citizens into supporting the Third Reich and soldiers into committing genocide.

    Is there corruption in American politics? No doubt (Blagojevich out of Chicago quickly comes to mind) but let’s keep it funky. It is a common occurrence to hear about the feds investigating, going after, prosecuting and imprisoning politicians for corruption, bribery, racketeering etc. in America. In 40 years Nigerian leaders stole over $400 billion dollars – yes, that was billion – from that country’s treasury and the corruption in America is no way near the level, extent, frequency or scale it is in Nigeria where it’s pandemic.

    Africa remains the least industrialized continent in the world and, if there’s to be any future of looking to that continent for anything, I think it’d be to further exploit it’s myriad of natural resources and minerals (i.e. cobalt, coltan [used in cell phones, computer chips], oil, bauxite, gold, diamonds, copper etc.). Hopefully the future will bring fewer selfish despots and more African leaders finally harnessing these resources for the benefit of all it’s citizens and lessening of poverty – as opposed to enriching their own coffers and those of their cronies or an elite few via hording millions in some Swiss bank or offshore account.

  • http://twitter.com/AfROCKcentric AfROCKcentric

    @ Akai
    Looks like I touched a nerve. I addressed you Akai because you went and did exactly what I expected. You’ve been so brainwashed that all you can think of is the negatives about Africa. And of course constantly bring it up. But once someone states what it is we love about it, and that we actually do have an emotional connection with this place that runs deep, you start to question that. That’s when you want to tear it all down and remind us, no, hit us over the head with your truths and links, and newspaper clippings and the rest of the laundry list of wrongs. Which Daphne had the nerve to say are culturally acceptable. I read it right first time, I read it through and got it. Thanks. Perhaps you are the one who needs to go back and see what you’re endorsing? And understand why someone would get emotional and angry? I said enough times that we know the bad – make space for the good. But it doesnt seem that Westerners have any space for that. Wow. They’ve really done a number on you. I didnt realise it ran that deep.

    It’s such a waste of time sometimes to explain to someone why you love a place, and why you see the world the way you do, when that person just clings to an attack space/mode BUT – and this is funny, calls themselves a ‘humanist’. Like I said, we Africans are constantly being hit on the head about the things that go wrong here. Got it, thanks!! Wow, you’re so clever to dig up Western media links that are in constant rotation. If you look at the portrayal of Africa closely, you’d wake up and realise that it is not done on a level playing field. These people have their own agendas – and it definitely isnt to help Africa, or portray us with anything but savagery or evil. I get emotional because I know that is not the complete picture. Just as you say you have a ridiculous amount of love for your people and culture – so do I. I have every right to that, and if you are African-American or black, you would understand what it’s like to be told to deny yourself, and to opt for self-hatred instead. I’ve been saying no to that for a long time now. But it’s the first time I’ve had to do that with someone who probably looks a little like me. It’s a damn shame is what it is. Calls herself a ‘humanist’ and says there’s no connection with Africa. Wow. Not many things shock me anymore, but that did.

    “As a humanist, I’ve a kinship to the world/others who share this planet but I don’t feel one iota of a connection to Africa in the slightest.” I now understand where your hatred comes from.

    As pointless as this exercise has been, at least I come away knowing that I will always stand up for what’s right about Africa. (Although it’s exhausting standing up for an entire continent, where others only have their one country or community to deal with.) And unfortunately, I come away knowing there are some negative people who wont hear what you’re saying because it suits them to paint ugly pictures only. That is their disease, not mine. I never said I excuse the people who do wrong, as Daphne suggested. I just wont put up with people saying we are all doing a particular thing – which was done when Daphne used ellipsis and etc and no qualifications.That loads statements with untruths, and I had to question that. And there was Akai to her rescue with links galore! Eish. People work hard at tearing this place down. Some people here do it on their own, but there are folks in the world who work hard at keeping up that image! I like to think there are more builders here, than there are destroyers.

    And, I do know some Spanish, but no thanks for the invitation. I’m touched that you would think of me in that way, especially because you’re begging for it, but: You have some other person to do that for you, I hope? That you do that to as well? Maybe not a person, your dog, perhaps? And by the way sies merely means ‘yuck’ ‘or ‘oh please, no thanks’. So, sies. Those who point fingers…honestly.

  • Ms. Ezi

    “Blame whitey”? Please speak for yourself Akai. I’m all for personal responsibility. You’re not saying anything that I and a lot of other folks are aware not aware of. We the “people” are making changes in the ways that we can.

    So speak for yourself. I have a different perspective than you and I’m glad for that. Not only do I recognize the problems but I am more concerned with brainstorming and working on solutions. Afro-pessimism, that’s it alright. But, you can be who you want to be and have the mindset you want. That’s you. More “power” to you.

    No further retort needed. You’re beliefs are yours and mine are mine. Good day.

  • Ms. Ezi

    “just as you say you have a ridiculous amount of love for your people and culture – so do I.”

    Ditto. Good post.

  • Ms. Ezi

    Unfortunately, there is a phenomenon whereby some people love to tear down instead of uplift now and days. It becomes ingrained in a lot of people’s mentality. To tear down and tear down until there is nothing left. Who wants to build the minds of the youth? Who wants to build the minds of people, rather than tear down and tear down. Who?

    I guess going along with the status quo is easier?

    But, like I said, there is going to come a time soon, whereby people will be looking to Africa for answers (well this happens anyways in the form of biotechnology, archaeology, etc. already). People can call it foolish, call it whatever, but I will NEVER deny mother Africa. Through the bad times, do I deny my own biological mother? No. Does this mean I ignore the “bad” in favor of the “good”? No. Some people think that by pointing out the good or attempting to give context you are excusing something. That’s their burden, not mine.

    I re-read your post again lol. I see where you are coming from exactly. As a Nigerian person, I have had to defend myself and my culture, and I will continue to do so.

  • def

    @ Akai, you don’t need to see Africa to know that. America will soon be following behind. The government, croonies, or whoever, don’t care about your people, black people or anyone else.

  • Joe Clyde

    @Amber

    Well AMBER. The fools that say that statement obviously think so. That was my exact point.

    They believe that somehow it is cool to tell everyone that they only listen too “alternative, rock, and experimental.” These people somehow feel that it makes them sound “cool”. It doesn’t.

    That is why I said that. It is as if they don’t think that Whites listen to R&B music. It is ridiculous.

    So THEY feel anything Black (R&B too them) is considered less than or following the pact.

  • Akai*

    AfROCKcentric obviously *I* struck the nerve. I ignored you but – after directly addressing Daphne and agreeing with some of her points – you wrote another rant directed at me. Others are allowed to have their own POV in this country, ya know?

    Trust and believe I don’t look “a little like” you in the least, but what’s up with making up crap and accusing others of doing things they never did (i.e. ‘question your emotional connection to Africa’, tell you to “deny yourself”)?

    That never happened and it’s not like anyone wrote “Africa is a shithole!” so whine about “the western media” day in and day out; twist a simple stating of the facts into “hatred” and ‘trying to tear Africa down’ all you want; yell “you’re brainwashed” until the cows come home — and all that speaks to is throwing a tantrum because you can’t disprove what has been presented.

    Ms. Ezi wrote: ““Blame whitey”? … I’m all for personal responsibility.”
    ***************************************************************

    When an individual writes: “The influence of foreigners who have manipulated the minds of Africans both on the continent and in America is one of the major factors leading to this genocide.

    Guess what that is? Blaming whitey (Germans, Belgians etc.) for the genocide! Personal responsibility means the Hutus who bought/distributed the machetes, got on the radio and called for the “cockroaches” (Tutsis) to be killed then proceeded to slaughter 800,000 children, women and men are solely to blame!!!

    Instead of getting mad over the truth, why don’t you both combat it by providing a list of progressive non-failed countries in Africa where the government is fairly stable, there are no civil wars, citizens are progressing (i.e. Ghana, Mauritius), “what’s right about Africa,” the “complete picture” or educate readers on positive changes you are personally making/involved in etc.

  • Ms. Ezi

    Akai,

    You’re way out of your league. Once again you’re making assumptions. Well, personally, I have a positive blog used to unite Black people, distribute newsletters, write articles, get on the ground and volunteer on a number of the very issues that you outlined which are holding back Africa, in between working a 40-hr job, am working on my thesis right now that deals unification, personal responsibility, etc as it relates to Black people. All the things you assume I am omitting by placing things in context.

    Oh, FYI, the reason I approached the situation regarding the Rwanda genocide in my initial post to you is because I’m presently funding, with my OWN money (and I’m far from rich), a documentary specifically addressing the genocide, what led up to it, ways to unify so it never happens again, and why Rwandans must be the leaders for change. I have spoken to gov’t officials, those who survived the genocide, just to name a few individuals.

    You’re out of your league, so calm down. I’m not angry. Maybe you are.

    So as I said, no further retort from you is really necessary. Because, regardless you’ve painted your picture of me and the entire African continent already.

  • Ms. Ezi

    Oh, did I mention I am also in the processing of creating a non-profit organization that utilizes theatre as a means to inspire dialogue and change.

    I don’t say that to brag or whatnot, because I generally just do things and do not toot my horn, however, you brought it on yourself.

    You asked what I’m doing. Just told you.

  • Ms. Ezi

    Just to clarify, I’m funding and producing the project regarding Rwanda.

    Any other questions?

  • Lo’rann

    Wow Akai.

    Still at it on yet another post?

    I just responded to your Gabby Comments on the Diva Article. I can’t believe you have nothing better to do but flip from article to article trying to prove your self some Negro Scholar and everyone else wrong for their opinions.

    Check the comment I left you and stop bullying folks on Clutch. Its shameful.

  • Ms. Ezi

    Lo’rann,

    LOL I just read your comment. I’m not sweating her. Through her posts towards me I was able to see that we wouldn’t be able to have a worthy debate here on the topics discussed.

  • Akai*

    Obviously, little Lo’rann, you have me confused with someone who gives a shit about any comment you make and deluded yourself into thinking you’ve some kind of power to give orders.

    Why don’t you go read the comments in the “Not angry, just opinionated” article and meet yourself. This was a debate and exchange of ideas and, as usual, vile ABW like you come in with the ghetto antics of talking about people instead of offering mature debate.

    Be gone!

  • Akai*

    No, Ms. Ezi, you’re out of your league and I made no “assumptions.”

    I suggested you both share the positive instead of having a fit over other’s opinions and the truth.

    It seems the angry one is the one that rolled up in this article yelling “blatant lies,” “ignorant” etc., so direct that at him/her!

  • Ms. Ezi

    @Akai

    Just the response I expected from you.

  • daphne

    Stop responding to these people. You have the right to come here and comment. From what I have seen, many people on this site resort to puerile viscous attacks. This is a site for adults but not too many people want to engage in civil discourse. Just ignore them. Do you think I even bothered to read any of these incredibly long posts based out of sheer irrationality aimed at me? No lol. If people cannot disagree without being insolent then just skip their comment.

    Apparently, I’m you. So this will basically be me talking to myself lol.

  • dela

    My gosh there are so many angry people in here. smh! Its proof its not just “ABW” but angry white women, angry white men, angry black men, angry hispanic women, angry hispanic men. Just angry people,smh. I think clutch needs to write about people who need love and how to love one another. We need unity, so much anger because someone is not feeling loved.

  • http://twitter.com/AfROCKcentric AfROCKcentric

    Wow – someone thinks they’re ignoring me. Or at least, they think that I thought I was being ignored. LOL! wow. craziness. LOL! these delusions are seriously out of control. I had merely posted something on the wrong thread. Hahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Oh my word. That’s some funny eish.

    @ Ms. Ezi – some people think we do nothing more than sit here and watch Africa go up in flames. And they firmly believe there’s nothing but flames. That’s their disease. We know what we do and dont have to prove that to any of their ilk. But I am glad there is someone like you doing what you need to, and also facing the criticism head on. Well done! Proud of you. Just from your name and take-no-shit attitude I think I know where you might be from! Would be good to see that documentary – can you let me know when it’s completed? Is that possible? Click on my comment name perhaps and get contact details? I only ask because there’s something I’ve been planning a long time that might go hand in hand with that…Although someone is going to start thinking that they precipitated something good. Just watch. It wont be long til they pat themselves on the back. But maybe this post is too long, and they wont actually read it? Cant read, cant concentrate, cant obliterate my love for my home.

  • kendra

    @Lo’rann

    I read your comment on the Gabby post. Priceless!

    @Ms Ezi and Afrockcentric

    I can’t believe the nit-wit tag team (akai, and her disciple daphne) is trying to play it off as if they are somehow more knowledgeable about your homeland than you, even though they’re foreigners and you live there. Ignorant, dumb-fuckery at its finest, just like the two of them.

  • Lo’rann

    @Kendra, yes girl, yes! : )

    These two broads are ridiculous and quite the waste of time! The fact that they think they’re scholars or remotely composed when it comes to their nonsense posts and their continual rude behavior is beyond me and anyone else reading their bullcrap!

    To call Gabby as big as a duplex, ClnMike a Donkey, and all the mud slinging comments those too hookahs make, is a complete contradiction to their dime store argument of honest debates and casual conversation.

    But, when you have no life and are quite the loser, starting Clutch wars on every post, is entertainment at best. I prefer the finer things in life, and don’t get excited every time they refuel a food stamp card! I got black card status! Holla!

  • Avette

    Oh come on JOE CLYDE lol my name is Amber, too and I did understand your point—the emphasis on the girl’s name was unnecessary and is part of the reason the black American comm can’t get along now…someone always has to throw shade on someone else for “acting white”. My parents named me Amber because that’s the color I was outta the womb…Amber, it’s a shade of brown :p lol name rant over.

  • Avette

    The woman in this article’s photo is B-E-A-utiful :) I love her ‘fro. No intellectual contribution, the horse is glue at this point lol.

  • Joe Clyde

    @Avette

    One of my coolest BFF from High School was named Amber. So I am definitely not throwing any shade on the name.

    Just the attitude. lol

  • Sweetness

    lorann & kendra shut the fuck up. this discussoin was fine til you brought your ghetto shit up in it. youre sickeningg so grow up. the one that use foodstamps is the one who first brought them up and that’s your chickenhead ass.

  • Lo’rann

    @Sweetness,

    Hmmmm. Even assholes need hero’s and it looks like you’ve signed up for the job!

    Good luck with that hun. Chow.

  • Sweetness

    @lorann
    every blog spot need a douchebag & you obviously have that job. now stick the nozzle up your ass.

  • http://www.twitter.com/LBoogie613 Ms. Ezi

    @AfROCKcentric

    I sent you a message on Twitter =)

  • http://healthyblackqueens.com Healthy Black Queens

    It would be nice. Being African is seen as an insult now. Some naturals say that people said, “Oh, you look African…” like it was an insult. I understand that people don’t see themselves as African-American because white people don’t call themselves European-American. They claim America solely and act like everyone else is different. If I was a black American, I’d just call myself an American. Why bring your ancestry into it?

  • AnonyMiss

    Well I thought the whole point of afrocentrism was just to help black people gain self-love and pride in their blackness which of course ties in w/ Africa because that is the origin of the black man/woman (well all people really but thats another issue…). I do recognize that their are differences between black culture and african culture but i do not think afrocentrism in america ever contained any real elements of african culture. yes there were things that were inspired by africa such as the fashion but other than that it was truly american. africans cannot even identify with the issues faced by black americans which are largely surrounded by race, something that is not a key issue in africa where blacks are the majority. i equate afrocentrism with black pride and i dont see what it really has to do with africa. it has to do with the African man/woman in America and embracing blackness in a society that caters to and prefers all things white.

  • http://twitter.com/kapriforce Kalimah Priforce

    Afrocentric thought began falling apart do to the cooked-up conspiracy theorists fueled by mother ships and secret societies rather than sticking to real science and academic research like Diop and Dr. Ben.

    Anything less than credible scholarship is just fable/myth mixed in with wild claims that the Illuminati killed Michael Jackson. LOL. The “Street scientists” were tolerable…when we all didn’t have computers in our pockets to verify facts, but now, with groups referring to Oprah Winfrey as the Mark of the Beast and President Obama as “half devil”, Afrocentrisim and pan-africanist thought woefully entertained intellectual buffoonery for way too long.

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