Conclusion: Defining, Defending and Developing.
The first chapter focused upon: 1) an acknowledgement that this presentation rest on the work of African scholars and activists; 2) a recognition that those who support the African centered paradigm must articulate its mission and work to make it an organism in service to human development and understanding; 3) an awareness of vile attempts to distort the African centered paradigm as absurd, when in reality the imposed lexicon of "Afrocentrism" has become an ill-defined ghetto of imperialistic negatives, in contrast to the expanding pro-active Afrocentric movement that has touched all aspects of human culture in America and other parts of the world.
Secondly, in chapter two I examine how the library, and the library profession has its origins in African society through ancient Kemet; how it was the home of the first major library with an advanced system for collecting, organizing, describing, preserving information and how the African centered paradigm can be applied to library science and other professions.
In juxtaposition to discourse on library history, in chapter three I discuss the role African American information professionals can play in society to advance human culture as their ancient priest-librarians counterparts did in ancient Kemet (Egypt); and the need for the general African American populous to embrace information centered technology as a means to achieve social, economic and political justice.
In the next section I reported on how and why the Amen-Ra Theological Seminary was constructed as the first on-line African centered seminary to investigate the international dynamics of African religion, philosophy and spirituality which includes insights into how the African centered paradigm was instituted via the degree programs of Amen-Ra Theological Seminary, and how its course of study focus on African social ethics, truths, epistemology and theocentric paradigms to represent a synthesis of core ideals to form the first and only attempt by people of African descent to define and design a graduate theological curriculum addressing essential epistemologies in African world community religious, spiritual and philosophical studies.
Preceding I echo the priest-librarian theme with an introduction to ancient Kemetic ecclesiastical literature to further illustrate the utility of advancing the best of ancient wisdom in a post-modern world community. And last, two extensive annotated bibliographies were designed to encourage critical reading, discourse, and thinking with the aim of creating a sound foundation of thought and action that is within the scope of conscious positioning, defining reality, and of defending and developing a good and just world community. Therefore it is critical that I address each so we are clear about this important protracted journey, as I conclude this work.
As we explored the themes outlined above, we must also question how the African centered paradigm is defined, defended and developed to ensure that does not become a stagnate construct, and thus afraid to 1) challenge narrow theories of knowledge and culture; 2) acknowledge the political nature of culture; 3) confront lax analyses of class contradiction, gender oppression, the economic exploitation of human potential; and 4) other key issues that can institute a revolutionary and people-centered world community.
The challenge for advocates and detractors of the African centered paradigm intensifies during the definition phase. The detractors have defined the Afrocentric orientation to data as a sensationalized work of myth and propaganda and subsequently, they have coined the term "Afrocentrism" to formulate a fraudulent national debate on the merits of the Afrocentric movement to exclude the scholars, advocates and practitioners of the African centered paradigm.
In a quick history of "Afrocentrism" as a term, it appears to be an invention of convenience, to extract from the perpetual motion of the Afrocentric movement began in full in the 1980's.
The term received its first popular public exposure in a 1991 Newsweek magazine cover story (September 23, 1999) on the topic.
Thereafter, an army of imperialistic conservatives arose to define and shape the term as a political movement bent on bashing white people and creating pseudo-historical myths about the African contribution to world history to assist the self-esteem of inner-city African American children in the U.S.
As a result, "Afrocentrism" has been popularized as nonsense, narrowly focused, divisive, shortsighted, selective, anti-white, anti-Semitic, a placebo, a separatist movement, an invitation to ostracism, and a host of other negatives according to Carolyn Bennett in The New Pittsburgh Courier. Ironically, many of our well-intended colleagues have unfortunately used the term as a synonym of Afrocentricity.
In a close review of the literature, it is clear that our colleagues actually favored the Afrocentric perspective, but inadvertently used the term "Afrocentrism". For example, in a review of the 1989 edition of Index to Black Periodicals, Afrocentricity was a subject heading, although it had no citations and shared a cross-listing with "race identity"; in its 1990 edition, there was no reference to Afrocentricity or Afrocentrism.
And most interesting, it seems that "Afrocentricity" had been replaced with "Afrocentrism" as a standing subject heading in the Library of Congress Subject Headings, although between 1989 and 1997, only 13 of the 64 citations under "Afrocentrism" specifically used the term in the titles of their work.
In recognition of this paradox, and as an act of self-conscious self-determination, I have decided not to use "Afrocentrism" as a synonym of Afrocentricity, or the African centered paradigm, and add more clarification to the Afrocentric dialectic.
Thus, I envision three organic processes: "Afrocentricity" as an intellectual enterprise and orientation to knowledge, the "Afrocentric" as a condition of Afrocentricity, and the "African centered" as the implementation phase of Afrocentricity and the Afrocentric approach directed towards specific and universal phenomenon. And furthermore, I humbly call on all who support the Afrocentric project to detach themselves from the lexicon and political agenda of "Afrocentrism" to avoid guilt by association in a vile propaganda war bent on dismantling the Afrocentric perspective.
The foundation is set for supporting, encouraging, expanding and defending the African centered paradigm and African centered scholar-activist through the work of the: Association of Classical African Civilizations; African Heritage Studies Association; Council of Independent Black Institutions (CIBI); National Black United Front (NBUF), and many other organizations in the U.S. and around the world that have constructed and sustained independent African centered institutions.
Thus, we must support these institutions, and remember that inevitably, the best defense for the African centered paradigm rest in its ability to maintain a sound organizational structure. Organization is key, rarely is an institution attacked with the same rigor as an individual---a sea of African centered voices is a deterrent, and much more difficult to quite than a lone cultural studies professor skilled in post-modern Ivy League rhetoric.
Oba T'Shaka in Return to the African Mother Principle of Male and Female Equality, Vol.1 (pp. 300-305) details how organizational structure through the National Black United Front made the difference between success and failure in developing aspects of the Afrocentric education movement in the U.S.
Consequently, for the first time in American history, the education elite and their colleagues had to meet the challenge of an African theorized and lead educational movement that questioned the imperialistic and Eurocentric nature of education. And most interesting, according to T'Shaka, they were not prepared for the challenge.
We must begin to re-Africanize ourselves through rediscovery, redefinition, and revitalization to rebuild and strengthen critical institutions for liberation and empowerment.
-----Harold E. Charles [Hannibal Tirus Afrik] Chicago Defender (January 21, 1995), p.16.
The African centered paradigm in its path to truth, knowledge and program implementation must position itself for 1) the development of new ideas, and 2) a basic Aquarian era paradigm shift that will reframe the familiar in a new context to advance human consciousness and social development.
In this journey, we can expect the familiar will call upon the history of the earth, humankind and the universal elements of fire, water, earth, air and their hot, cold, wet and dry qualities as presented by George G.M. James in Stolen Legacy: Greek Philosophy is Stolen Egyptian Philosophy to signal this new paradigm shift.
Thus our paradigm must be a logical and progressive interdisciplinary project that can open doors to an 'Afroscience', hence: 1) a science that utilizes African centered data in all areas of inquiry and thus, 2) and a project that can equip the Afroscientist with key tools to conduct research and implement culture specific programs.
And as a consequence, this paradigm must also be able to critically incorporate: experimentation; logic; systematize facts; methodology; hypotheses; technique; new data; corrective critique; lexicon development; classification; and a multiplicity of investigations to advance dialectical truth and knowledge.
In conclusion, I extend peace and blessings to all, and forthrightly encourage all to continue to promote and sponsor: African cultural activities (life cycle activities: naming, rites of passage, weddings, and ancestor honor); independent and supplemental school formations; discourse and action to create a just society of gender equality; African language acquisition; visits to Africa; special national celebratory events (African Liberation Day, Kwanzaa, etc.); nonviolence and conflict resolution-reconciliation; leadership education; programs that resist oppressive and imperialistic cannons; and a host of other activities that can lead to victorious consciousness, and a just world community. Peace and blessings.
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|Publication:||Journal of Pan African Studies|
|Date:||Mar 1, 2018|
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