College Curricula

What are the Afrocentric Movement and Afrocentricity?

The Afrocentric Movement emerged in the early 1970s, at the hands of such scholars as Molefi Asante, a Temple University professor, and Maulana Karenga, a professor at the University of California, Los Angeles. Their vision was that Black Studies should be rooted in the African experience and should have a worldview which emanates from that experience. The view is that one should understand the whole of human history, and recognize that there are mutually beneficial exchanges that contribute to and enrich African humanity and human civilization. Although the movement faced strong dissent among some precincts of academia, it gained in popularity and was well received among primary and secondary teachers who wanted an alternative to Eurocentric education.

The Afrocentric Movement is an academic focus on African history, culture, and thought. It spanned the 1980s and 1990s and was manifest in academic areas as well as in dress, paraphernalia, literature, art, and modern cultural traditions. It embodies all things related to African-American culture. Both black and white colleges led the way in promoting and offering Afrocentric education in their institutions.

Afrocentricism is more than historical facts and figures centered on time and space. Afrocentricism is based on the principles of truth, justice, balance, and order. It presents to black students their own cultural life experiences. The classroom is transformed into a holistic learning environment in which the student is the center. Although Afrocentricism benefits all students, the overall thrust of African-centered education is the re-centering of children of African descent.

Professors Molefi Asante (shown here) and Maulana Karenga spurred the Afrocentric Movement in the 1970s in which they emphasized that Black Studies should teach about the African experience.


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