Living the Intersection: Womanism and Afrocentrism in Theology

Living the Intersection: Womanism and Afrocentrism in Theology

Living the Intersection: Womanism and Afrocentrism in Theology

Living the Intersection: Womanism and Afrocentrism in Theology

Synopsis

Womanism and Afrocentrism are the two most influential currents in contemporary African American culture. They both heighten black cultural self-awareness, even as they deepen knowledge of its historical sources. As womanism mines the ways and wisdom of African American women for Christian theology, so Afrocentricity excavates an African past to liberate the oppressed from Eurocentric worldviews. Yet are the two compatible? What does the mostly male Afrocentric scholarship contribute to the survival, wholeness, and liberation of black women? In this volume social ethicist Cheryl Sanders and other leading womanist thinkers take the measure of the Afrocentric idea and explore the intricate relationship between Afrocentric and womanist perspectives in their lives and commitments. Their strong, frank assessments form a creative engagement of these two momentous streams.

Excerpt

Womanism and Afrocentricity are two exciting perspectives that have recently emerged in the African American community. African American women have given birth to the womanist idea. In essence, a womanist is a black feminist who is committed to the survival and wholeness of entire people, male and female. While the term womanist was coined by Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Alice Walker in her 1983 volume, In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens, its usage now goes bevond her definition. African American women have adopted the term as a symbol of their experience. Womanist signals an appreciation for the richness, complexity, uniqueness, and struggle involved in being black and female in a society that is hostile to both blackness and womanhood.

African American males have taken the lead in articulating the Afrocentric concept. Molefi Kete Asante, however, has brought the term to prominence and clarified its meaning. In his text Afrocentricity, Asante defines Afrocentricity as β€œthe belief in the centrality of Africans in post-modern history.” He delineates the implications of Afrocentric belief for the way African Americans negotiate life in a white racist society. The . . .

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