Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Daudi Azibo: Defining and Developing Africana Psychological Theory, Research and Practice

Academic journal article The Journal of Pan African Studies (Online)

Daudi Azibo: Defining and Developing Africana Psychological Theory, Research and Practice

Article excerpt


As one of the major theorists in African-centered psychology, Daudi Azibo has consistently been about the task of defining, describing and defending African-centered psychology. Through Azibo's scholarship, the production, dissemination and consumption of information relative to the psychology of Africana people has been explored and expanded. Azibo argues that an African-centered liberation psychology must establish and position itself as a viable discipline that is able to counter the cultural and political hegemony of Eurocentric psychology. It is suggested that Azibo's body of work constructs an intergenerational and intellectual bridge that connects the pioneers of African/Black psychology with the more recent voices in the discipline.

Key words: African-centered psychology; Africana psychology; Liberation psychology; African-centered theory; African-centered methodology; Africana intellectual history; Nosology

Daudi Azibo has been at the forefront of the formulation of an African-centered psychology. He was born in Washington, D.C. and attended Xavier University for his freshmen year of college. After transferring and graduating from Rider University in 1978, he obtained his M.S. and Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis. He was an assistant professor of African American Studies at Temple University (1987-1992), and achieved the rank of full professor of psychology at Florida A & M University (1993-2004). His having worked at both Temple University and Florida A & M University should not be overlooked. The Department of African American Studies at Temple University, chaired by Molefi Asante, in 1988 became the first Ph.D. program in African American Studies. The psychology department at Florida A & M, chaired by Joseph Baldwin/Kobi Kambon from 1985-1997, is the only psychology department known to have an African-centered emphasis within its curriculum (Kambon, 1996). Thus, by serving with both Asante and Kambon, Azibo has contributed to the development of two major programs that can be considered as the bastions of African-centered thought within the hallowed halls of both ivory and ebony towers. He has also taught at SUNY-New Paltz, Grambling State University and Delaware State University.

Azibo is a prolific scholar in the area of African-centered psychology. His published books include: African-centered Psychology: Culture-Focusing for Multicultural Competence (2003), African Psychology in Historical Perspective and Related Commentary (1996) and African American Psychology: Theory, Research and Practice (1992). Azibo has published over fifty-five articles mostly in numerous Africana Studies related journals such as The Western Journal of Black Studies, The International Journal of Africana Studies, The Negro Educational Review, The Journal of Pan African Studies, The Journal of Non-White Concerns, Imhotep: An Afocentric Review and The Afrocentric Scholar. In a content analysis of the Journal of Black Psychology (JBP) conducted by Cokely et al (1999), Azibo was ranked the highest contributor to the JBP during the 15-year period from 1985-1999.

Additionally, the May 1998 (v. 24, #2) and the 1994 (v. 20, #3) issues of the JBP were devoted to Dr. Azibo's work on the Azibo Nosology and Black Liberation Theology and Liberation Psychology, respectively. His scholarly research and outstanding contributions to African- centered psychology resulted in his being awarded the prestigious Distinguished Psychologist award by the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) in 1993.

Azibo's understanding of what would evolve into African psychology was shaped and formed by his relationships with several prominent Black psychologists. The major influence in Azibo's early articulation of Africana psychology was Robert L. Williams. For many Africana scholars, particularly those who matriculate at predominantly white institutions, graduate school can be a period that involves intense academic and personal conflicts. …

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