Afrocentricity and Africology:
Theory and Practice in the
Molefi Kete Asante
Afrocentricity is a philosophical paradigm that emphasizes the centrality and agency of the African person within an historical and cultural context. As such, it is a rejection of the historic marginality and racial alterity often expressed in the ordinary paradigm of European racial domination. What is more, Afrocentrists articulate a counter-hegemonic view that questions epistemological ideas that are simply rooted in the cultural experiences of Europe and are applied to Africans (or others) as if they are universal principles.1 This may be discovered in the type of language, art forms, expressive styles, arguments, economic or social ideas within an interactive situation. Thus, the Afrocentric idea is critical to any behavioral activity that involves Africans or people of African descent.
In the field of African American Studies (or Africology), Afrocentricity holds a dominant paradigmatic place because it seeks to add substance to the idea of a black perspective on facts, events, texts, personalities, historical records, and behavioral situations. Thus, it is the critical turn that is essential for an intellectual to be fully committed to making a difference in the analysis and interpretation of situations involving people of African descent.2
Necessitated by the conditions of history that have seen Africans moved off cultural, expressive, philosophical, and religious terms, the Afrocentric idea in education seeks to reposition Africans at the center of our own historical experiences rather than on the margins of European experiences. This is a philosophical turn that is essential for the subject place of Africans as agents within the discipline called variously Black Studies, African American Studies or Africology. If Africans are not subjects in their own