African American Culture and Heritage in Higher Education Research and Practice

By Kassie Freeman | Go to book overview

that while the book perhaps might not be racist, it was "extremely disturbing" for the reasons he gave.

I believe that this simple incident captures the reason Afrocentric world views are resisted by many Whites and not a few Blacks in the academy. It is disturbing to read new challenges to old ideology that may not be anchored as firmly in "objective" science as one might think. It is also disturbing to reconsider different ways of looking at Black people in the context of White supremacy ideology. Finally, it is disturbing to both unlearn and learn new authors, books, readings, and opinions about social sciences and education despite claims of an open academy. The academy's door may be open, but only to world views that have an eye toward Europe rather than Africa. Simply put, Afrocentricity rubs many the wrong way because it attempts to bring new authors to the discussion table of ideas.


CONCLUSION

Johnelia Butler refers to women and persons of color as the "increased dialogue of suppressed voices" ( Butler, 1989) that we are now hearing in the academy. The Black voices that are talking include Ani, Asante, Van Sertima, and Karenga, among others. To the degree that these voices are heard expands, rather than contracts, the world view of all scholars ( Winbush, 1991) regardless of color. Western sciences have tried to avoid the use of the words "ideology" and "science" in the same sentence for fear that it challenges science's supposed "objectivity." Such denial borders on the pathological because of mountains of evidence to the contrary. Writers other than Afrocentrists have said this, and it seems that presenting this fact to students in the classroom can go a long way in promoting more balanced views of Black people.


REFERENCES

Akbar N. ( 1991). Visions of Black men. Nashville, TN: Winston-Derek Press.

Ani M. ( 1994). Yurugu: An African-centered critique of European cultural thought and behavior. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.

Asante M. ( 1987). The Afrocentric idea. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.

Asante M. ( 1992). "African American studies: The future of the disciple". Black Scholar, 22( 3), 20-29.

Bernal M. ( 1987). Black Athena: The Afro-Asiatic roots of classical civilization, Vol. 1: The fabrication of ancient Greece 1785-1985. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Bernal M. ( 1991). Black Athena: The Afro-Asiatic roots of classical civilization, Vol. 2: The archaeological and documentary evidence. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.

Butler J. (personal communication) 1989.

D'Souza D ( 1995). The end of racism: Principles for a multiracial society. New York: Free Press.

Gould Stephen ( 1981). The mismeasure of man. New York: W. W. Norton.

Guthrie R. ( 1976). Even the rat was white. New York: Harper & Row.

Guthrie R. ( 1998). Even the rat was white ( 2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

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