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Africa and Afrocentric Historicism: A Critique

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DOI: 10.4236/ahs.2015.43016    5,108 Downloads   6,752 Views Citations


Since the dawn of slavery in America, black activists have used Africa to construct a countervailing frame of resistance to oppression. Africa had functioned both as the justification for enslavement and racial discrimination for the dominant white society, and as the counter-hegemonic weapon of resistance and empowerment for blacks. Reacting to subordination and marginalization, modern black intellectuals, borrowing from the past, have equally invoked Africa in their quest for a useable and instrumental historical past with which to counteract the Eurocentric constructions of their heritage and experiences. However, the resultant Afrocentric historicist framing of Africa, as well as its racialized and essentialist character, had only replicated precisely the negative shortcomings of the Eurocentric historiography and black intellectuals were attempting to debunk.

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Adeleke, T. (2015) Africa and Afrocentric Historicism: A Critique. Advances in Historical Studies, 4, 200-215. doi: 10.4236/ahs.2015.43016.

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