Afrocentrism  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Afrocentrism (also Afrocentricity) is a cultural ideology, worldview mostly limited to the United States and is dedicated to the history of Black people. It is a response to global (Eurocentric/Orientalist) racist attitudes about African people and their historical contributions and revisits their history with an African cultural and ideological focus. Afrocentricity deals primarily with self-determination and African agency and is a Pan-African ideology in culture, philosophy, and history.

Afrocentrism can be seen as an African-American inspired ideology that manifests an affirmation of themselves in a Eurocentric-dominated society, commonly by conceptualizing a glorified heritage in terms of distinctly African, foreign origins (where foreign is anything not indigenous to Sub-Saharan Africa). It often denies or minimizes European cultural influences while accenting historical African civilizations that independently accomplished a significant level of cultural and technological development. In general, Afrocentrism is usually manifested in a focus on African-American culture and the history of Africa, and involves an African Diaspora version of an African-centered view of history and culture to portray the achievements and development of Africans who have been marginalized by other races of people (usually Arabs and whites).

What is today broadly called Afrocentrism evolved out of the work of African-American intellectuals in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but flowered into its modern form due to the activism of African-American intellectuals in the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and in the development of African-American Studies programs in universities. In strict terms Afrocentrism, as a distinct academic ideology, reached its peak in the 80's and 90's. Today it is primarily associated with its advocate Molefi Asante.

Proponents of Afrocentrism support the claim that the contributions of various African people have been downplayed or discredited as part of the legacy of colonialism and slavery's pathology of "writing Africans out of history" Critics of Afrocentricity accuse it of pseudo-history, reactionary, and therapy.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Afrocentrism" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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