Sun | Jun 13, 2021

Afrocentrism's time has expired

Published:Saturday | May 26, 2012 | 12:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

Afrocentrism is a radical black political ideology that has no relevance in the 21st century. The main purpose of Afrocentrism is to promote black nationalism and ethnic pride in order to mitigate the debilitating effects of universal racism.

Afrocentric scholars have misinformed the public and have promoted racism and conflict. For example, the late Huey Newton, a founding father of the Black Panthers, promoted violence against whites and gave black Americans the impression that whites were to blame for their failures.

Afrocentrism is Eurocentrism with a black face. According to African-American scholar Clarence Walker, it is a 'therapeutic myth'. It is a fallacy to believe that the only way to empower blacks is by teaching them that they are superior to whites, and encouraging division.

Further to this, Afrocentric scholars have tried to recreate history. George James, the author of Stolen Legacy (1954), stated that the ancient Greeks did not have the ability to develop philosophy, and ancient Greek scholars such as Aristotle stole Egyptian writings from the Library of Alexandria. This is by no means correct, because the Library of Alexandria was built after the death of Aristotle.

Afrocentric scholars have tried to recreate history from an Afrocentric perspective in order to give blacks a sense of pride and self-esteem.

Thinly veiled racism

However, the movement is idealistic and impractical. One cannot expect to uplift the black race by preaching black supremacy. This is a form of racism and it can also be seen as ethnocentrism.

Afrocentrism teaches its followers that the world is dominated by white capitalists, who seek to exploit blacks. Instead of empowering blacks all over the world, the Afrocentrics have encouraged violence and disobedience to the state.

Although it must be noted that slavery negatively affected Africa's development and stimulated industrial development in Europe and North America, two wrongs do not make a right. Afrocentric scholars should organise public lectures to educate blacks about science and technology, so that they will be able to use technology to make themselves wealthy and prosperous.

LIPTON MATTHEWS

lo_matthews@yahoo.com

St Andrew