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Rites of Passage, a Pan-African Model

Increasingly, families of African descent in North America have felt the need to organize rites of passage initiatives to counter the influences of the popular culture channeled through social and other forms of mass media. These families have reached back, so to speak, to draw upon traditional African rites of passage models to facilitate life-cycle transitions. These families are engaged in processes of rediscovery and reclamation of African identity and culture as they exercise their choice to be African. Twenty-first-century definitions and understandings of African identity are different from those formulated in the 20th century, and recognizing these differences is critical in the context of liberation struggles for cultural, political, and economic freedom and justice. This entry provides a general discussion of these practices ...

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