Afrocentricity—the placement of African values and ideals at the center of the discussion surrounding African culture, discourse, and behavior—is an important framework that has emerged over the past decade. In this timely volume, editor Janice D. Hamlet has chosen essays that illuminate various aspects of African American culture, refracted through the lens of Afrocentric thought. In Part I, the basics of Afrocentric ideology and methodology are examined. Part II focuses on Afrocentric approaches to the dynamics of communication. The Afrocentric influence on the black aesthetic is covered in Part III, with an examination of language, literature, oral tradition, movies, and television. Part IV provides a glimpse into the future of Afrocentric visions.
Chapter 1: The Deep Structure of Culture: Relevance of Traditional African Culture in Contemporary Life
The Deep Structure of Culture: Relevance of Traditional African Culture in Contemporary Life
Culture defined as the total way of life of a people is somewhat indestructible. As long as there are people they will have a way of life. Culture determines quality of life in large measure. The importance of cultural identity to people of African descent has been emphasized repeatedly (Asante, 1983; Cruse, 1967; Karenga, 1983).
Part of what is being responded to is what Nobles (1976) describes as the “conceptual incarceration” of black people in a hegemonous European-American-oriented culture.
The natural consciousness of black people is forced to relate to a reality defined by white consciousness. That is, contemporary black people ...