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 7: Culture, Communication, and Afrocentrism: Some Rhetorical Implications of a New World Order
Culture, Communication, and Afrocentrism: Some Rhetorical Implications of a New World Order
Our reality is a product of our symbol-making, symbol-using, and symbol-misusing behavior. Each of us only experiences a tiny slither of reality, and our whole overall picture is but a construct of our symbol systems. In fact, all of our social behavior is grounded in symbolism. It is through language resulting from our human symbol-making capacity that human action occurs and our perceptions of the world around us are most affected.
According to theorist Kenneth Burke (1966), the use of language “is a symbolic means of inducing cooperation in beings that by nature respond to symbols” (p. 31). Our use of language ...