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.

The Way We Do: A Preliminary Investigation of the African Roots of African American Performance

The way we do: A preliminary investigation of the African roots of African American performance

Speak to me so that I may speak to you. By our voices we recognize each other in the darkness.

—Ifa divination

Once Spider came to have a calabash filled with all the knowledge in the world….

—Ashanti tale

In the performance of storytelling, we reconstruct and perpetuate the history of a mythic past in order to better understand both that past and our own time in a historic and ritual continuum. In the performance of storytelling, we participate in pure celebration, in ritual, in imparting the moral or the lesson of the story, and in creating the “stage” on ...

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