Afrocentricity and Afrocentric Cultural Identity: A Response to Racialization in African American Thought

    African American thought is encompassed by a lot of attempts to resist racialization. If we agree with the Fanonaian argument that negritude is a logical antithesis of that insult which the white man flung at humanity, we can consider Afrocentricity arouse due to the same reason.

     Afrocentricity is considered one of the contemporary theories emerged as a response to the devastating impact of 400 years of racialization and oppression of African Americans.  Despite its negative consequences, racialization can increase racial pride and knowledge of the self among the radicalized. Thus, Afrocentricity could retrieve the traditional principles and values of ancient Africa and use them to reconstruct an Afrocentric cultural identity of African Americans.

      Asante defined Afrocentricity as a frame of reference wherein phenomena are viewed from the perspective of the African person. He described it as a quality of thought and practice rooted in the cultural image and interest of African people. He believed that it could encourage African Americans to understand their cultural identity through revitalizing black culture and consciousness among African Americans. In an attempt to re-humanizing the dehumanized, Asante developed an Afrocentric cultural identity as a source of self-assertion of African American’s cultural identity and pride.

      This study aims at analyzing the evolution of Afrocentricity as a reaction to racialization process experienced by African Americans and the impact of promoting Afrocentric cultural identity on African Americans to recover the negative effects of racialization.

Keywords: Afrocentricity, Consciousness, Afrocentric, Cultural identity, Racism, Euro-centrism.