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Afrocentrism : Mythical Pasts and Imagined Homes - Stephen Howe


Mythical Pasts and Imagined Homes

Paperback Published: 17th August 1999
ISBN: 9781859842287
Number Of Pages: 348

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A vigorous challenge to the Afrocentric rewriting of African history. For centuries, racist, colonial and Eurocentric bias has blocked or distorted knowledge of Africans, their histories and cultures. The challenge to that bias has been one of the greatest intellectual transformations of the late twentieth century. But alongside this challenge has arisen a counter mythology, proclaiming the innate superiority of African-descended peoples. In this provocative study, Stephen Howe powerfully argues that this Afrocentric movement is guilty of reproducing all the central features of the outmoded Euro-racist scholarship. Offering a mostly fictional history of Africa and its Diaspora, centered on bizarre ideas about ancient Egypt, Howe argues that Afrocentrism is a symptom of, rather than a cure for, desperate political and economic problems. In Afrocentrism, Howe traces the sources and ancestries of the movement, and closely analyses the writings of its leading proponents including Molefi Asante and the legendary Senegalese historian Cheikh Anta Diop. Martin Bernal's contribution is also assessed. Hard-hitting yet subtle and scholarly in its appraisal of Afrocentric ideas, and based on wide-ranging research in the histories both of Afro-America and of Africa itself, Afrocentrism not only demolishes the mythical "history" taught by black ultra-nationalists but suggests paths towards a true historical consciousness of Africa and its Diaspora.

Industry Reviews

"precise and courageous ... Howe's book is a landmark." - Brian Appleyard, Sunday Times "a spirited, meticulously researched polemic ... with unrelenting energy and intellectual rigour, Howe traces the history and development of Afrocentric ideas." - Kate Teltscher, Guardian "Stephen Howe's candid book goes right to the heart of one of the most vexing of contemporary America's problems ... a great service for all who are interested in the intellectual study of race and racism in the US." - Caryl Phillips, Financial Times "Howe has done a signal service by exposing one region of this subterranean world to the light of reason." - Anthony Daniels, Spectator

A Note on Language, Terminology and Sources
Introductionp. 1
Ancestors and Influences
Race: What's in a Name?p. 19
Pan-Africanism and Negritudep. 23
African Origins and the Claim of Primacyp. 28
Diasporic Images of Africa before Afrocentrismp. 35
The Birth of Afrocentrismp. 59
The Masonic Connectionp. 66
Caribbean Currentsp. 73
Afro-America as Nation, and as Internal Colonyp. 87
African Cultures and the New Worldp. 101
Visions of History
Hamites, Semites and Statue-Stealersp. 115
The Lure of Egyptp. 122
Nubia and 'Inner Africa': the Ideological Uses of African State-Buildingp. 138
African Unity and African Philosophyp. 156
Cheikh Anta Diopp. 163
Martin Bernalp. 193
Afrocentrism in the Present
Wild Afrocentricityp. 215
Molefi Asante: Godfather of Afrocentrismp. 230
The Network, the School and the Fellow-Travellersp. 240
Afrocentrism and Sciencep. 259
Psychology, Race and Magic Melaninp. 265
Polemics and Prejudices: Sex, Race, Religion and Afrocentrismp. 275
Bibliographyp. 287
Indexp. 327
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781859842287
ISBN-10: 1859842283
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 348
Published: 17th August 1999
Publisher: Verso Books
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.13 x 15.88  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.48
Edition Number: 1
Edition Type: New edition