African Centered Text (1990-2000): A Decade of Protracted Engagement.



The following is an annotated bibliography of eighty African centered books on African religions, philosophy, cultural history and spirituality, published between 1990 and 2000 (organized in alphabetical order by author/editor, title, publisher, place of publication, and date).

The premise of this exercise is that often in our rush to define, defend and develop the particulars of Afrocentricity and the African centered paradigm, we assume that all have read or are at least familiar with some of the key text in Africology. However, to our surprise, many have limited familiarity. To help solve this challenge, this non-exhaustive and introductory bibliography is designed to 1) provide an introduction to work in print addressing African world religion, philosophy, and spirituality, 2) encourage critical reading, discourse, and thinking within the African centered paradigm, and 3) to introduce space for a more systematic examination of African centered literature.

Interest in print sources on traditional and ancient African religions, philosophy and spiritualities seem to have blossomed during the 1990s, yet the genesis stem from the work of professor John S. Mbiti in his classic book, African Religions and Philosophy published in 1969, representing the first popular and systematic study of African religions and philosophy from an African perspective, and the first work to significantly challenge Christian assumptions about traditional African religious ideas. And second, from the placing of African people at the center of any analysis of African phenomena via the theoretical construct of Afrocentricity, as articulated by professor Molefi Kete Asante in Afrocentricity: The Theory of Social Change (1980, 2003). This acknowledgement is important as we make room for a more systematic examination of African centered literature, and demonstrate the ongoing history and dynamics of the African centered text.

Addae, Erriel Kofi (Erriel D. Roberson), ed. To Heal A People: African Scholars Defining a New Reality. Columbia, MD: Kujichagulia Press, 1996.

A collection of ten essays working to define an independent African centered discourse on science, spiritual awareness, psychology, cosmology, cultural renewal and education. Contributors to the collection include Marimba Ani, Mwalimu Shujaa, Kwaku Kushinda, Na'im Akbar, Asa G. Hillard III, and others.

Akbar, Na'im. Light from Ancient Africa [foreword by Wade W. Nobles]. Tallahassee, FL: Mind Productions & Associates, 1994.

An insight into the human psyche through ancient Kemetic tradition arguing that the human being is transpersonal and inevitably connected to the divine and everything in nature. The work investigates the origins and dimensions of Kemetic psychology, the discovery of the self, and the spiritual legacy of Rameses.

Amen, Ra Un Nefer. Metu Neter, Vol. 1: The Great Oracle of Tehuti and the Egyptian System of Spiritual Cultivation. Brooklyn, NY: Khamit Corporation, 1990.

A review of ancient Kemetic: spiritual awareness, destiny, evolution stages (Sahu, Ab, Ba), ten stages of initiation, Maatian principles, four levels and ten states of meditation, mediumistic trance, deities of the Metu Neter, cosmology, cosmogony, the philosophical and psychological aspects of the Metu Neter oracle system and a guide on how to meditate and perform a ritual.

Amen, Ra Un Nefer. Metu Neter, Vol. 2: Anuk Ausar, The Kemetic Initiation System. Brooklyn, NY: Khamit Corporation, 1994.

A guide to achieve spiritual perfection and success based on the ancient Kemetic system of ten initiation stages. The principles and processes of initiation are explained utilizing Ausarian religion (i.e., observances and practices designed to guide one to a life of success) to obtain a harmonious human social order. The volume includes an index, and an appendix of illustrations and chants.

Amen, Ra Un Nefer. Tree of Life Meditation System (TOLM): General Principles of Holistic Meditation. Brooklyn, NY: Khamit Corporation, 1996.

Using the eleven hidden powers of the spirit of ancient Kemet, this work guides one through a twenty-one day meditation process (consciousness) involving the ability to: remain peaceful in the midst of great difficulties, unify all aspects of human life, avoid and solve all conflicts, overcome all difficulties, meet all objectives, protect ourselves when unprotected, establish and maintain control over our lower behavior, awaken and direct our emotions and subconscious via imagination, awaken and direct our emotions and subconscious via intellect, and develop our foresight and ability to access our vitality and health to meet our objectives.

Ani, Marimba. Yurugu: An African Centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior. Trenton, NJ: African World Press, 1994.

This work exposes the dynamics of white world supremacy as it examines European cultural thought and behavior in ten chapters. Critical thinkers in the African centered community have praised this work for its ability to awaken the African mind to the evils of destructive white thought and action.

Asante, Molefi Kete and Abu S. Abarry, eds. African Intellectual Heritage: A Book of Sources. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996.

This reference volume provides a comprehensive guide to sources on the African world community experience from ancient history to the Million Man March to assist in the construction of an African intellectual canon. The text is divided in six thematic sections, and by far, the best text of its kind. The work includes a chronology, index, bibliography, and a glossary.

Asante, Molefi Kete. The Afrocentric Idea. (revised and expanded edition) Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1998.

This work forms an Afrocentric theoretical critique of imperialistic Eurocentric orientations and injects the agency of African people and culture into the equation of social and political transformation. Hence, the work address: ideological assumptions and misinterpretations of the Afrocentric idea, communication theory, the function of speech, the character of audience in the African concept of rhetoric from the Akan of Ghana, Afrocentric themes of transcendent discourse, the functions of an Afrocentric paradigm in advancing African Studies, and other topics.

Asante, Molefi Kete. Kemet, Afrocentricity and Knowledge. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1990.

This work rest on the idea that Africalogy (the Afrocentric study of phenomena, events, ideas, and personalities related to Africa) is a discipline and has its theoretical foundations (principal issues of inquiry) in African cosmological, epistemological, aesthetic and axiological understandings. Throughout the book, an Africalogical paradigm juxtaposes discourse on the legacy of ancient Kemet, the rhetorical principles of Maat, contiguous critique, and other perspectives.

Asante, Molefi Kete. Malcolm X as Cultural Hero & Other Afrocentric Essays. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1993.

A collection of twenty essays on: the Afrocentric school of thought examining Malcolm X as a cultural hero, Afrocentric axiom formation (i.e., power resides in how close we are to our cultural center), book critiques, the question of time and space control from C. Tsehloane Keto's construct, analogy flaws of Arthur Schlesinger, the subject fields and paradigmatic approaches of Africalogy, a proposal for six large states in Africa to advance economic and social progress, and African centered communication theory detailing systematic meta-theory.

Asante, Molefi Kete. The Painful Demise of Eurocentrism: An Afrocentric Response to Critics. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 2000.

This work provides a response to the critics of Afrocentricity, thus the author engages Stephen Howe, Mary Lefkowitz, Kwame Anthony Appiah, and others to demonstrate that their principal problem is their disbelief in the agency of African people to create society, community, culture and civilization. Hence, Asante also challenges the basic arguments of the critics, and reiterates the correctness of the Afrocentric vision.

Ashby, Muata Abhaya and Karen Asha Clarke-Ashby. The Mystical Teachings of the Ausarian Resurrection : Initiation into the Third Level of Shetava Asar. Miami, FL: Cruzian Mystic Books, 1997.

This volume details the myth of the Ausarian (Osirian) Resurrection, the story of Osiris, Isis, Horus (Heru) and Set, and it's mystical implications for achieving a stateof supreme peace, hetep. Insight is given as to how these spiritual teachings can be applied and practiced in one's daily life.

Azibo, Daudi Ajani ya, ed. African Psychology in Historical Perspective & Related Commentary. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press, 1996.

A selection of fourteen essays on research in the emerging discipline of Africentric psychology with content on: the nature of human nature through African thought, an Africentric approach to mental health, the question of 'mentacide', psychotherapy, educational psychology, curriculum development, pedagogy and other topics.

Badejo, Diedre. Osun Seegesi: The Elegant Deity of Wealth, Power, and Femininity. Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press, 1995.

A report on ritual orature, sacred song and festival drama of the Yoruba goddess Osun Seegesi at her principal shrine in Osogbo, Nigeria, demonstrating gender reciprocal harmony building, and...

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