Africology at 30: Success in Our Lifetime.

AuthorZulu, Itibari M.
PositionAnniversary of first PhD program in the Department of African American Studies at Temple University - Editorial

We should never overlook progressive success in academe and elsewhere, but especially in academe, since most of us are in the academy, or are at least products of the academy, despite its Eurocentric and often anti-African posture.

One success story has been the birth and growth of the first PhD program in the Department of African American Studies at Temple University under the main direction of Dr. Molefi Kete Asante, one of the most prolific African scholars and intellectuals alive today.

In September 2018 the Journal of Black Studies (vol.49, no.6) produced a special edition to celebrate and assess 30 years of doctoral studies in African American studies with two editorials and four articles.

In an introduction editorial Dr. Ama Mazama (Professor and Director of the Graduate Programs of the Department of Africology and African American Studies, Temple University) states that it is only fitting the Journal of Black Studies should mark the occasion with a special issue dedicated to examining and reflecting on the watershed development and goes on to outline how Molefi Kete Asante with the support of a few colleagues and members of the Black community initiated the process which resulted in the creation of the first doctoral program at Temple University, and how Asante understood that the institutionalization of Black Studies at the highest level, that of the PhD, would require epistemological demarcation from European disciplines in order to establish Black Studies' institutional turf and boundaries--in other words, for Black Studies to be able to justify its existence and need to grow within the meta-paradigm of Afrocentricity calling for intellectual decolonization through a debunking of the spurious notions of "universalism" and "objectivity" accompanied with a radical epistemological reorientation, with Africa no longer lying at the periphery of European consciousness but occupying a central place as agent of its own history.

Next, Dr. Molefi Kete Asante, the founder of the first PhD program and professor and chair of the Department of Africology and African American Studies at Temple University, founding editor of the Journal of Black Studies, President of the Molefi Kete Asante Instiute for Afrocenric Studies, and advisory board member of Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies provides a personal account of the aims, objectives, and the challenges he and his principal colleagues faced in the creation of the program to...

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