Answering the Critics.

PositionExploring the African Centered Paradigm: Discourse and Innovation in African World Community Studies - Essay

There has been very few reviews of this book, however Liegh C. McInnis has offered "Stretch Your Wings: Famous Black Quotations for Teens/Exploring the African Centered Paradigm: Discourse and Innovation in African World Community Studies" in MultiCultural Review (1058-9236), 9 (2), 77; Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe Jr. contributed "Afrocentricity and Ideological Irredentism" in the New York Amsterdam News (November 9, 2000, vol. 91, issue 45; and Iain S. Maclean (Department of Philosophy and Religion, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia) provided a review in H-Africa (a unit of H-Net, an international interdisciplinary organization of scholars and teachers dedicated to developing the enormous educational potential of the Internet and the World Wide Web) in May of 2003.

The most critical was by Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr. (Nassau Community College of the State University of New York, Garden City), thus I will answer his criticism first, and then move to Maclean's critique.

In the first line of his review, Okoampa-Ahoofe digs deep by referring to the foreword by Salim Faraji as 'rather pontifical'. Thus from the start he places at least part of the text as pompously dogmatic, self-important or pretentious. Next he injects his take on history, stating that "much Afrocentric discourse which pretends to conscientize global African people is purely academic and theoretical". And after an exercise in letting readers know that he is knowable of African history, he say the book is "particularly for the disciplinary neophyte or novitiate" and that the book is also "woefully dated in critical parts". He gives no details on how the book is for the 'disciplinary neophyte or novitiate', except to suggest that there is no ongoing debate concerning the phenotype (i.e., a set of observable characteristics of an individual resulting from the interaction of its genotype with the environment) of the ancient Egyptians or that the debate is dated.

Last, he says that he finds it 'quite amusing' that I would mention the work of Henry Louis Gates, Jr. in reference to the ancient archives at Timbuktu when Ali A. Mazrui had done "The Africans: A Triple Heritage" before Gates did "Wonders of the African World". I don't think there is or was a race between them, what should matter is the quality of their presentations and how it can or should advance the knowledge and understanding of African history and culture.

Maclean like Okoampa-Ahoofe starts with a bang; in the...

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