Contradictions and Special Contradictions in African Personality Explained.


There is only one contradiction [among ADP] in the world today and that is that there are no contradictions. That's the one contradiction. Bobby Wright (1982)

Chapter Preamble

John Henrik Clarke (John Henrik Clarke, 2012; Toure, 2009) in a public lecture in Philadelphia circa 1991delivered his life's reflections without talking about himself much. Instead, he followed a centuries old tradition which states "If you want to know about me, then let me tell you about my teachers." The praise went forth in explaining how his teachers and their works had shaped him. The contradictions of those teachers (there had to have been some) were left out. I too followed this tradition when asked to speak on my self-reflections (Azibo, 1993a)--having been designated one of the "Distinguished Psychologists" of the National Association of Black Psychologists. The praise points for my ABP teachers, loosely speaking, flowed without mention of their contradictions. However, this is not the case in the present chapter in which contradictions of seven iconic Africana scholars provide the basis for analysis. Some might think this inappropriate as to develop a disquietude that erupts or slow burns. Despite this, some personality textbooks make a point of looking into the lives of the theorists for insight into their theories (Schultz & Schultz, 2001). As well, I invoke Bobby Wright's point about contradictions (chapter epigraph) that ADP cannot continue on with displaying contradictions en masse and accepting it as okay as if anything and everything that ADP do is neither to be questioned nor sanctioned.

Therefore, I advance this discussion of icons for two reasons. First is that their contradictions best underscore and vivify the explication I am presenting about the potential for contradictions being inherent in the African personality construct. This point is returned to below. Second, the genealogical work of Carroll (2012) establishes my relationship with some of these scholars. The relationship between my work and theirs has been summed up as follows: "Azibo's body of work constructs an intergenerational and intellectual bridge that connects the pioneers of African/Black psychology with the more recent voices in the discipline" (Jamison, 2014, 3).

It would seem this author is well-placed to bring forth these scholar's contradictions--and I do so here pursuant to theory illumination. In doing so, I hope to "steer a course between the Scylla of concealment and mendacity and the Charybdis of 'meanest mortal's scorn'" (Azibo, 2002, 71). I admit up front that in calling out/naming/identifying the contradictions of these individuals, most of it relies on my own testimony. It is mostly my own recollection of events that I personally experienced in interactions with them. I offer my recollections in the flow of the given interactions as I best recall. The interactions took place in the 1980s and 1990s and covered private and public meetings, formal and informal conversations, around business or personal matters. I offer no supporting witnesses, videotapes, audiotapes, photographs, or documents. But, I stake my reputation on every iota of information presented. As a public intellectual, I have little money and no power. All I have is my reputation. As this will not be good enough for all readers, I would offer the following resolution: Should any of the named persons, their representatives, or their supporters wish to dispute the facts as I present them in this chapter in a way that carries legal force and substantial consequences, not only would I relish it but I suggest doing it Africentrically: a public trial judged by a panel of elders, both sides (me and the disputants) taking an oath literally on pain of severance of the penis (as depicted in many of ben-Jochannan's books), loser to lose his penis immediately upon final judgment. Perhaps atavistic and dramatic, but I am serious.

Chapter Purpose

With the intricacies of the wheel model from chapter 5 in mind, the heretofore unexplainable, skull-cracking (makes the head snap back involuntarily or knee-jerk like while cogitating), confidence in African-centeredness sapping contradictions in African personality functioning can be understood. That is the purpose of this chapter, to lay bare a logic that explains manifest, observed contradictions in African personality functioning. As the epigraph suggests, the contradictions in ADP's behavior often go forth without corrective commentary. By way of explaining such population-wide contradictions, I will use examples of actual behavior by iconic African descent mental health professionals and scholars. Each example is public knowledge or fact that I can personally attest to. I describe their contradictory behaviors providing commentary based in African personality theory. Although it is necessary to discuss pertinent mental disorder/disorganized personality concepts in light of the contradictions described, this is not to be interpreted as diagnosing these individuals.


Contradictions in espousing centered Africanity while actually behaving consistent with the Eurasian center are not theoretical minutiae, but of major consequence especially where persons oriented toward or espousing of ORP/ORM are concerned. Manu Ampim has put it well:

... it is impossible for the Africentric community to begin practicing Maatian ethics, when there are so many movement individuals involved in corruption. Much of their behavior is no different than that of the average unprincipled street person. This behavior by many movement individuals must be challenged, because each of us, and the movement itself, is affected by this activity. The individual person and his [sic] actions are not separate and cut off from the collective. The collective and the individual exist in a reciprocal duality, where one always eventually affects the other. (cited in Baruti, 2005b, 69). WEUSI implies this directly. It is also pointed out that "children assess their parents based upon the degree of contradiction they exhibit." It follows at the society level that "[i]f any individual [from the]... Afrikan centered intelligentsia, who is... practicing european [sic] [Eurasian] thought or behavior [when found out]... will leave mass confusion among our people in her/his wake" (Baruti, 2005b, 74).

There are people, intelligentsia and the masses, including especially mental health workers, who display contradictions in ORP and ORM behaving regularly. This might be expected, logically, as paraphrasing Bobby Wright (1982) "ADP have the right to have 'crazy' and dysfunctional people too." ADP are not "super people," just African humans with all human fallibilities built in. As the mental health worker of African descent comes out of the same environment overall as does the populace, s/he is likely as vulnerable to hub failures/breakdowns/disorganization as are the masses. Actually, I have been saying colloquially for decades that the two craziest groups of ADP I know are the psychiatrists and psychologists. Although likely a serious problem, mental affliction amongst the psy-profession bretheren is often difficult for the African descent mental health professional to come to terms with (Azibo, 2015b). Nevertheless, some of these contradictions stemming directly from a damaged hub may be run of the mill and others spectacular anomalies. Azibo's wheel model can likely explain most instances of this type of straight-up, walking contradiction and can likely fix them by applying directly the Azibo Nosology II (hereafter AN II) to the interpretation of the individual's behavior. The AN II is a system of diagnosing and treating disorders of the African personality (Azibo, 2014a). It is the favored diagnostic tool as it derives directly from the wheel model.

Example 1: Un-named, but well known. Many nationally known psychologists espouse African-centeredness. One does so in his professional speechmaking and writings, but is straight-up a contradiction in certain regards. For example, in the midst of a serious group effort of ADP meeting to solve community problems he excused himself to go observe--of all things--Salat Al Jumuah. If that were not enough, he admits to facing Mecca when praying. Why?

Because Dar Al Islam requires these behaviors! Imagine additionally that for decades this same individual beset with in-the-closet, on the low, secret same-sex attraction and indulgences has contradictorily espoused in his public speeches and writings culturally appropriate heterosexual marriage. Baruti (2002, 2005b, 69-76) provided a scathing report. Using the AN II diagnostic system, the theological misorientation disorder--defined as the belief in, allegiance to, or practice of a theology, religion-related ideology or any aspects thereof that are incongruous with (a) Africentricity meaning African-centeredness as social theory, (b) African history, and (c) traditional, centered African asili or deep structure of culture--can explain the former Arabicized behavior dressed up as Islamic religion. Sexual misorientation disorder--defined as the practice of or inclining toward male or female homosexuality, bisexuality, bestiality, or other sexual acts or sexual thinking qualifying from an African-centered perspective as perverse--can explain the sexual behaving.

With explanations from the AN II in place, using them in clinical practice and self-development activities likely will bring about more effective treatment and African-centered growth for all ADP afflicted in the population at large (Azibo, 2014a, in review b).

Example 2: Asa G. Hilliard. If Cheikh Anta Diop can rightly be labeled "Pharoah" (Finch, 1987, 227) for his Imhotepian/multi-genius multidisciplinary contributions and activism, then Asa G. Hilliard can be designated a "Prime Minister" for his. Despite being a giant amongst African-centered scholars, his membership in the Sigma Pi Phi fraternity, also known as...

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