AuthorFaraji, Salim
PositionExploring the African Centered Paradigm - Book review

Exploring the African Centered Paradigm is an act of Sankofa. Itibari M. Zulu stands in ancestral epic memory while simultaneously forging future possibilities for the recreation of an African world culture. Zulu's intellectual labor is not reactionary naivete, nor historical romanticism. He has intelligently and critically responded to the 500 years of African dehumanization brought about by Western intellectual and religious imperialism. This book represents the vanguard of a worldwide African cultural and intellectual revolution capable of resurrecting the genius of Africa in the 21st century.

Zulu offers to the African world community a theoretical and operational paradigm of the African centered project that refutes the misguided characterizations of this historic African-led intellectual freedom movement, and challenges those proponents of Afrocentricity to constantly maintain a dialectic between theoretical construction and pragmatic implementation.

Dr. Molefi Kete Asante of Temple University asserts that, "Afrocentricity is a metatheoretical framework, a philosophical position," thus the African centered proposition is not a simplistic orientation. Hence, Zulu upholds the historical necessity of this important philosophical stance, and even more importantly, he demonstrates how metatheory is structured and restructured into institutions that emancipate and reaffirm the brilliance and humanity of African people.

Indeed Zulu's major achievement is that he concretizes the African centered paradigm into the disciplines of theological education, library and information science, and information technology. Why focus on these three areas?

First, the religio-spiritual and cosmological worldviews of African people have served as reservoirs for creating civilizations and resisting the onslaught of oppressive forces that are inimical to human civilization. The stupendous accomplishments of Nile Valley civilizations and the great empires of South and West Africa are rooted in the African sacred, spiritual and cosmological orientation to the world. Either through the creative adaptation and indigenization of invaders and missionary religions or through the practice of self-created indigenous spiritual traditions, African people understand religion as culture, as a way of being human and perpetuating our unique humanness in the world.

One cannot ignore the role of religion in the African world community since the devastating impact of the Maafa...

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