Promoting Student Voice Through Afrocentric Practices in America's Urban Schools

  

 

What is Afrocentric Education?

Afrocentric Education is education designed to empower peoples of the African diaspora. A central premise behind it is that many Africans have been subjugated by limiting their awareness of themselves and indoctrinating them with ideas that work against them.

afro identity

 

 

 5 Benefits of Afrocentric Education



1. Develops African Culture Consciousness

One effect of the enslavement of African people has been the distortion of their cultural consciousness. Preeminent educator and author Dr. Amos Wilson argues that when a people’s culture is distorted, their capacity to appropriately organize, evaluate, and classify information to deal with reality is impaired.

He further argued that culture must be used as a conduit for solving problems and meeting the needs of the people.


2. Creates African Self-Identity

During the transatlantic slave trade that took place between the Americas, Europe and the Caribbean, millions of African people were sold into slavery. Over the course of 400 years, African people’s identity has been distorted as they were stripped of their original languages, original African names and spirituality. In addition, African people on the continent experienced a different kind of identity crisis through colonization, which divided Africa into colonies and imposed foreign languages and culture values.


3. Produces African-Institution Builders

An institution is defined as “any structure or mechanism of social order governing the behavior of a set of individuals within a given community and are identified with a social purpose, transcending individuals and intentions by mediating the rules that govern living behavior.”

In  “The State of African Education,” renowned educator and author Dr. Asa Hilliard writes:  “A global system of power distribution has dictated and continues to dictate the nature of the education and socialization processes.”

African-centered educators maintain that there can be no true African-centered education until people of African descent control the institutions within their community.

Institution building involves creating the necessary agencies that are designed to impart knowledge, skills, values and attitudes necessary to survive and progress.


4. Produces Black Nation Builders

Along with culture and identity, education must help restore the concept of nationhood, manhood and womanhood for African people, according to historian and educator Dr. John Henrik Clarke.

African-centered educators believe that wherever Blacks happen to be in the world, they constitute a nation or a nation that is within a nation, and that concept is called Black nationalism.

Dr. Kmt G. Shockley states in Culture, Power, and Education: The Philosophies and Pedagogy of African Centered Educators:  “Black nationalism requires that Blacks develop a sense of agency toward fixing the problems within their own communities. Agency eventually leads toward nation building. Agency and nation building involve the intentional and focused attempt to ‘develop African youth to be specifically trained to further develop and ‘administrate the state’ (that is, control the community).


5. Empowers Black Students

Professor and author, Dr. Wade Nobles states in Madhubuti & Madhubuti that an “African-centered curriculum appropriately connects the Black experience to the African cultural world view and value system. This connection facilitates a healthy context from which African-Americans can learn about and understand themselves and the world.”

Child Development found “racial pride to be the most powerful factor in protecting children from the sting of discriminatory behavior. It directly and positively related to three out of four academic outcomes—grade-point averages, educational aspirations, and cognitive engagement—and was also related to resilience in the face of discrimination.”


 * For more information on Afrocentric Benefits please visit The Atlanta Black Star 


“People can say public school curriculum is multicultural, but it’s not – it’s a melting pot where cultures get lost. We like the idea of a cultural salad bowl instead, where every ingredient keeps its flavor.” - Professor Carol Lee Northwestern University

 

  

Resources: 

Website- Integrating history to build the future

         This site tells the account of how an Afrocentric School in Columbus, Ohio unwravels African American History in a very honest and forthright way of looking at social injustice, predjudice, African American successes.

www.ozy.com/fast-forward/save-afrocentric-schools-save-history/61156

 

Website-  Afrocentric Historical Perspective Lit Review

        This Lit Review provides detailed view of how history in afrocentric schools is presented, highlighted, and reconstructed. 

http://www.academia.edu/7146552/Afrocentric_Education_And_Its_Importance_In_African_American_Children_And_Youth_Development_and_Academic_Excellence_Ch2._Lit_Review

 

Video- Shows a 100% Diverse School which does not address cutural anger in a reconstuctive and theraputic way. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-B_kmAebbQ&feature=youtu.be

 

Video- Juxtoposes the previous video showing a parent talking about his son's afrocentric school which provides an outlet for student voice and cultural unity 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jf0at5Rt1rk