Recently the question of whether someone can be both Spiritual and Atheist at the same time was posted, and as expected, some of us agree that both can coexist but others also disagree. However, the conversation took a different tern. Comments posted started addressing the idea of Afro-centrism, and some very negative. In one such comment, Mr. Ralph pointed out, “there is no worse retard than an Afrocentric.” Mr. Ralph, I believe, is misguided in his statement. I totally disagree with him. It was Afro-centrism that brought me, and others I know, to Atheism. Maybe Ralph and I view Afro-centrism differently, and I would like to know his view including the views of everyone here.
However, as an Afro-centered person, being Afro-centric does not have anything to do with religion. Nevertheless, I agree, like Euro-centrism (religious aspect) there are aspect of Afro-centrism (religious aspects) that is stupid and promotes irrationality, but are these irrationalizes what define Afro-centrism. I think not. Afro-centrism is much more than just African religions.

Tags: Africa, Afro-centrism, Atheist, Freethought

Views: 196

Replies to This Discussion

Yes, indeed , one can be Afro-centric and atheist just as one can be a right-winger and atheist that does not mean that the holder of this view is not subject to irrational thinking. Afro-centrics, cultural nationalist, black nationalist at least in the so-called "Black Atlantic" context, seem to me to be race driven in their political, cultural, social and, yes, religious thinking.This kind of thought is characterized by it's reliance on a world view dominated by crackpot, wild conspiracy theories ie. AID's is a project designed by the white world to eliminate all black people or the mafia is responsible for the deaths of certain black rappers,this kind of thinking has strong currents in some parts of the mass black culture. Evidence or concrete proofs for the assertions of this type of thinking is rarely or never produced and, if it is, it amounts to wildly irrational subjective nonsense stated with the same fervor as a theist in full throated supernatural mode. All attitude and no credible facts. I suppose one would have to define Afro-centrism a lot clearer than it now exist for it to have credibility.Good luck with that.
It's hard to even answer, because I thought African-centrism and religion were independent. I personally do not subscribe to any for of centrism, because by definition, it holds one above another. However, I do promote the integration and participation of African-Americans in all facets of society.
I personally do not subscribe to any for of centrism, because by definition, it holds one above another. However, I do promote the integration and participation of African-Americans in all facets of society.

Nicely expressed, Gabriel. I can't speak for Mr. Dumain but he's consistent in his disdain for ethnocentricity- of any type. This is different than denying one's ancestry or the trials and triumphs of a people over time. It simply means that one seeks a worldview that takes into account our shared human history, as opposed to a narrow swath of it.
Thanks guys. Yes Gabral, Afro-Centrism and religion appears to be two different things. However, within the black community everything Afro-centric is usually defined within a religious context, Christianity, Islam, Judaism etc. Of course it depends on the individual or group’s Afro-centric slant, for example, the black “moors” define Afro-centrism within an Islamic context; Black Christians within the Christian context (Black Liberation Theology), and so on. Certainly, I understand that centrism, both white and black, can and have fostered the worldview that live one to falsely believe that he or she is better than the other is and vice versa. However, Afro-centrism should be, as Nate points out, part off and not exclusively the ingredient that design a worldview for black people. The same applies to other cultures.
In addition, I must point out that if the adherents to Afro-centrism apply the same level of critical and skeptical eyes they scrutinized white culture and Christianity by some, Islam and Judaism by others, to the African religion and “spiritual” systems, many Black people will certainly become Atheist, Agnostic and Freethinkers. But, as one friend point out to me once, if one place his or her palm (left or right) on his or her face and try to recite what is seen without reciting from memory, one will not be able to. Indeed, an impossible task because he or she would not be able to have a clear view of the palm; the palm will be to close to the eye. In like manner, is Afro-centrism to Black people, and they, as religious believers, are afraid to steep back form Afro-centrism and take a good hard look. Indeed, they might see something they do not like,” Irrational and subjective nonsense,” as gerard26 points out.
It depends on how you define Afrocentrism.

A number of years ago I attended a talk given by Dr. Molefi Asanti, the man who coined the term, in Philadelphia. During Q&A I specifically asked him about the obvious parallel with the word ethnocentrism, and if this Afrocentricity involved demeaning or looking down on other cultures. He assured me it did not.

It has been my impression that "Afrocentrism", in its most basic and benign sense, is just a response to the Eurocentrism that is always present in our education and the media that we consume every day. It's just a way of raising awareness, or changing perspective, on our culture.

However the movement has attracted many pseudoscientists and extremists, and the term has unfortunately taken on a mostly negative connotation.

Finally, in answer to your second question: of course one can be Afrocentric and an atheist, since atheism only has to do with one's belief or lack of belief in the existence of a god or gods.
I agree George, in it benign and basic sense Afrocentricity was a response to Eurocentricism and its demining of all things black. However, Afrocentricity always have, despite the teachings of African culture and its greatness as a contributor to civilization, had the religious undertone, or should I say overtone. For example, Black Liberation Theology (Christianity with a black interoperation) and of the pseudoscientists and extremists, you mention, are what defining Afrocentrism today. I have nothing against Afrocentrism; in its benign form, it’s a good thing. I think one must understand his or her culture and its contribution to civilization. Of course, that understanding must be done in the context of the human family. We are all connected, but many come to Afrocentrism expecting the same religious irrationality but with a black twist. Black Liberation Theology comes to mind.
There is no need for that Black Liberation Theology today. The Jesus and the other biblical characters are black stuff is a futile argument. It is silly. The use of Black Liberation Theology in the 50s and 60s was needed to combat the negative stereo type and hatred Eurocentrism lashed out on blacks. We first had to become proud of ourselves, and now we do, rationality should take the place of irrationality. Afrocentrism must strive to eradicate and eliminate its religious irrationalities (Islam, Christianity, Judaism, Voodoo, Rastafarian etc) and it many pseudoscientists and extremists. The way Afrocentricity is now, I believe that it is hampering the black progress.
Interesting point. The thing is that African pre-axial forms of religions were no match for the modern mono-theistic ones. To be afro-centric in these times is to accept that our ancesters failed to preserve this culture and its now extinct. However this does not mean that the mono theistic religion are right. It goes to show that cultures do not have religious protection and this is consistent with the problem of evil. In order to be a modern afro-centric you have to also accept that your ancesters were socially home schooled and one must now derive a theoretical mind-state that illiminates colonial doctrines while making scientific corrections like other cultures who were able to evolve as populations. However the thing is many disguise colonialism in the form of pan-africanism, Rastafarians are perfect examples in that they seem to just be another christian cult. My opinion is that based on historic observations only secular afro-centrism is plausible and I agree that its the driving force behind my atheism.
I would like to call myself a "truthcentrist." It is not "afrocentric" when I say that the Ishango and Lembombo bones are the world's oldest mathematical devices. It's just the truth. It's not being "afrocentric" when I say that Africa had systems of writing long before the Europeans and Arabs introduced their systems of writing to Africa. It's just the truth.

Nice way of putting it, Gary.
Yes Gary the Adventurer, there are indeed two schools of thought when dealing with Afro-centrism, and I am amaze at how many black brothers and sisters flock to the mystical nonsense. In fact, why can’t these people apply the same type of scrutiny they apply to the other religions to theirs? If they do, most, if not all, Afro-centric black people will become freethinkers and even Atheists. It has been said, the best lie people will believe is the one that is sprinkled with tads of truth, and Mystical Afro-centrism got that down pack.
Acccurate portrayal of Africa is not Afrocentrism or any other for of centrism. There are no two schools; there is only a social scientific understanding of human history or metaphysical obscurantism. In particular, Molefi Asante is an intellectual charlatan. His book Afrocentricity is reactionary to the core, and of course he can pull it off by ghettoizing the definition of African-derived peoples insulating them as a subect from historical materialist and other social scientific methods inorder to create a postulated fictionious metaphysical notion of African essence. This stuff is so intellectually dishonest and it's important to understand why. This would also mean expanding the narrow focus or organized atheism on the natural sciences, which are quite limited as tools to understand social phenomena, and devoting more attention to social theory, philosophy, and the history of ideas.

RSS

Support Atheist Nexus

Donate Today

Donate

 

Help Nexus When You Buy From Amazon

Amazon

MJ

© 2014   Atheist Nexus. All rights reserved. Admin: Richard Haynes.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service