Blacks in America have used Africa to construct an essentialist ideological worldview on the basis of their historical experiences. This has led to the construction and affirmation of a countervailing monolithic protest identity that, unfortunately, is one-dimensional and ahistorical and is more reflective of the alienation of black Americans than a true representation of the historical process. The notion that black Americans remain essentially African despite centuries of separation from Africa is historically flawed. In constructing black American relations with Africa within a monolithic, one-dimensional framework that underscores underlying mutuality and shared values, Afrocentric essentialism refuses to confront the complexities and paradoxes of the history and relations of Africans, black Americans, and African Diaspora. The identity debate and crisis among African Americans remain unresolved, in part because African Americans themselves have not passionately and consistently embraced the African identity.
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