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The Case against Afrocentrism$
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Tunde Adeleke

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9781604732931

Published to University Press of Mississippi: March 2014

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781604732931.001.0001

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Africa and the Challenges of Constructing Identity

Africa and the Challenges of Constructing Identity

(p.23) 1 Africa and the Challenges of Constructing Identity
The Case against Afrocentrism

Tunde Adeleke

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter examines the historical context of black American identity by discussing the depth and strength of the African consciousness of black Americans. More specifically, it considers how African Americans historically responded to, and defined, their African connection, and the significance of Africa to black American conception of identity. It also assesses the role that blacks assigned to Africa in their struggles and how they defined themselves in the contexts of these struggles. The chapter focuses on two critical historical epochs during which black Americans grappled with the identity question: the moral suasion epoch (1830–1849), which is associated with the phase of organized black abolitionism, and the emigration phase (1850–1864, 1878–1880s), which is associated with an organized quest for an independent black nationality abroad. Furthermore, it deconstructs African identity and background in the context of slavery and explores the link between emigration and nationalism.

Keywords:   blacks, African Americans, Africa, identity, moral suasion, abolitionism, emigration, slavery, nationalism

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