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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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Essentialist Construction of Identity and Pan-Africanism

Essentialist Construction of Identity and Pan-Africanism

(p.94) 3 Essentialist Construction of Identity and Pan-Africanism
The Case against Afrocentrism

Tunde Adeleke

University Press of Mississippi

Afrocentricity implores black Americans and Africans to unite in the spirit of Pan-Africanism, arguing that they have similar historical and cultural experiences and confront similar problems and challenges. Moreover, Afrocentric scholars argue that black Americans and Africans had always been drawn together by common interests and that they had always stood together to further those interests. This chapter examines the Pan-African and identity contentions of Afrocentricity and whether African Americans can truly claim African identity. It considers whether black Americans and Africans really share common interests and challenges and whether they have been drawn together historically by shared experiences. Finally, it discusses serious limitations to the utilization of Africa as identity and Pan-Africanism as a medium of constructing a monolithic platform of struggle.

Keywords:   identity, African Americans, Africans, Pan-Africanism, Afrocentricity, Africa

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