Don’t know what Afrocentricity is? You can learn about this philosophical movement from one of its founders, Dr. Molefi Kete Asante, at an upcoming talk on the Northwestern State University campus.
“Afrocentricity is a simple idea,” he once wrote. “At its base it is concerned with African people being subjects of historical and social experiences rather than objects in the margins of European experiences.” NSU’s Student Government Association, Black Studies Minor, Center for Inclusion and Diversity and Office of the Vice President for Inclusion and Diversity have teamed up to bring Dr. Asante to NSU.
The talk is free and open to the public. Asante will speak March 29 at 6 p.m. in the Ora G. Williams Digital Media Center (NSU TV Studio), Kyser Hall Room 142.
Dr. Jasmine Wise, who coordinates NSU’s Black Studies minor, explained Afrocentricity further: “The U.S. as we know it is seen through a Eurocentric view. The European way of thinking has completely dominated what we see, taste, feel and know as culture. It’s essential that the Afrocentrism lens is explored. Afrocentrism brings balance and answers questions unexplained before. We get to see, taste, feel and know the culture of a diverse diaspora of people who have rich history and a rich future.”
The talk is being offered to help introduce ethnic studies minors NSU began offering in 2021. Student Government Association President Bailey Willis said, “[we] believe ethnic studies programs are essential in increasing the diversity of the curriculum offered at our university. These programs allow students to have the opportunity to educate themselves on areas unknown to them and create an understanding of various ethnic backgrounds aside from their own.”
Director of the Center for Inclusion and Diversity Brittany Broussard shared that opinion, saying, “The Office of Inclusion and Diversity is pleased to be a co-sponsor for the next installment of the Black Studies Lecture Series presenting Dr. Asante. We love to be a part of broadening educational experiences around diverse topics and human perspectives.”
NSU Vice President of Inclusion and Diversity Dr. Michael Snowden added, “Dr. Asante’s lecture aligns with the NSU DEI strategic plan, which includes the objective of increasing course offerings and establishing programs in ethnic studies areas. His work is aspirational for our university. I’m sure our students will be energized by his presence, and it will draw their attention to our Black Studies Minor.”
Black Studies is an interdisciplinary approach that includes courses from many departments such as history, anthropology, music, sociology and English. “Black Studies continues to answer the questions unanswered before the minor was created,” said Wise. “Students feel connected to the curriculum in a way they weren’t before, making space to explore parts of culture and history once neglected.”
NSU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Greg Handel spoke of the respect that Asante has earned through his scholarship and teaching.
“We’re honored to have Dr. Molefi Kete Asante join us as a distinguished lecture presentation for Northwestern students. His impressive scholarly background includes having served as the major professor of more than 140 students in African American Studies at Temple University—a first of its kind program to study the Afrocentric experience. He is a prolific scholar and author, and stellar educator, and a distinguished human being,” Handel said.