Definition of AFROCENTRISM


Afrocentrism is a cultural, intellectual, and political movement that emphasizes and celebrates African history, culture, and achievements. It is a compound term derived from “Afro,” which refers to Africa or people of African descent, and “centrism,” indicating a focus or perspective centered around a particular theme or concept. Here are several key aspects of Afrocentrism:

Cultural Perspective: Afrocentrism offers a cultural perspective that places Africa and African culture at the center of historical and contemporary narratives. It seeks to counter Eurocentrism, which traditionally prioritizes European history, culture, and achievements, by highlighting the contributions and experiences of Africans and people of African descent.

Historical Reclamation: One of the primary goals of Afrocentrism is to reclaim and reframe African history from an African-centered perspective. This involves challenging colonial narratives and stereotypes that depict Africa as primitive, inferior, or lacking in civilisation, and instead highlighting the richness and complexity of African civilizations, such as those of ancient Egypt, Nubia, Ghana, Mali, and Songhai.

Cultural Pride and Identity: Afrocentrism fosters a sense of cultural pride and identity among people of African descent by promoting awareness and appreciation of African cultural traditions, values, languages, and arts. It encourages individuals to embrace their African heritage and roots, affirming the importance of self-love, self-determination, and collective upliftment within African and diasporic communities.

Social and Political Activism: Afrocentrism often intersects with social and political activism, advocating for the rights, empowerment, and liberation of African people worldwide. It addresses issues of racism, discrimination, and social inequality while promoting pan-African solidarity, unity, and self-reliance as means of achieving collective liberation and advancement.

In summary, Afrocentrism represents a cultural, intellectual, and political movement that seeks to center African history, culture, and achievements in narratives of global significance. It challenges dominant Eurocentric perspectives, promotes cultural pride and identity, and advocates for social and political transformation toward greater equity, justice, and empowerment for people of African descent.

Examples of AFROCENTRISM in a sentence

  • Afrocentrism encourages a reexamination of historical narratives to include the diverse contributions of African civilizations.
  • Scholars and activists advocate for the incorporation of Afrocentrism in educational curricula to provide a more inclusive and accurate representation of history.
  • The museum’s exhibits reflect a commitment to showcasing art and artifacts that embody the principles of Afrocentrism.
  • As a cultural movement, Afrocentrism seeks to empower individuals by fostering a positive sense of identity and heritage.
  • The academic conference will explore various aspects of Afrocentrism, including its impact on literature, philosophy, and social movements.
  • Afrocentrism challenges the Eurocentric lens through which much of global history has been traditionally viewed.
  • Afrocentrism challenges the dominance of Eurocentric perspectives in mainstream academia.
  • The principles of Afrocentrism have influenced various fields, including education, sociology, and anthropology.


The term Afrocentrism has a rich linguistic history, originating from scholarly discourse and evolving through various cultural, social, and academic contexts, reflecting its diverse meanings and implications over time.

  • Scholarly Origins: The term “Afrocentrism” emerged within academic discourse, particularly in the fields of African and African-American studies, as a framework for interpreting history, culture, and identity from an African-centered perspective. It seeks to recenter the narratives, experiences, and contributions of African peoples within global history and civilization.
  • Cultural and Social Movements: Afrocentrism has been associated with cultural and social movements that advocate for the affirmation, empowerment, and liberation of people of African descent. It emphasizes the importance of African heritage, values, and traditions in shaping identity, community, and social justice movements.
  • Historical Context: The roots of Afrocentrism can be traced back to early African diaspora intellectuals, activists, and scholars who challenged Eurocentric interpretations of history and culture. It gained prominence during the Black Power movement of the 1960s and 1970s and has since influenced various aspects of art, literature, education, and politics.
  • Critiques and Controversies: Afrocentrism has been subject to critiques and controversies, including accusations of essentialism, nationalism, and historical revisionism. Critics argue that it may oversimplify complex historical realities, essentialize diverse African cultures, or promote exclusionary narratives that marginalize other perspectives.
  • Contemporary Usage: In contemporary usage, Afrocentrism encompasses a range of perspectives, ideologies, and practices that prioritize the centrality of Africa and its diaspora in understanding human history, culture, and society. It continues to shape academic scholarship, cultural production, political activism, and community organizing around the world.

The term Afrocentrism thus represents a linguistic progression from its scholarly origins, through cultural and social movements, to its contemporary usage, where it signifies a commitment to centering African perspectives and experiences in the study and interpretation of history, culture, and identity.


  • African
  • Black
  • Africanness
  • Afrocentric
  • Pan-African
  • Pan-Africanism
  • Black Supremacism


  • Eurocentrism
  • Western-centric
  • White supremacy
  • Colonial mentality
  • Cultural assimilation
  • Assimilationism
  • Ethnocentrism
  • Cultural imperialis


  • Diaspora
  • Cultural
  • African
  • Empowerment
  • Revisionism
  • Identity
  • Ethnic

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