Topics: African American, Afrocentrism, Sociology Pages: 4 (1077 words) Published: September 26, 2007
Today, many people can identify with the term "Afrocentrism." However, few people know what this term entails or what makes up the Afrocentric viewpoint. According to Asante, Afrocentrism has been incorrectly connotated and studied from a Eurocentric perspective. To be Eurocentric is to possess a desire for the material things in life and the struggle that goes along with obtaining such things. In addition, to be Eurocentric is to be focused around individual upward mobility and success. Asante argues that the concept of Afrocentrism cannot be fully understood from such a perspective.

His first major focus is on the way in which society is viewed from both the Eurocentric and Afrocentric perspectives. Eurocentrists, he argues, tend to take a linear view toward society with regard to its changes and advances. The Euro-linear view is based upon the ability to predict change and then to control it through the constructs of a given ideology or set of guidelines. On the other hand, the Afrocentric view is circular in nature--relying on the ability to interpret societal change and then to understand it.

To illustrate this more clearly, Asante makes note of the distinctions between the Western Eurocentric orators and Afrocentric orators. He states that when it comes to the discourse of Afrocentric language, whether written or spoken, many in the Western world commonly misconstrue its true meaning. In turn, many people find themselves unfamiliar with the culture and style of Afrocentric ideology. While the Eurocentric orator's discourse is based upon a stimulus-response relationship he or she has with a given audience, the Afrocentric orator's discourse is primarily concerned with rhetoric and structure meaning that the words, spoken or written are not necessarily meant to stimulate, but to educate and promote harmony among the masses. This is perhaps why most white leaders emerge from professional backgrounds and most black leaders ascend from behind...
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