Transcript of "Dr. Asa Hilliard III, Free Your Mind- Return to the Source AFRICAN ORIGINS "
Dr. Hilliard generally declared of his work:
"I am a teacher, a psychologist and a
historian. As such, I am interested in the
aims, the methods and the content of the
socialization processes that we ought to
have in place to create wholeness among
Mr. Listervelt Middleton Interviews Dr. Asa Hilliard
"Free Your Mind ... Return to the Source ...
The African Origin of Civilization"
Listervelt Middleton (1952 - 1996) began his formal broadcasting career as News Director at WOIC in Columbia, SC and
worked with the SC Educational Television in 1977 where he was the producer and host of ETV's award-winning program
"For the People" which aired in Detroit, Memphis, Washington, DC, Barbados, Virginia and Atlanta. This program provided
an intellectual forum for the understanding of African history. He addressed topics like "The African Origin of Humanity"
and "The African Origin of Civilization." Mr. Middleton interviewed leading scholars from Africa, North and South America
and was a prolific writer and highly-respected poet. He was the author of three volumes of poetry: "Fatback and Caviar,"
"We Be Creosote People", and "Southern Winds, African Breezes." Several of his poems appeared in "Essence" magazine.
Mr. Middleton gave readings of his poetry at the First World African Alliance in New York, the National Black Child
Development Institute in Los Angeles, and The Moja Festival in Charleston, SC. His works have reached people of all
cultures and races throughout the US, Barbados and Africa. Mr. Middleton's work was directed in an attempt to clarify
myths and distortions in the history of African and American people.
Asa G. Hilliard III, 73, an educational psychologist and a leading proponent of Afrocentric studies in public schools. Asa G.
Hilliard III (August 22, 1933 – August 13, 2007) joined the ancestors while in Egypt, where he was on an annual study tour
with students. He had complications of malaria and died in Cairo.
Since 1980, Dr. Hilliard had been the Fuller E. Callaway Professor of Urban Education at Georgia State University. He
previously had spent 18 years on the faculty of San Francisco State University, where he became dean of education.
For more than two decades, Dr. Hilliard was a leader of Afrocentrism, an ethnic history movement that highlights historical
achievement among blacks -- in part to boost minority students' self-esteem.
Dr. Hilliard became a consultant to Atlanta schools during the implementation of training guides known as the "AfricanAmerican Baseline Essays." The essays, developed by educators in Portland, Ore., view ancient black Egypt as the birthplace
of the philosophical, mathematical and scientific theories that formed civilization.
"We mis-teach European history, as we mis-teach American history," he said. "Basically, what we should be teaching is the
whole story, the truth. That's the bottom line."
Asa Grant Hilliard III was born Aug. 22, 1933, in Galveston, Tex. His father was a high school principal, and his
mother was a Pentecostal minister. After they divorced, he grew up in Denver with his mother.
He graduated in 1955 from the University of Denver, where he also received a master's degree in counseling
in 1961 and a doctorate in educational psychology in 1963. While attending college, he worked as a math
teacher in Denver public schools and as a railroad maintenance worker, bartender, waiter and cook. He also
served in the Army in the late 1950s.
In academia, he made African studies and minority achievement his chief concerns during a long career as a
writer, consultant and lecturer.
He consulted on perceived cultural biases in history textbooks and wrote hundreds of scholarly articles on
topics including African history and public policy. He spoke frequently on child development and teachertraining matters.
Dr. Hilliard advocated the elimination of standardized admissions tests as a key criterion for college
admission, saying they had "a disproportionate impact on those children who need school the most, the
His books included:
•The Maroon Within Us: Selected Essays on African American Community Socialization
•SBA: The Reawakening of the African Mind
•Teaching/Learning Anti-Racism: A Developmental Approach (Paperback)
•The Teachings of Ptahhotep (Paperback)
•The Price They Paid: Desegregation in an African American Community (Paperback)
•Infusion of African & African American Content in the School Curriculum (Paperback)
•African Power: Affirming African Indigenous Socialization in the Face of the Culture Wars
•Rx for Racism: Imperatives for America's Schools (Article; Phi Delta Kappan April 1990)
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