The Afrocentric Paradigm in Health-Related Physical Activity
Author(s): Beverly D. Pittman
Source: Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 33, No. 5 (May, 2003), pp. 623-636
Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3180979
Accessed: 13/05/2009 18:45
Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at
http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp. JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless
you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you
may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use.
Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at
Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed
page of such transmission.
JSTOR is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1995 to build trusted digital archives for scholarship. We work with the
scholarly community to preserve their work and the materials they rely upon, and to build a common research platform that
promotes the discovery and use of these resources. For more information about JSTOR, please contact email@example.com.
Sage Publications, Inc. is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Journal of Black
THE AFROCENTRIC PARADIGM
The PennsylvaniaState University
governmentdocumentshaveestablisheda link betweenphys-
ical activity and health, and both documentsprovidedbleak statistics for
AfricanAmericans.Althoughthe healthstatisticsarenot questionable,the
physical activity data are debatablebecause the role of culturein physical
activity has not been adequatelyexplored. This article examines the role
that culturepotentiallyplays in health-related physical activity participa-
tion. In so doing, the kinesiology profession,which teaches the science of
humanmovement,is discussed, and resultsfrom a health-related physical
activity studyarereported.A recommendation made for the inclusion of
an Afrocentric paradigm in the kinesiology curriculum,and Schiele's
Afrocentricparadigmfor the humanservices is employed.
Keywords:physical activity; health; Afrocentric
In 1996, the Surgeon General released the Report on Physical
Activity and Health (U.S. Department of Health and Human Ser-
vices [USDHHS], 1996), which established the link between phys-
ical activity levels and health status. In the document, African
Americans were identified as a quot;special needs populationquot; for
physical activity because of reportedly insufficient physical activ-
ity levels to positively affect health. Four years later, the govern-
ment released Healthy People 2010 (USDHHS, 2000), the health
policy initiative for the first decade of the 21st century. The report
indicates that regular physical activity is a factor in lower death
rates for all adults and decreases the risk of chronic illnesses such as
heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, and high blood pressure. The
JOURNALOF BLACK STUDIES, Vol. 33 No. 5, May 2003 623-636
? 2003 Sage Publications
624 JOURNALOF BLACK STUDIES/ MAY 2003
reportalso identifiedAfrican Americansas being at a higher risk
for these illnesses thanmany othergroupsin the United States.
Although the government'smorbidity and mortality statistics
are not questionable,the characterization AfricanAmericansas
a special needs population for physical activity is debatable.
Ainsworth (1998) acknowledged that the Surgeon General's
(1996) reportwas based on the physical activitypatternsof White
men, and that the role of culturein physical activity has not been
adequatelyexplored.The purposeof this articleis to examine the
connection between cultureand physical activity and to advocate
for the use of an Afrocentricparadigmin health-related physical
activity trainingand promotion.
Kinesiology,or the science of humanmovement,is an academic
disciplinecomprisingseveralsubdisciplines.In additionto provid-
ing pedagogy trainingfor the traditionalK-12 physical education
curriculum is taughtin schools, kinesiology also includesother
areas of scholarship,such as history,philosophy, sociology, psy-
exercise science. All these areas of scholarship are historically
based in European and European American culture (Freeman,
2001; Mechikoff & Estes, 2002), andtherearerelativelyfew Afri-
can Americanscholarsin the profession(Crase& Hamrick,1997;
King & Chepyator-Thomson,
are located in the history and sociology
ars in the profession
subdisciplines,where they have had substantialinput into discus-
sionsof racialinequities sport(Brooks& Althouse,2000;Edwards,
few of these scholarshave addressedthe historic
racial inequities in health-relatedphysical activity. In addition,
very few African Americankinesiology scholars have been situ-
atedin the exercise science subdiscipline,which focuses on health-
Pittman/ THE AFROCENTRICPARADIGM 625
relatedphysical activity,andtherehas been little cross-fertilization
between the exercise science and sociology subdisciplines.In light
of the government's(USDHHS, 2000) statisticson AfricanAmeri-
can physical activity and health, this is a majorconcern.
Health-relatedphysical activity is defined as activity that pro-
motes cardiorespiratory endurance, muscle strength, muscle
endurance,flexibility, and lean body composition. Of these five
components of health-relatedphysical activity, cardiorespiratory
endurance(i.e., aerobic activity) is of primaryimportancein pre-
venting chronic illness. When health-relatedphysical activity is
combined with sound nutritionalpracticesand other lifestyle fac-
tors,suchas nonsmokingandstressmanagement, probability
health is increased.
Because of the shortageof African Americanprofessionals in
the exercise sciences, advocacyfor health-related physical activity
programming AfricanAmericanshas been limited. Most Afri-
can Americanswho interactwith exercise science professionalsdo
so in treatment facilities-after theybecome chronicallyill andsuf-
fer a heartattackor stroke.In effect, the lack of culturallydesigned
quot;preventivequot; services createsa marketfor kinesiology profession-
als who are trainedas physical therapists.
Schiele (2000) contendedthathumanservice practitioners who
shareandunderstand worldviewof theirclients are able to pro-
vide more effective service delivery (p. 10). However, most
kinesiology trainingprogramsdo not provide an opportunityfor
studentsto be exposed to differentworldviews. Most kinesiology
studentsareEuropean Americanandhavehadlittle formalcultural
training(or informalculturalinteraction)in theirkinesiology pro-
is frequentlyconstrained.A focus on culturallydesigned preven-
tive health-related physical activity services-before people
become chronically ill-necessitates the inclusion of a different
paradigmin kinesiology training.The Afrocentricparadigmis the
model proposedin this article.
626 JOURNALOF BLACK STUDIES/ MAY 2003
THE AFROCENTRIC PARADIGM
Many Afrocentristshave discussed the characteristicsof the
Africanworldview(Asante,1988, 1990, 1998;Myers,1988;Nobles,
1991). Schiele (2000) summarizedtheir thinking and stated that
quot;the cosmological and axiological attributesof the Afrocentric
worldview underscoreinterdependency,collectivity, spirituality,
andaffectquot;(p. 25). Schiele appliedthe Afrocentricparadigmto the
humanservicesprofessions,andhis paradigm used in this article
to explore the need for an Afrocentricparadigmin health-related
The basis for an Afrocentricparadigmin health-related physical
exists. Medical anthropologistshave described
African-basedhealth care practicesand have indicatedthat many
AfricanAmericansuse these practicesin theirhealthcareregimens
(Airhihenbuwa, 1995; Bailey, 1987, 1991, 2000). In addition,
scholars in the anthropologyand sociology professions have dis-
cussed the role of dance in African-based cultures (Dixon-
Gottschild, 1996; Hazzard-Gordon,1990; Malone, 1996; Welsh
between medical anthropologyand dance. By combiningthe two,
physical activitycan be
the Afrocentricparadigmin health-related
The remainderof this article describes how these two
areasof scholarshipcan be broughttogether.
THE RESEARCH STUDY
To test for the applicability of the Afrocentric paradigm to
physical activity,a small pilot study was conducted
(Pittman,2001). A qualitativeresearchdesign was used because
methodsas the pre-
format for studying African American culture
(Akbar,1991; Asante, 1998; Schiele, 2000).
Fourteenwomen were interviewedfor the study.They rangedin
age from 19 to 80 years old and were all associated as students,
employees, or alumni of a large, predominantly
Pittman/ THE AFROCENTRICPARADIGM 627
on the East Coast. Ten of the women had been enrolledin a cultur-
ally designedaerobicsclass thatwas taughtat the universitywithin
the previous 18 months,andthey had identifiedthemselves as par-
ticipating in physical activity for health purposes. These women
wereinterviewedin one of fourfocus groups.Eachfocus groupmet
only once, and the sessions lasted one-and-one-halfto two hours.
The aerobicsclass was not a special offering;rather, African
Americaninstructorchose to teach the regularlyoffered aerobics
course in a mannerthat would appeal to African Americans. In
addition to aerobic dancing, the course included informationon
exercise science, exercise psychology, nutrition,and chronic dis-
The remainingfour women in the study had not participated
the culturallydesignedaerobicsclass. They were selectedbecause,
in additionto theirown personalparticipation physical activity,
had takena leadershiprole in promotinghealth-related physi-
cal activity in the African American community.These women
were interviewedindividuallyeitheron campusor in theirrespec-
tive homes. The participants were interviewedonly once, andeach
interviewlasted approximately1 hour.Two of the four women had
master'sdegrees in kinesiology; anotherwoman had a bachelor's
degreein kinesiology;andthe fourthwas a retirednurseandhealth
care advocatewith a bachelor'sdegree in nursing.
Although the participantswere asked two separate series of
questions-one aboutchronicillness andphysical activity,andthe
other about culture and physical activity-the results presented
herepertainprimarily the questionsaboutthe effect of cultureon
andhealth.Only one subsetof questionsfrom the
chronicillness series was relatedin any way to the Afrocentricpar-
adigm, and those results are reportedhere.
The culturalquestions in this study related primarilyto affect
and spirituality. such, the participants
As were askedaboutcultural
manifestationsof physical activity,such as dance and music. The
Afrocentricparadigmwas demonstrated acrosscategories.Collec-
tivity was not specifically asked about,but it appearedthroughout
the responsesandprovedto be a majorfactorin promotinghealth-
relatedphysical activity for AfricanAmericans.
628 JOURNALOF BLACK STUDIES/ MAY 2003
To begin, the participants shared their attitudes about the rela-
tionship between culture and promoting physical activity:
The music-hip-hop, jazz, R & B, gospel-is important. know the
music gets me going andI thinkit does thatfor a lot of people. I see
my grandmomwhen the music comes on. She says, quot;Oh!quot;and she
gets up and startsmoving.
People tendto listen to people they can relateto. I always relatethe
culture to dancing, and we could tie that into health because we
focus on dancingbut we let otherthings go.
As the second participant indicated, many African Americans do
not presently consider dancing to be related to health. As such, the
participants were asked about their perceptions of the community's
support for dance as a form of health-related physical activity:
Dance is a big partof Africanculture,so dance and social activities
are always prevalentin our communities,but I don't think [thereis
a] focus on exercising [or] concern aboutyour health.
I don't think the community would present barriers,I just don't
thinkthere is understanding abouthow important physical activity
is to your life. We have so many otherissues.
The relatively low numbers of African Americans in kinesiology
mean that there are few trained professionals who can connect Afri-
can American social dancing to the scientific principles espoused
in exercise science. When asked about scientifically based dancing,
the participants' responses reflected concern:
Aerobic dance is perceivedby many AfricanAmericansas a thing
richor middleincome Whitewomen do. Afterthey go to theiraero-
bics class, they have tea and they meet with the girls. We need to
havemorerole models becausewe needto knowthatwe can do this.
It's important a personto be comfortable.Youneed to see your-
self to know not only thatit can be done, but also thatit's supposed
to be done. You wouldn't question so much.
The notion of rich White women involved in aerobics evokes
images of leisure. However, the USDHHS (2000) stated that lack of
Pittman/ THE AFROCENTRICPARADIGM 629
time can be a major barrierfor many people who are trying to
increase their physical activity levels. As such, preventivehealth
care measures,such as physical activityparticipation, less eas-
ily accessible to people at the lower end of the socioeconomic lad-
der. For African Americans, this is especially an issue because
expendableleisure time is not a reality for many African Ameri-
cans. A paradigmshift from a leisure model to a human services
preventivemodel in kinesiology could be a mechanismby which
social structures promoteinequalityare changedto structures
thatpromotehealth and well-being.
Schiele (2000) statedthatanimportant componentof well-being
is spirituality,and it therefore should be incorporatedinto the
Afrocentricparadigm servicedelivery.To gaugethe importance
of spiritualityin the developmentof an Afrocentricparadigmin
kinesiology, the participantsresponded to a series of questions
Spirituality partof ourheritage.It gave us somethingto hold onto
in a strangeland.Wehadnothingto hope for butthis HigherPower.
Everyoneis entitledto theirown opinionbutI'm a strongbelieverin
God. It keeps you grounded.I don't wake myself up in the morning,
so I know someone does.
To test the applicationof the spiritualaspectof the Afrocentricpar-
adigm to health-relatedphysical activity, the participantswere
asked if there was a connection between spiritualityand physical
For me, being in touch with your spirit also means being in touch
with your physical being, and you can't really know your spirit
unless you know your physical being. Oursociety doesn't teach us
how to nourisheither one.
You don't even think of it that way until somebody asks you, but
thenwhen you startthinkingabouthow you feel, thenyou knowthat
the two are involved.
Finally, the participantswere asked if they thoughtincorporating
spiritualityinto physical activitycould increaseAfricanAmerican
630 JOURNALOF BLACK STUDIES/ MAY 2003
participation in physical activity. In general, the participants
I think it can increase African American participation, but it
depends on the type of music you have. It may also decrease it
because some people feel that gospel music is boring.
Music moves you, dance moves you. The confluence of those two
things moves you, it's calming. Bringingmusic into the movement
really is spiritual.
Although spiritualitywas identifiedas a positive componentof
AfricanAmericanculture,anotheraspect of the Afrocentricpara-
digm proved to be double edged. Schiele (2000) stated that quot;the
welfare of the grouptakes precedenceover the welfare of the indi-
vidualquot;(p. 28) because collectivity focuses attentionon groupsur-
vival. However,the women in this studyassociatedsome aspectsof
collectivity with stress-a risk factor for chronic illness. When
askedaboutpotentialstressorsin AfricanAmericanwomen's lives,
the African-basedhelping traditionwas frequentlycited:
It's because of the way we're broughtup-to help. We always have
to be out thereworkingas a partof the family.It all startsfromthere,
and we just pass it on from generationto generation.It causes a lot
of stress on us.
No time to do anythingfor themselves. Not being happy-doing
what they have to do and not liking it at all. They'realways putting
everythingelse first,neverhavingtime for themselves.I know they
haveresponsibilities,butyou shouldalwaystaketime for yourself.
Schiele arguedthat the individualcan only be understoodquot;in the
milieu in which the person is socializedquot; (p. 27). The responses
gave indicatethatthe presentmilieu mightnot be
conduciveto functioningin an Afrocentricmanner.In
health matters,the welfare of the group might best be served by
focusing on the welfare of the individual.
Althoughthis aspectof collectivity was seen as a stressor,over-
all the womenin the studyviewed it positively.Inthe finalquestion,
the participantswere asked to describe their vision of the ideal
Pittman/ THE AFROCENTRICPARADIGM 631
physicalactivityprogram themselvesandfor the AfricanAmer-
ican community.Fourmainthemesemergedin the responsesto this
question: physical activity programming should be (a) family
based, (b) communitybased, (c) dance andexercise based, and (d)
educational. These findings are consistent with the principles
espoused in the Afrocentricparadigm.
The fourmainthemesthatwere identifieddid not occurin isola-
tion; rather,they were frequentlycommingled. For example, sev-
eral participantsspoke abouteducationwithin the othercontexts:
It would be in the communityso it would be easy to get to. It would
be a blend of Africanandpopularmusic. The movementswould be
Afrocentric but, of course, it would need to be aerobic, to be
Educationis needed in additionto actualequipment.In additionto
the personjust coming in to workout, they'dneed to participate a
course [for] maybe threeto five weeks for an hour,hour and a half
each session. Thatway you have continuity.You'regetting the per-
son to exercise, but they [will] understandwhy they'redoing what
The participants openly acknowledgedthe challengesas well as the
supportsin the AfricanAmericancommunityanddid not overlook
things that might need to be corrected.Instead,they believed that
educationaboutall aspects of the cultureis necessaryfor promot-
ing physical activity and health and for developing healthpolicy:
A [community-based dance] program would interest African
Americans,keep them motivatedbecause it would be more like the
social dances-just the liquorand stuff wouldn'tbe there.
I think it's importantto include everythingin the culture-even the
way our guys view the women, even our food. If you tailor things
towardhealthyfood, or the guys wantgirls who are smaller,then it
would influence AfricanAmericansto exercise and eat healthier.I
wasn'tbroughtup knowingthatyou haveto eat certainfoods to stay
healthy,or exercise is important.
Althoughthey expressed a need for education,they also critiqued
the lack of educationand trainingthat is currentlyavailable:
632 JOURNALOF BLACK STUDIES/ MAY 2003
The important thing [abouta fitnessfacility]is to findout if they will
trainyou to use the equipment.I don't see just going into a gym,
[having]somebodytalkto you, andthen signing a contractbecause
afteryou've paidyourmoney,you arelost. Youcannotlearnall that
you need to know in one session.
Healthclubs today are very fragmentedin their approach.They're
drivenby tryingto make money,and I thinkthey have a lot of Afri-
can Americanswho sign up and then dropout quickly.These clubs
are not servicing [African Americans] the way they need to be
It should be noted here that although there is some overlap between
the current fitness industry and kinesiology as a profession, the two
are not exactly the same. Although the fitness industry sometimes
employs kinesiology professionals, it also frequently employs indi-
viduals with limited training and knowledge in kinesiology. Never-
theless, the fitness industry and the field of kinesiology have over-
looked the needs of the African American community.
The affective dimension of the Afrocentric paradigm was pres-
ent in the participants' awareness of their own needs as well as the
needs of other people in the African American community. They
expressed this awareness in a variety of ways:
I would like to have my friendsthere,a lot of people I'm close to-
my own personallittle fitness group.
Someplace they can bring the whole family. While they work out,
thereareactivitiesfor the childrenso you don't have to worryabout
droppingthis personhere [or] finding day care.
Affect was also demonstrated in financial terms:
I thinkthe fundsarenot there.The majorityof AfricanAmericans-
if they had the time, they couldn't affordto pay for it.
We haven't had, as far as I know, any African Americanswho are
financiallyable to actuallydevelop [facilitiesin the AfricanAmeri-
can community].I've heardpeople talk aboutit, I've heardpeople
say there is a need, but I haven't seen anyone actually put up the
Pittman/ THE AFROCENTRICPARADIGM 633
The inability of African Americansto providefundingfor health-
might be directlyrelatedto
the low numbersof African American kinesiology professionals
who can advocatefor governmentfundingorprivateinvestmentfor
suchprograms.However,the creativitythathas historicallyexisted
within the AfricanAmericancommunityand has enabledAfrican
Americansto quot;makea way out of no wayquot;can also be employedto
develop strategiesfor providinghealth-relatedphysical activity in
African American communities. The Afrocentricparadigmalso
provides a potentialsolution.
Schiele (2000) discussed the need for African Americans to
develop their own humanservices institutionsand contendedthat
the AfricanAmericanchurchis a logical site for the placementof
Afrocentrichumanservices.The presentstudylends support that
notionandadvocatesfor the inclusionof an Afrocentrichumanser-
vices model of kinesiology among those institutions. Although
quot;musicquot;was the most common theme mentionedby the partici-
pants when asked about spirituality,quot;churchquot;was also frequently
mentioned in relation to physical activity. The participants
acknowledgedthat a connection does not currentlyexist, but the
possibility was considered:
It dependson how holistic you look at health.You can make a case
for [a connection],but I don't thinkmost people actualizeit, other-
wise there'dbe a whole bunchof people exercising in the church.
I notice that anytime a churchis doing somethingor the churchis
sponsoringit, you have people coming out of the woodworks.You
wantto be involvedbecauseit's coming froma good place. It would
probablyincreasephysical activity to put the two together.
Although the church might be a perfect location for all types of
Afrocentrichumanservices, the low numbersof AfricanAmerican
kinesiology professionals still must be addressed. One possible
634 JOURNALOF BLACK STUDIES/ MAY 2003
way to addressthe shortageis to combinekinesiology trainingwith
AfricanAmericanstudiesprograms.A linkagebetween these two
programscan ultimatelybenefit both. Although kinesiology pro-
gramsare lacking a culturalfocus, AfricanAmericanscholarsand
African American studies programstend to favor psychological
health over physical health (Jones, 1999). Although the available
scholarshipon physical healthhas been comprehensiveandexcel-
lent (Martin,1999; Semmes, 1996), it, too, has had a limited focus
on the role of physical activityin healthpromotion.Increasingthe
numbersof Afrocentrickinesiology professionalsby trainingthem
in combinedkinesiology-African Americanstudiesprogramsand
thenpositioningthemin AfricanAmericanchurchescan contribute
to the creationof a holistic, preventivehealthcare delivery system
in the AfricanAmericancommunity.
The participantsin this study demonstrated positive effect
thatculturecan have on physical activityparticipation. Theirexpe-
riences mightbenefit otherAfricanAmericanswho wantandneed
to participatein health-related physical activity.Despite the com-
of their lives, they have shown a sustainingdetermination.
provideda key piece of the puzzle:
We survivedslavery,we survivedthe Middle Passage and so many
negative things. Yeah, we have some health problems,but look at
how strongwe are.We'restill here,even with all of ourhealthissues
andoursocial issues. So, if we understoodwhatmadeus survive,we
could be an even strongerpeople.
Ainsworth,B. (1998). Measurement physical activityquestionnaires.The researchcon-
sortiumnewsletter(pp. 2-3). Reston, VA: The AmericanAlliance for Health,Physical
Airhihenbuwa, 0. (1995). Health and culture:Beyondthe Western
Oaks, CA: Sage.
Akbar,N. (1991). Paradigmsof African Americanresearch.In R. Jones (Ed.), Blackpsy-
chology (pp. 709-725). Berkeley,CA: Cobb & Henry.
Trenton,NJ: Africa WorldPress.
Asante, M. K. (1988). Afrocentricity.
Pittman/ THE AFROCENTRICPARADIGM 635
Asante, M. K. (1990). Kemet,Afrocentricityand knowledge. Trenton,NJ: Africa World
Asante, M. K. (1998). The Afrocentricidea (Rev. ed.). Philadelphia:Temple University
Bailey, E. J. (1987). Socioculturalfactors and health care seeking behavioramong Black
Americans.Journal of the National Medical Association, 78, 389-392.
Bailey, E. J. (1991). Hypertension:Analysis of DetroitAfricanAmericanhealthcare treat-
ment patterns.HumanOrganization,50, 287-296.
Bailey, E. J. (2000). Medical anthropologyand African American health. Westport,CT:
Bergin & Garvey.
Brooks,D., & Althouse,R. (2000). Racismin college athletics (2nd ed.). Morgantown, WV:
Crase,D., & Hamrick,M. (1997). Distribution minoritydoctoratesin physicaleducation.
Horizon, 2, 5-10.
Dixon-Gottschild,B. (1996). Digging the Africanistpresence in Americanperformance.
Edwards,H. (1969). The revoltof the Black athlete. New York:Free Press.
Freeman, W. H. (2001). Physical education and sport in a changing society (6th ed.).
Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Hazzard-Gordon, (1990). Jookin': Therise of social danceformations in AfricanAmeri-
can culture.Philadelphia: Temple UniversityPress.
Jones,R. (1999). AdvancesinAfricanAmerican VA:Cobb& Henry.
King, S., & Chepyator-Thomson, R. (1997). Factorsaffectingthe enrollmentand persis-
tence of African-American doctoralstudents.Horizon,2, 11-20.
Malone, J. (1996). Stepping'on the blues. Urbana:Universityof Illinois Press.
Martin,W. (1999). Improvingthe healthof AfricanAmericans:Research,perspectivesand
policy. In R. Jones (Ed.), Advances in African Americanpsychology (pp. 267-284).
Hampton,VA: Cobb & Henry.
Mechikoff,R. A., & Estes, S. G. (2002). A historyandphilosophyof sportandphysical edu-
cation (3rd ed.). New York:McGraw-Hill.
Myers,L. J. (1988). Understanding Afrocentricworldview.Dubuque,IA: Kendall/Hunt.
Nobles, W. (1991). Extendedself: Rethinkingthe so-called Negro self-concept. In R. Jones
(Ed.), Blackpsychology (pp. 295-304). Berkeley,CA: Cobb & Henry.
Pittman,B. (2001). Afrocentrickinesiology:Innovatorsand early adoptersin a diffusionof
Schiele, J. H. (2000). Humanservices and theAfrocentric paradigm.New York:Haworth.
Semmes, C. E. (1996). Racism, health, and post-industrialism.Westport,CT: Praeger.
U.S. Departmentof Health and HumanServices. (1996). Report on physical activity and
health. Washington,DC: Centersfor Disease Controland Prevention.
U.S. Department HealthandHumanServices. (2000). Healthypeople 2010. Washington,
Welsh Asante, K. (1990). Commonalitiesin African dance. In M. K. Asante & K. Welsh
Asante (Eds.), African culture: The rhythms of unity (pp. 71-82). Westport, CT:
Welsh Asante, K. (1998). Africandance. Trenton,NJ: Africa WorldPress.
636 JOURNALOF BLACK STUDIES/ MAY 2003
BeverlyD. Pittmanis an assistantprofessorin the Departmentof Kinesiologyat The
PennsylvaniaState University. primaryresearchinterestis in socioculturalfac-
tors in cardiovasculardisease prevention.She receivedher doctoratein kinesiology
from TempleUniversity.She graduatedsumma cum laude and valedictorianfrom
Lincoln Universitywitha BAin sociology, and thenreceivedan MSSin social policy
from the BrynMawr College GraduateSchool of Social Work Social Research,
from the Wharton School of the Univer-
and an MBAin management and marketing
sity of Pennsylvania.