Kobi Kazembe KalongiKambon aka Joseph Baldwin The African Personality in America: An African-Centred Framework
Overview The Worldview paradigm Africentric vs. non Africentric approaches The Nature of African Personality Basic traits of African personality Reclaiming Africanity
Key points There is in fact an African reality system that is indigenous to Africans in the Diaspora The ‘average’ African operates in a mentally disordered state on a daily basis. In order for Africans to to heal ourselves, we must rebuild our African cultural infrastructure.
The Worldview paradigmA people without a knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. Marcus Garvey Recognition of fundamental differences between groups Socio-political, Cultural, Social realities. Ultimately in basic nature. Lead to distinct approach ‘Survival Thrust’
On Worldviews... each culture generates it’s own this system evolves and reinforces .. the culture there are ‘families’ and ‘cousins’ cultures vary with race… a race specific phenomena there are fundamental differences between worldviews under normal/normal conditions Africans operate African Worldview any deviation is therefore represents abnormality
African vs Europeanworldveiws Not only are they distinct, but they are also Oppositional Diop (1974) outlined a two-cradle theory of the African & European branches of human development. Southern as earliest form, Northern developed later.
European ‘Humanity vs. Nature’ antagonistic, conflictual mastery and control survival of the fittest dichotomization of nature or reality into linear order rankings strong/weak, best/worst, superior/inferior
African ‘Human nature Unity’ interdependent complementarily, balance and reciprocity synthesis, co-operation and spirituality The ‘Maatian’ principle - survival of the corporate whole or nature
Evidence our music, our songs our deep felt emotionality our religious fervour our fundamental moral temperament
Black/African Psychology… a system of knowledge - philosophy, definitions concepts, models, procedures and practice - concerning the nature of the social universe from the perspective of the African Worldview. Baldwin 1986
Analysing African personality Non-African centred theories - reliance on conceptual framework of the European worldview, negative energy, abnormality/deficiency emphasis, reactive motivational emphasis. African centred theories- reliance on African worldview for understanding Black personality, positive energy, proactive motivational emphasis. Finally, emphasis on normalcy/naturalness of African centeredness core of functioning.
Model of African PersonalityTheory focus on need for African self determination ‘biogenic’ must be able to account for the differences in behaviour and functioning distinguish between normal and abnormal functioning in African personality must explain how white supremacy has affected African personality functioning must explain how to ‘maintain order’ (normal functioning) and how to ‘restore order’ where it occurs must have explicit liberation implications for the African mind - African World Nation
ASCAfrican Self Consciousness awareness of one’s African identity ( a collective consciousness) focus on African survival and positive development respect for & perpetuation of things African uncompromising resistance to all things ‘anti African’
ASEOAfrican Self Extension Orientation innate-biologically determined unconscious, deep rooted psychical energy defined by concept of spirituality transcends space and time ability to achieve cosmic synthesis
Traits / Expresssions of Africanpersonality 1 ‘I feel the phenomena; therefore I think; I know’ 2 Para sensory or extra sensory ‘ I feel it in my bones’ 3 rhythmic manners of African speech patterns - irony, proverbs, metaphor 4 use of body in day to day experience of life 5 distinctive inventive-creative quality for flair 6 propensity for affiliation and social communal expression 7 ‘no formal separation between the religious and non- religious - TOTAL’
Reclaiming Africanity Massive re-education. Developing African Nation structure with an African Centred interest Remove/eliminate Eurocentric cultural icons from all ‘natural environments’ Elimination of non African names from our African identities Return to belief in and practice of African cosmology Institute lifecycle rituals