Asante Challenges Students to Look Through a Different Lens

Date Released: January 27, 2017

In the fourth Crown Forum of the spring semester, Dr. Molefi Kete Asante issued a challenge to the Men of Morehouse.

Asante, professor and chair of the Department of African American Studies at Temple University, encouraged students to look at academics through an Afrocentric lens.

“The intellectual ideas promoted by most colleges in the western world are not of African descent,” Asante said. “The reason for that is not that they do not exist, but that they are hidden figures.”

He has published nearly 80 books on African and African-American history, and is the only Black person to publish books on these topics.

The speaker challenged the crowd to rethink the definition of ‘classical’ when it comes to art, music and dance. To think beyond Bach, Mozart and the European standard.

“We have our own classical dances,” he said. “But they’re typically called folk dances.”

It is up to us as African-Americans to define our own history and not let others define it for us, according to Asante. He added that the desire to be aware of our culture is not a slight to any other races or ethnicities.

“To be Afrocentric is not to be against anybody. To be Afrocentric is to be for the history and culture of Africa,” Asante said. “Why can’t the African people be the agents for their own history?”

With the recent protests and concern about the election of the new U.S. President, Asante encouraged Morehouse students not to give up hope.

“We can’t be pessimistic. We’ve been here before. We’ve seen this before,” he said referring to the struggles African Americans faced long before the inauguration of the 45th President.

“We are a mighty people, and as a mighty people, we will always rise in the continuous struggle.”

Last Modified: February 2, 2017, 15:02 PM, by: Synera Shelton

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