Euro-centric vs Afro-centric Analysis

Emancipation Day Special

By Dr. Kwame Nantambu

The purpose of this article is to delineate the intrinsic differences between Eurocentric analysis, world view and perspective versus the Afrocentric analysis, world view and perspective.

The litany is as follows:

One: The primary objective of Eurocentric analysis is to ossify, perpetuate and maintain European supremacy, invincibility and originality coterminous with the myth/big lie of Afrikan nothingness and inferiority.

The primary objective of Afrocentric analysis is to speak the truth. It does not have to distort history nor to promote Afrikan supremacy. It’s end result is the achievement of human perfectibility.

Two: Eurocentric analysis is ahistorical, divisive and dysfunctional while Afrocentric analysis is historical, holistic, unifying and functional.

Three: Eurocentric analysis deals with the end result/effect of a problem/issue while Afrocentric analysis deals with the root cause of a problem/issue.

Four: Eurocentric analysis blames the victim/oppressed/colonized for their victimization/oppression/colonization. Afrocentric analysis blames the victimizer, oppressor and colonizer. It blames the global system of racism, European supremacy, colonialism and now globalization for the plight of the oppressed, exploited and recolonized.

Five: Eurocentric analysis makes Europe and Europeans the subject of his-story; Afrika and Afrikans are made the object of world history. It further postulates that only Europeans can create world events. Hence, Herodotus, the Greek, is the “Father of History”, the Greeks (world’s first Europeans) ‘invented’ democracy, Christopher Columbus ‘discovered’ the New World, Hypocrates is the “Father of Medicine”, Aristotle and Plato are the “Fathers of Philosophy”, etc.

Afrocentric analysis posits Afrika and Afrikans as the subject of world history; Europe and Europeans are the object. It postulates that Afrikans are the original people with original ideas and that Mother Afrika is the cradle of civilization.

Six: From the Eurocentric perspective, the colour white is portrayed as positive, powerful, superior and pure, while the colour black is portrayed as negative, powerless, inferior and impure. The reverse is true from the Afrocentric perspective.

Seven: The Eurocentric world view seeks to maintain the status quo, that is, capitalist system, democratic institutions and globalization. The Afrocentric world view not only challenges the European global status quo but also seeks to destroy it through armed revolution.

Eight: The ideology of the Eurocentric perspective is labeled right-wing, moderate and conservative while the Afrocentric ideological perspective is left-wing, radical, liberal and progressive.

Nine: Eurocentric world view brandishes the European way of life and Europeans as the norm/model/standard for all to follow. This includes the system of government and concept of beauty. The Afrocentric world view promulgates the ancient Afrikan-Kemetic way of life as the norm/model/standard for all to follow.

Ten: The human being is non-existent under the Eurocentric perspective. The acquisition of crass materialism, personal aggrandizement and profit maximization are the pillars of this perspective.

The Afrocentric perspective postulates that the human being is central to all existence. Human life is more important than wealth.

Eleven: Eurocentric world view incorporates a Me value system while the Afrocentric world views hinges on a We value system.

Twelve: Religion is the spinal cord of the Eurocentric perspective while spirituality is the spinal cord of the Afrocentric perspective.

Thirteen: Whereas Eurocentric analysis focuses on the nationality of Afrikans, that is, when they picked cotton, sugar cane, etc. as powerless slaves for powerful European slave masters on the plantations in the Diaspora during the A.D. era, Afrocentric analysis zeroes in on the originality of Afrikans, that is, when they were the world’s original, powerful master thinkers. These Afrikans not only educated, civilized and humanized powerless Europeans but also built over 104 stone monuments (pyramids) and invented architecture, astronomy, medicine, mathematics, etc. in ancient Kemet (Egypt) during the B.C. era.

Fourteen: Eurocentric analysis is linear and divisive while linkage is the key to Afrocentric analysis.

Fifteen: The characteristics of Eurocentric analysis are ethnocentrism (lack of tolerance of other cultures), etnocentrism (lack of tolerance of other races), xenophobia (fear of other races), survival of the fittest, comparativeness, competition, separateness, specialization and compartmentalization.

The characteristics of Afrocentric analysis are xenophilia (love of strangers), genophilia ( love of one’s own race), survival of the group, inclusiveness, co-operation, communalism, responsibility and holism.

In the specific case of TnT’s Eurocentric Emancipation Day celebration, focus is not only placed on the nationality and powerlessness of Afrikans but also represents .01 percent of the history of Afrikan people on this planet.

As Kwame Ture once warned:”If you don’t know who you are, you would not know what your interests are.” In this regard, the people who celebrate Emancipation Day still call themselves “Afro-Trinbagonians” or “Negroes.” There is also a variety of “red men” or “reds”.

This sad reality speaks volumes to the fact that the people who celebrate Emancipation Day are brain-dead, brain-damaged and historically-culturally comatose and anesthetized.

Emancipation Day (TnT’s third Carnival day) only teaches Afrikan-Trinbagonians what they have been transformed into as descendants of powerless slaves. This is the ahistorical nature of this annual calamity. Emancipation Day focuses on the micro, myopic development of Afrikan people instead of the total liberation of Afrikan people 24/7/365.

Furthermore, Emancipation Day posits Afrikan people in the A.D. era instead in the B.C. era.

Truth Be Told: The Eurocentric leaders of the Emancipation Support Committee (ESC) celebrate Emancipation Day while this Afrocentric writer celebrates Afrika Year. For while Emancipation Day gives Afrikan-Trinbagonians a fish so that they can feed themselves for a day, Afrika Year teaches Afrikan-Trinbagonians how to fish so that they can feed themselves for the rest of their lives.

Emancipation Day distorts, bastardizes and dilutes the authenticity and magnanimity of Afrikan history while Afrika Year assures that Mother Afrika is our home; the Diaspora including TnT, is our destination.

In the final analysis, when the European Slave Trade was abolished on 1st August, 1834, physical emancipation came to the Afrikan slaves in TnT. In July 2006, their descendants are sweltering under the yoke of mental/psychological slavery compounded by America’s recolonization and massive, multifaceted, subliminal indoctrination and control.

The European colonial locus of power control and influence has only changed from London, England to Washington, D.C., United States of America. Ergo, the United States now has a very complete and bona fide ownership of the mortgage on TnT’s present and future modus vivendi. “Massa Day” is not yet done.

Shem Hotep (“I go in peace”).

Dr. Kwame Nantambu is a part-time lecturer at Cipriani College of Labour and Co-operative Studies and University of the West Inmdies.

2 thoughts on “Euro-centric vs Afro-centric Analysis”

  1. Thank you Dr Kwame! You have perfectly expressed my reservations about this holiday – and much more. I have always felt a vague discomfort about our focus on Emancipation Day; it seemed to me that emancipation was not the result of the slavemasters “waking up” to the evil of their ways – which might have been worth celebration. Nor was it the result of our relentless efforts to free ourselves, which I would have certainly enjoyed celebrating. It seems also that marking this particular historical moment somehow acknowledges that we deserved to be slaves, and that we were generously “freed,” almost as though “slavery” was the condition we were born to, and therefore somebody needed to “emancipate” us.

    Isn’t it also true that taking a “holiday” to mark a past occasion is a rather Eurocentric custom? Not anything against it really, but isn’t it just another fake thing, like a flag, or a currency, or an imaginary line on the ground that tells us here is A, and there is B?

    My first thought, when Caribbean countries started making August 1 a holiday, was that it should have been a day of mourning, marking the day a humiliating badge was placed on us, that of the “freed slave” instead of the “uncowed human.”

    Again, thanks for the clarity.

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