Of all the subject/content areas within Africana Studies, African-centered (African/Africana/Black) psychology has been instrumental in advancing culturally-specific theory and research. Central to the field of African-centered psychology is the usage of worldview as the conceptual and philosophical framework. This essay provides a genealogical review of the worldview framework as discussed within African-centered psychology. A focus is on understanding the developmental history and usage of worldview as it relates to producing culturally-specific theory and research consistent with the aims and goals of African-centered psychology and Africana Studies.
Africana Studies organizes itself as an interdisciplinary discipline concerned with the development of an accurate description of the Africana condition, while also providing prescriptive solutions for transforming Africana reality. The term interdisciplinary discipline suggests that Africana Studies stands on its own feet much like any academic discipline, yet it is not confined within the singular particularism of traditional disciplines. In doing so, Africana Studies is an investigation of Africana history and culture from the perspective of Africana people that is concerned with using the knowledge gained in order to change the conditions of Africana people and by extension, the human condition. In a wholistic fashion, Africana Studies utilizes lenses that are available to all of humanity for the investigation of the Africana experience, but does so through a unified approach grounded in the sociohistorical experience of Africana peoples. Africana Studies organizes itself around such components as: Africana history, Africana politics, Africana education, Africana psychology, Africana sociology, Africana economics, Africana technology, Africana science, Africana aesthetics, Africana literature, etc. Together these subject/content areas work in the creation of a wholistic interpretation of Africana social reality.
Of the previously mentioned subject/content areas, Africana African/Africentric/African-centered) psychology has been instrumental in advancing theory and research which supports the cultural and intellectual autonomy of African descended peoples. While not the only subject/content area to provide theory and research which supports the African-centered dimension of Africana Studies, Africana psychology has consistently done so and functions as an important example for the development of African-centered theory and research within the entire discipline of Africana Studies. African-centered psychology has been able to produce such research through its usage, development and interpretation of the concept/framework of worldview. Through the connective relationship between scholars of African descent in the early 1970s, worldview became an essential component that would later be foundational to African-centered psychology.
Influential to this essay is Greg Kimathi Carr's "African-Centered Philosophy of History: An Exploratory Essay on the Genealogy of Foundationalist Historical Thought and African Nationalist Identity Construction." (1) Carr provides a systematic approach in the development of an African-centered genealogy of knowledge and knowledge production for African-centered scholars in Africana Studies. Carr is fundamentally concerned with the process by which ideas, concepts, assumptions and theories pass along a Pan-African intellectual continuum and how these ideas then inform current intellectual and philosophical trends in African-centered research.
By revisiting the work of influential African-centered scholars, Carr develops a connective web of ideas and thinkers which provides a useful map in laying out the development of an African-centered philosophy of history. Carr's usage of the concept of genealogy is reflective of a historical continuum across space and time throughout the African world. This understanding deviates from the common Eurocentric notion, which is defined as "[a] form of historical analysis ... [that] opposes th[e] traditional impulses of historical methods that attempt to discover continuity and patterns of development." Instead, the western notion of genealogy concerns itself with "ruptures, discontinuity, and surfaces, attempting as Michel Foucalt has written, to 'record the singularity of events outside of any monotonous finality'." (2) Consistent with this understanding of a Eurocentric genealogy is the importance of ruptures and discontinuity. However, from an African-centered perspective, it is paramount that we look for continuity and interconnected relationships as a formidable aspect of cultural connections among African people. Therefore, Carr emphasizes the importance of historical continuity, cultural commitment and honest scholarship for current and future African-centered scholars. All three of the previously mentioned components are essential within African-centered research. Furthermore, Carr provides a mandate for each generation of African-centered scholars, in that it is the role of each of us to reconnect our ideas to those who have come before, so future generations of scholars are able to see the development and movement of African-centered thought, practice and scholarship across space and time.
An analysis of the worldview framework, along with a clear understanding of its usage within the theory and research of African-centered psychology, will prove fruitful for Africana Studies and its constituent components. The following essay proceeds to discuss and explain Africana psychology and its relationship to Africana Studies. We will then engage the history of the worldview framework within African-centered psychology. Finally, this essay concludes by engaging the implications of the worldview framework for African-centered psychology and Africana Studies.
African/Africana/Africentric/African-Centered Psychology: Defining a Subject/Content Area of Africana Studies
One of the earliest arguments for a distinct body of knowledge known as "African Psychology," was advanced by Cedric X. (Clark), D. Phillip McGee, Wade Nobles and Luther X (Weems) in 1975, when they argued that "African Psychology is the recognition and practice of a body of knowledge which is fundamentally different in origin, content, and direction than that recognized by Euro-American psychologists." (3) Furthermore they stated, "[t]he differences between African Psychology and Euro-American Psychology reflect the differences between Black people and white people, or in terms of culture, between Africans and Europeans." (4) In "Voodoo or IQ: An Introduction to African Psychology," published in the Journal of Black Psychology, X. (Clark), et al. provide the foundational arguments and rationale for the developing field of African Psychology.
Far from suggesting that the psychology of African descendants is a "blackenized" version of traditional psychology (5), these psychologists argued that their understanding of African psychology was rooted in the unique culture and lived experience of African descended peoples that was best understood through "the African philosophical tradition." (6) Through an analysis of melanin theory, the nature of Black intelligence, Black identity and the Black personality, X. (Clark), et al. began a dialogue on many of the core components that inform current debates in African-centered psychology today.
Since 1975 many other definitions of African psychology have developed. Joseph Baldwin (aka Kobi Kazembe Kalongi Kambon), for example, argues that:
African psychology is defined as a system of knowledge (philosophy, definitions, concepts, models, procedures and practice) concerning the nature of the social universe from the perspective of African Cosmology. 'African Cosmology' thus provides the conceptual-philosophical framework for African (Black) psychology.(7)
Baldwin goes on to state that, "an understanding of African Cosmology--the African worldview--is essential to an understanding of African (Black) psychology." (8) Baldwin's definition develops, in greater detail, the importance of "the African philosophical tradition," as previously mentioned by X. (Clark), et al. Furthermore, Baldwin is not so much concerned with comparing African and European/Euro-American psychology, as much as he is concerned with expounding on a proactive conceptualization of African psychology rooted within an African cosmological and worldview perspective. It is through Baldwin that we see the introduction of worldview and the component of cosmology as central to defining African psychology.
More recently, Cheryl Grills has synthesized a definition of African psychology which is rooted in the latest advances of the Association of Black Psychologists and the African Psychology Institute, along with the theoretical work of Daudi Ajani ya Azibo, Theophile Obenga, R. A. Schwaller de Lubicz, Marimba Ani, Vulinden Wobogo, Cheikh Anta Diop and Wade Nobles. In doing so, Grills constructs an understanding of African psychology which "is concerned with African psychological experiences from an African perspective, a perspective that reflects an African orientation to the meaning of life, the world, and relationships with others and one's self." (9) Furthermore Grills states that "African psychology represents an Africentric framework. The Africentric framework is a genre of thought and praxis rooted in the cultural image and interest of people of African ancestry." (10) The basis of this framework is grounded in an African worldview (ie. an African ontology, axiology, cosmology, epistemology and praxis) and informed by Cheikh Anta Diop's Two Cradle Theory.
As African psychology has developed, there has been a clear movement toward defining itself in relation to an African worldview. Whether referred to as African, Africentric, African-centered or Africana psychology, each are rooted in worldview components that allow for the behavioral, mental and spiritual tendencies of African people to be best understood in relation to African philosophical thought. While the above definitions of African psychology are not in direct dialogue with Africana Studies, the work of Daudi Ajani ya Azibo attempts to bring these two areas of knowledge into discussion. (11) Furthermore, the work of DeReef Jamison has also engaged the important connections between Africana psychology and Africology. (12) As Azibo, as well as this author, have argued it is the worldview framework that provides disciplinary autonomy for Africana Studies and all of its constituent components. (13) Thus the Africana Studies social scientists and social theorists who rely upon the worldview framework are equipped with an interdisciplinary tool of analysis which has been developed and expounded upon by numerous social scientists. While this current analysis concentrates on the discussion of worldview within African-centered psychology, it should be noted that those trained within economics, political science and anthropology have all contributed to the discussion of worldview within Africana Studies related theory and research. Thus it is through the worldview framework that wholistic and interdisciplinary analysis is fostered within Africana Studies.
Worldview: Clarifying a Concept, Framework and Terminology
Faye Z. Belgrave and Kevin W. Allison's chapter devoted to "Africentric Psychology," in African American Psychology: From Africa to America introduces readers to a handful of the leading Africentric psychologists, an explanation of the dimensions of the Africentric worldview, and some of the recent empirical advances in Africentric psychology. While Belgrave and Allison interestingly argue that "much of the scholarship on the Africentric worldview has come out of African Studies," (14) this current analysis attempts to argue and show that it has been African descended social scientists, more specifically psychologists, who have advanced an articulation of the worldview framework within African psychology. All of who moved beyond Eurocentric conceptions of worldview advanced by earlier social scientists, specifically those trained within anthropology. (15)
A close reading of African-centered psychological literature seems to suggest that most discussions of worldview have centered on worldview as it relates to a set of philosophical assumptions. (16) Those within African-centered psychology and those who practice African-centered psychological theory attempt to discuss worldview as it relates to questions of cosmology, ontology, axiology, epistemology, teleology, logic, and other related philosophical assumptions, all of which contribute to determining the way people make sense of reality and their lived experience. Together, a cultural group's understanding of the universe (cosmology), being (ontology), values (axiology), reasoning (logic) and knowledge (epistemology), all contribute to the ways in which a people make sense of their lived reality, i.e. their worldview.
It is also important to note that there has been a variety of terms used to discuss the concept of worldview, whether African/European, Afrocentric/Eurocentric, African-centered/European-centered or Optimal/Suboptimal. While there may be some distinctions between each set of terms used, the substantive differences between each center on particular schools of thought rather than truly substantive distinctions. It should be clear that in most cases the African worldview is complimentary to what others may refer to as the Afrocentric/African-centered/Africentric/optimal worldview and the European worldview is complimentary to what others may refer to as the Eurocentric/European-centered/Euro-American/suboptimal worldview.
A Genealogy of the Worldview Framework in African-Centered Psychology
Vernon J. Dixon, Edwin J. Nichols & Wade Nobles: Setting the Foundation
Almost all discussions of worldview that can be found within African-centered psychology related theory and research stem from the work of Vernon J. Dixon and Edwin J. Nichols. (17) Both Dixon and Nichols provided early discussions on worldview differences in the 1970s that influenced key theorists in the 1980s. Many arguments, theorizations about and applications of the worldview framework from the 1990s up until today, all hearken back to these early arguments provided by Dixon and Nichols.
Vernon Dixon was originally trained in economics and earned his PhD from Princeton University. Dixon's discussion of the worldview framework centered on the concepts of axiology, epistemology and logic as they impact research methodology within the social sciences. These three philosophical concepts provided the foundation for Dixon's early arguments around the existence of a distinct Euro-American worldview and African worldview. These ideas were initially introduced in a 1971 publication for the Review of Black Political Economy entitled "African-Oriented and Euro-American-Oriented Worldviews: Research Methodologies and Economics." (18) However, it was Dixon's 1975 appearance at the J. Alfred Cannon Research Conference Series, held at the Fanon Research and Development Center in Los Angeles, California, that provided exposure of his theorization around worldview differences and their impact upon research methodologies in the social sciences. Dixon's presentation and future publication entitled "Worldviews and Research Methodology," was soon referenced by key members of a group of scholars who would eventually refer to themselves as the "Black Psychologists." Na'im Akbar, Cedric X. (Clark), Lewis M. King, D. Philip McGee and Wade W. Nobles, who all attended the conference, were members of the radical wing of a newly developing field known as "Black Psychology." Their arguments around the existence of a distinct field of study known as "African Psychology," as previously discussed, clearly reflect the importance of "the African philosophical tradition," which we now refer to as an African worldview. (19)
In Dixon's 1976 publication, he argued that
... there are certain philosophical characteristics in any given world view which determine the choice of assumptions in particular, and research methodology in general. Research methodology has world view specificity, which results from differences in axiology, epistemology, and logic. If the model is valid, then it will be possible to set forth different approaches to research, each consistent with its respective world view. (20)
Dixon follows by arguing that axiology, epistemology and logic are central tenets of any worldview system. According to Dixon "The dominant value-orientations in the Euro-American world view is what I term the Man-to-Object relationship; while for homeland and overseas Africans, it is what I term the Man-to-Person relationship." (21) Among Euro-Americans the value orientation is guided by "Doing, Future-time, Individualism and Mastery-over-Nature." (22) Among African descendants, the value orientation of their worldview is based upon "Being, Felt-time, Communalism and Harmony-with-Nature." (23) The fundamental axiological difference between the two worldviews is clearly grounded within the relationship between the self and the other.
Dixon then investigates the concept of epistemology. Dixon states that in regards to epistemology "the focus is on how, or the way in which one knows reality or phenomena; i.e., the grounds or method of knowledge." (24) Dixon argues that the distinctions between the two epistemological orientations, can be found between the Euro-American epistemology which he refers to as "Object-Measure Cognition" (25) and the African view which he refers to as "Affect Symbolic Imagery Cognition." The fundamental distinctions for Dixon are centered on the existence of "empty perceptual space." (26) It is the existence of empty perceptual space within the Euro-American epistemology, which distinguishes it from an African epistemology. Dixon summarizes the epistemological assumption of the Euro-American worldview by stating, "I step back from phenomena, I reflect; I measure; I think; I know; and therefore I am and I feel." (27) While an African epistemological assumption, states, "I feel phenomena; therefore I think; I know." The centrality of empty perceptual space is found within the Euro-American assumption which "steps back" while the African does not, thus negating the existence of any empty perceptual space.
Finally, Dixon investigates the notion of logic between the two worldviews. Logic refers "to the canons and criteria of validity in reasoning or how one organizes what one knows." (28) Dixon believes that distinct approaches to knowledge exist, these varying according to worldview differences. Among Euro-Americans the logic is dichotomous (either/or), and among Africans it is diunital (both/and). According to Dixon, either/or logic is also a reflection of the existence of empty perceptual space.
[Dichotomous] logic means that a person's knowledge cannot take the form...of a room being simultaneously empty and not-empty. This type of discontinuity or gap among phenomena is quite consistent with a world view oriented towards a perception of a conceptual distance between the observer and the observed along with similar empty perceptual space among the observed. (29)
The term diunital, on the other hand, refers to "something apart and united at the same time." (30) Diunital logic, however, is reflective of the nonexistence of perceptual space. Within the African worldview "a person becomes oriented towards a harmonious oneness between the observer and the observed and in which there is an absence of empty perceptual spaces among phenomena." (31) Dixon's discussion of diunital logic would be developed in other papers, but this discussion provides his current understanding of the basic distinctions between systems of logic as they relate to worldview systems. (32)
Dixon's detailed discussion of axiology, epistemology and logic as they relate to worldview systems would be extremely influential within the work of future Black psychologists. As previously mentioned, Wade Nobles, Na'im Akbar, Cedric X. Clark, Lewis King and D. Philip McGee, were all in attendance and presented papers at the 1975 J. Alfred Cannon Research Conference Series.
However, in a prefatory note of Dixon's "World Views and Research Methodology," he states, "I am deeply indebted to Edwin J. Nicholas [Nichols]. The ideas presented here result from an initial sharing of our intellectual formulations." (33) It is here that we see the connection between Vernon Dixon and Edwin J. Nichols, especially as they relate to questions revolving around worldview. While Dixon produced a number of publications that dealt with worldview, the majority of references to the work of Edwin J. Nichols reference a November 1976 presentation for the World Psychiatric Association and Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria, held in Ibadan, Nigeria. (34) Yet, Nichols presented similar arguments at the 1972 American Psychological Association conference. This presentation provides a general framework for what would later develop in 1976, along with his other highly referenced publications and presentations throughout the 1980s.
Edwin J. Nichols earned his PhD in Psychology and Psychiatry from the Leopold-Franzens Universitat in Innsbruck, Austria in 1961 and later began working for the National Institute of Mental Health. (35) At the 1972 American Psychological Association conference, Nichols, et al. presented a paper entitled "Child Mental Health in the '70's." (36) Nichols' analysis of the mental health of Black children centered on recognizing the importance of the possibly "different orientations" between Black and white mental health researchers and practitioners. Furthermore, Nichols, et al. argued that it was necessary for mental health researchers "to look to the mother of science, philosophy, in order to avoid the pitfalls of the past. All experimental projects should address themselves to these basic philosophical disciplines. They are as follows: epistemological, axiological, logic and ontology." (37) Similar to Dixon, Nichols focuses on questions of epistemology, axiology and logic, with the added concept of ontology.
In his discussion of axiology, Nichols argues that "[t]he axiological value system of the Euro-American must give credence to, [an] understanding [of] the value system embraced by the majority of people in the world, not a man-object value but a man-man [value]." (38) Clarifying these distinctions, Nichols states that, "In [B]lack culture the relationship is man to man, in which each person is assumed to have intrinsic value in and of himself. In white European culture the relationship is man to object in which the value of a person is determined by his productivity and achievements." (39) Nichols' explanation of the differences between "man-object values" and "man-man values," is in the same vein as Dixon and what we would later follow from the future work of Nichols. In doing so, Nichols stresses the importance of "human relations" within an African axiology, thus the prioritization of a human-to-human value system.
Regarding epistemological differences, Nichols states, "In [B]lack culture, the orientation for the acquisition of knowledge is: I feel, I think; therefore, I am. In white European culture the method of acquisition is: I think, therefore, I am in the Cartesian reference." (40) Thus Nichols correctly argues that "[e]pistemological models wherein subject-object questions remain primary, serve only to confuse. The Afro-American epistemology must also be viewed with understanding [an] ascribed value--feel--think--being." (41) This understanding of an African [American] epistemology clearly hearkens back to Dixon's arguments.
Lastly, Nichols quickly discusses differences in logic and ontology. Nichols' discussion of logic is in support of the problems of dichotomous and diunital logic. Nichols ends this presentation by stating ".hopefully the epistemological model of the [B]lack scholar, Vernon Dixon will enable America with its multi-ethnic population, [the ability] to come to cultural fruition through diunitalism." (42) Arguably the exchange of ideas by Dixon and Nichols has provided a rich foundation for accurately understanding worldview, worldview differences and their impact on culturally-specific scholarship.
While Nichols', et al. 1972 presentation provides a starting point for his articulation of worldview differences, references to his 1976 presentation suggest that he went on to expound worldview differences between Africans and Europeans in a much deeper and profound manner. Unfortunately all citations to this presentation provide no direct quotes but merely a general reference. However, Nichols' 1986 contribution entitled "Cultural Foundations for Teaching Black Children," in Teaching Mathematics, Volume I: Culture, Motivation, History and Classroom Management clearly references his 1976 presentation in a prefatory note where Nichols states, "This is part of a schema presented at the 'World Psychiatric Association and Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria' conference at the University of Ibadan on November 10, 1976, when the author was Visiting Professor of Clinical Psychology and Director of the Child's Clinic of the Institute of Education, University of Ibadan, Nigeria." (43) Thus the arguments in Nichols' 1986 publication, while dated after 1976 can provide insight into his understanding of worldview differences.
In Edwin J. Nichols' 1986 publication, he was principally concerned with understanding and articulating the philosophical basis for the successful education of Black children. Nichols argued that "One way to see more clearly these differences in behavior and thought processes is to examine their basis in philosophy. We can then begin to evolve new strategies for the successful education of African-American children, especially in inner-city schools." (44) Inline with his previous arguments and those of Vernon Dixon, Nichols argues that through an analysis of axiology, epistemology and logic, the culturally-specific philosophical distinctions of African and European peoples will become self-evident leading to culturally grounded teaching that will contribute to the successful education of Black children. Nichols goes on to state, "Black teachers have a special need to develop curriculum materials and utilize manipulatives that enable Black children to focus on African axiology/epistemology/logic sets. However, it is critical that all teachers not be restricted to only one way of viewing the world, for if only European axiology/epistemology/logic sets are practiced, then only selected individuals will benefit." (45)
Nichols' discussion of axiological, epistemological and logic differences are much clearer in this publication and speak to direct connections made by African-centered educational psychologists, along with educational and psychological theorists. (46) Regarding axiology, Nichols argues that "[t]he European focus on Man-Object dictates that the highest value lies in the Object or in the acquisition of the Object." (47) While "[i]n [an] African axiology, the focus is on Man-Man. Here, the highest value lies in the interpersonal relationship between persons." (48) Nichols relates these differences to the education of Black children by stressing the importance of interpersonal relationships between teacher and student.
In a similar vein, Nichols explains the different epistemological positions of African and European peoples, accordingly "Africans and Europeans also know knowledge differently. Africans know through symbolic imagery and rhythm, while Europeans know through counting and measuring." (49) Nichols' explanation of symbolic imagery and rhythm is focused on knowledge through wholism and constituent parts versus knowledge through the parts leading to the whole. Nichols clarifies this understanding by stating, "African-American children start with a different epistemology, from which they see first the whole. Subsequently, if necessary, they attend to the parts. Teachers in American schools, however, primarily teach from the European model of parts to the whole. The difficulty for Black students is to make the transition from one epistemological framework to another." (50)
Finally, Nichols discusses culturally-specific understandings of logic stating that "[t]he European logic system has its basis in dichotomy, by which reality is expressed as either/or. African logic, however, is diunital, characterized by the union of opposites." (51) Nichols follows by a painstaking analysis of the problematic of dichotomous thinking for educators of Black children suggesting that diunital solutions are possible and valued.
The previous review of the work of Vernon Dixon and Edwin J. Nichols clearly suggests that their articulation of the worldview framework, along with worldview differences as they relate to questions of axiology, epistemology and logic set the foundation for current and future discussions of worldview within African-centered psychology. As the literature clearly points to these two foundational thinkers, it was necessary to meticulously review their contributions to the role, function and place of worldview and the worldview framework within African-centered psychological theory and research. However, another key contributor to discussions of worldview within African-centered psychology is Wade Nobles. (52)
Wade Nobles received his PhD from Stanford University in Experimental (53) Social psychology and was also an attendee and participant in the J. Alfred Cannon Research Conference Series, where Vernon Dixon presented the previously discussed work on "Worldview and Research Methodology." Nobles' interaction with Dixon along with the previous research of the Black political scientist Mack Jones (54), help to inform Nobles' contributions to discussions of worldview within African-centered psychology. In 1978, Nobles advanced an African-based scientific network. Nobles argued that we should "build our theoretical and empirical analysis from our world-view, normative assumptions, and frame of reference." (55)
Nobles adds that,
In addition to answering specific questions such as who are we? Where did we come from? etc., a world-view also defines what people believe to be their 'nature' and the way in which they believe the world should operate. Growing directly out of their world-view, the normative assumptions of a people summarize their perceptions of the nature of the 'good life' and the political, economic, and cultural forms and/or processes necessary for the realization of that life. A people's frame of reference, which is more directly related to academic disciplines and scientific inquiry, serves as the 'lens' through which people perceive the experiential world.(56)
A worldview determines the nature of reality, i.e. how a culture understands the nature of reality. Normative assumptions then determine how reality is perceived. Finally, a frame of reference determines the manner in which this reality should be understood and/or interpreted. As Nobles argues, worldviews, normative assumptions and frames of reference, clearly impact the study of human phenomenon from a culturally-centered perspective. (57)
However, it is Nobles' discussion of worldview that included a discussion of the cosmological and ontological components, which requires our current attention. Accordingly, Nobles emphasizes the necessity of an "African cosmological, ontological and philosophical understanding of the universe..." (58) Nobles goes on to argue:
Ontologically, the African belief system contains the conception of all things in the universe as being 'force' or 'spirit' (cf. Tempels, 1959). It is logical, or at least consistent, therefore, that if one believed that all things, including humans, were endowed with the same Supreme Force, that one would also believe that things all are 'essentially' one. For the African, this world-view is based on the ontological identification of 'being (existence) in the universe,' as being characterized by a cosmological 'participation in the Supreme Force.' (59)
Thus, ontologically, Nobles argues that an African worldview posits "oneness of being." An African ontology leads to cosmological participation and allows for "the African individual...to be perceived as being interconnected to the existence of everything else." (60) Nobles discussion of the ontological and cosmological aspects of the worldview framework added to the previously developed discussions of axiology, epistemology and logic, as found within the work of Dixon and Nichols. Together these components provide a cultural group's understanding of the universe (cosmology), nature of being (ontology), values (axiology), reasoning (logic) and knowledge (epistemology), all of which contribute to the ways in which people make sense of their reality. These components of worldview are then necessary for accurately understanding the mental, behavioral and spiritual dimensions of African reality, a primary concern of African-centered psychology.
At the close of the 1970s Vernon Dixon, Edwin J. Nichols and Wade Nobles, each provided the foundational elements for discussions of worldview within African-centered psychology. Central to this analysis is Vernon Dixon who provided a detailed analysis of axiology, epistemology and logic, as worldview components. As the literature clearly states, Dixon was in communication with both Edwin J. Nichols and Wade Nobles. Nichols and Dixon both seemed to be concerned with questions of axiology, epistemology and logic, while Wade Nobles contributed questions of cosmology and ontology. Together cosmology, ontology, axiology, epistemology and logic makeup the components of worldview systems as currently discussed within African-centered psychology.
Race, Culture and Worldview: From Baldwin (Kambon) to Myers
As the 1980s began, discussions of worldview and worldview systems would expand beyond the confines suggested by the early works of Dixon, Nichols and Nobles. Specifically, it was the inclusion of discussions of race as it relates to differences in worldview systems. This would be investigated, in a series of publications, by Joseph Baldwin (aka Kobi Kazembe Kalonji Kambon).
Molefi Kete Asante and Abdulai S. Vandi's edited volume Contemporary Black Thought: Alternative Analyses in Social and Behavioral Sciences included Baldwin's influential essay that spoke to the relevance of worldview systems and their potential racial origin. Joseph Baldwin's "The Psychology of Oppression," provides the context for the role of race as an essential component for understanding the distinct nature of worldview systems. Baldwin does so by providing clarity on his understanding of definitional systems and their relation to worldview. Baldwin argues that, "A definitional system, in the broadest sense, is therefore essentially the same as the 'world view' of a social system--its peculiar philosophical orientation to the world." (61) As Baldwin develops his discussion of definitional systems as worldviews, he meticulously references Dixon's 1976 publication, showing the important relation of Dixon to this discussion within African-centered psychological literature. However, it is also at this point that Baldwin adds a new dimension to the discussion of worldview. It is here that he argues that worldviews are in fact race-specific. Baldwin states,
it is argued there that race constitutes the principal binding condition underlying the evolution of definitional systems. Such systems in their most basic and fundamental nature therefore have a 'racial character'. That is, they are peculiarly specific to the racial-cultural group with which they are identified. It is further argued that definitional systems reflect the distinct styles of survival maintenance characterizing different racial groups, deriving from their common geographical and historical experiences. Each racial group can therefore be regarded as having its own distinct definitional systems [i.e. worldview]. (62)
Baldwin's inclusion of race as it relates to worldview is consistent with all of his subsequent publications that discuss worldview.
Prior to Baldwin, worldview differences were primarily understood to be cultural and not racial. Neither Dixon, Nichols nor Nobles directly connect race to their discussions of worldview. Dixon believed that his
analysis does not imply that only the philosophical traits of a particular world view characterize people in that ethnic group. Rather, it implies that this set of traits of a particular worldview is dominant, relative to their embodiment of alternative sets. In this context, the discussion focuses on the 'pure' world view particular to each ethnic group, i.e. its dominant profile or its first order. (63)
Arguably this leeway allows Baldwin the opportunity to input race into his articulation of worldview difference. Baldwin does this throughout his later publications by connecting discussions of worldview with Cheikh Anta Diop's Two Cradle Theory.
In The African Personality in America: An African-Centered Framework, Kobi Kambon relies upon Diop's Two Cradle Theory to "illuminate the nature of African and European worldview differences." (64) In doing so, Kambon uses Diop's theory of cultural unity to support the origins of worldview distinctions between African and European peoples. In The Cultural Unity of Black Africa: The Domains of Matriarchy and Patriarchy in Classical Antiquity, Cheikh Anta Diop proposed that
there existed in the beginning, before the successive contacts of peoples and of nations, before the age of reciprocal influences, certain nonessential relative differences among peoples. These differences had to do with the climate and the specific conditions of life. The peoples who lived for a lengthy period of time in their place of origin were molded by their surroundings in a durable fashion. (65)
Thus the Two Cradle Theory argues that environmental conditions, modes of sustenance, familial structures and social structures, impact the foundational cultural differences between African and European peoples. Kambon advances that the collectivism, groupness, interrelatedness and interconnectedness of the African worldview are a direct outgrowth of the Southern Cradle, while the individualism, particularism, separateness and distinctiveness of the European worldview are a direct outgrowth of the Northern Cradle. Yet, this merely suggests a cultural explanation for worldview differences. Kambon therefore has to make the argument that race "clearly constitutes the initial condition binding people to a common geography and history through which their common experiences evolve into a distinct worldview system." (66)
In doing so, Kambon clearly connects arguments of culture and race as they relate to worldview differences. In "The Worldviews Paradigm as Conceptual Framework for African/Black Psychology," one of Kambon's more recent publications on the worldview framework, he further synthesizes his previous work around the African worldview and its relation to African-centered Psychology. (67)
Linda James Myers has also been a central voice in advancing the worldview framework within African psychology. However, Myers' approach to discussing worldview differences parts ways with Kambon. As DeReef Jamison correctly acknowledges, "while Kambon's worldview analysis is race-specific, Myers views the African worldview as having 'the cultural and history capacity to unite all of humanity.' (Myers, 1999, xvi)." (68) Yet Myers does argue that the worldview system she discusses is "Afrocentric because it originated in Africa, was evident among the ancient Aztec and Mayan cultures, and now exists throughout the world particularly among people of color, including contemporary Native American cultures." (69) While Myers does not fully espouse a race-centered argument, she does support the reality of fundamental philosophical differences between people of color and those of European ancestry.
In 1988, Linda James Myers' publication of Understanding an Afrocentric Worldview: Introduction to an Optimal Psychology (70) made great strides in continuing to push forward the centrality of a worldview framework within African psychology. This work reflected a synthesis of earlier theoretical and empirical research Myers had produced around the application and utilization of the worldview framework. Rather than referring to the different worldview systems based upon cultural or racial markers, Myers introduced the notions of an Afrocentric and Eurocentric or optimal and suboptimal worldviews. It is also important to note that Myers has systematically referenced the work of Edwin J. Nichols in her explanation of worldview systems and differences, specifically his 1972 presentation at the World Psychiatric Association conference in Ibadan, Nigeria.
William Curtis Banks, in 1992 published "The Theoretical and Methodological Crisis of the Africentric Conception," in which he argued that the development of an Africentric research methodology was stymied for a number of reasons. One that was clearly connected to discussions of worldview was the lack of a teleological dimension within the worldview framework. Banks argues that "the absence of a dimension within the Africentric framework of what traditionally is called teleology deprives the framework of an essential source of justification for programs of African-American development." (71) Banks correctly states that African people have consistently held a "sense of directedness, of definite ends, of definite purpose" which we can understand through "the sense of commitment and extended investment that characterize" an African notion of self. (72) Adding this component to the worldview framework extended it beyond discussions of cosmology, ontology, axiology, epistemology and logic. In doing so, Banks' critique of the previous discussions of the worldview framework expanded its usage and relevance within African-centered psychology.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, discussions of worldview within African psychology came from numerous quarters. However, they all seem to build off of the earlier works developed by Vernon Dixon, Edwin Nichols and Wade Nobles. The discussion of the race specificity of worldview systems, as discussed by Kambon, along with Linda James Myers' more humanistic approach to the discussion of worldview differences, reflects the various means by which African-centered psychologists and psychological theorists have gone about utilizing the worldview framework to advance the field of African psychology. Also, Banks' addition of the teleological component of worldview systems was another added dimension which has helped to strengthen discussions of worldview. Yet, we would be wrong to assume that there have only been theoretical and philosophical discussions of worldview systems within African psychology. In fact, throughout the 1990s and until today many have attempted to empirically investigate worldview systems and differences.
From Theory to Praxis: Empirical Testing and Measuring of Worldview Differences
While there have been considerable theoretical investigations of the African worldview, there have also been numerous attempts at creating measures to accurately assess the manifestation of worldview differences among African descended and European descended peoples. Today, there are five instruments that have been created which attempt to measure worldview differences.
Following the publication of Linda James Myers' Understanding an African Worldview, Derek Montgomery, Mark Fine and Linda James Myers published their preliminary findings on the construction of an instrument to assess an optimal Afrocentric worldview. Relying on the concepts of worldview, ontology, values, logic, identity, acquisition of knowledge and sense of worth, Montgomery, et al. constructed the 31-item Belief Systems Analysis Scale (BSAS) to assess the empirical validity of "an Afrocentric worldview as defined by optimal theory." (73) The findings of Montgomery, et al. "suggest that the BSAS has promising internal consistency and construct validity." (74) While the findings were only preliminary they did reflect the movement towards testing the empirical validity of the worldview concept and framework.
Joseph A. Baldwin and Reginald Hopkins also contributed to the development of a measure to test the empirical validity of the worldview framework, based upon Baldwin's earlier theorization on worldview. Like Montgomery, et al., Baldwin and Hopkins began preliminary research on the construction of an instrument to measure the validity of the worldview framework and differences between Euro-American and African American worldviews. Relying upon the concepts of ethos, values, customs and psycho-behavioral modalities, Baldwin and Hopkins constructed the 26-item Worldview Scale which was administered to Black and White college students.
As Baldwin and Hopkins argued, "The findings of this preliminary research clearly suggest support for the notion that cultural differences may indeed exist between Black and White Americans, indexed by the construct of worldview." (75) While the findings of both Montgomery, et al. and Baldwin and Hopkins were only preliminary they did set the stage for future developments in testing the empirical validity of the worldview concept and framework.
The Handbook for Tests and Measurements for Black Populations includes two additional instruments used to measure worldview differences. Richard C. Kelsey and Robert M. Ransom's "World-View Opinionnaire" relies upon Wade Nobles' early discussion of worldview differences in the development of a 17-item questionnaire. (76) The questionnaire was administered to 253 subjects (students and non-students) from "five sections of the Columbus, Ohio metropolitan area." (77) Kelsey and Ransom hypothesized that there would be no significant differences between Black and white subjects, and that income, age and sex would not significantly impact differences between Black and white subjects. While the null hypothesis was not completely rejected, Kelsey and Ransom were assured that
across sex, income and race, race had the strongest effects among these variables. Clearly, the results from this study imply that world-view perceptions of Blacks and [w]hites are worthy of serious consideration by educators, counselors, psychologists and other helping persons when considering such things as, curriculum development, teaching, counseling and intervention and treatment approaches. (78)
Similarly, Harriet G. McCombs developed the "Individual/Collective World-View Scale." (79) This is "a 16-item questionnaire which measures attitudes and beliefs about various aspects of psychosocial attitudes and behaviors which have their bases in cultural dynamics." (80) Two small student samples were used to test the validity of this scale, ranging from 25 and 31 subjects per sample (N=56). As her preliminary findings McCombs states, "at this early stage of the instrument's development and usage there are no clear answers." (81) Yet five African referents seem to support the manifestation of the African worldview among the African descended student respondents.
Ezemanari Obasi, Lisa Flores and Linda James Myers have developed the most recent attempt at assessing the worldview framework and potential worldview differences in "Construction and Initial Validation of the Worldview Analysis Scale." (82) Obasi, et al. discuss the validity of the construction and utilization of the Worldview Analysis Scale (WAS) due to the prevalence of race related measures which are unable to engage the foundational assumptions which inform human phenomena.
Obasi, et al. argue that
although some research on racial constructs, such as racism, racialism, stereotypes, and race related stress to name a few, are very much needed to address the stimulus value that physical features might have on attitude formulation or well-being, a racial paradigm will have little to no utility when the researcher is interested in the cultural factors that influence spiritual, psychological, and/or behavioral phenomena. (83)
The WAS is a 45-item scale revolving around "seven subscales: materialistic universe, spiritual immortality, communalism, indigenous values, tangible realism, knowledge of self, and spiritualism." (84) Obasi, et al.'s findings contribute to previous attempts at empirically testing the validity of the worldview framework. Results from African, African American, European, European American and multiethnic respondents validate clear worldview distinctions. Obasi, et al. argue that "[a]lthough African Americans and European Americans live and interact together in the United States, they demonstrate significantly different worldviews that are linked to their cultural past with which they may have little to no direct contact." (85) These findings, along with all of the previous attempts at measuring worldview differences, support the theoretical work of African-centered psychologists who have pioneered the construction of an African-centered perspective that is grounded within an African worldview.
Implications for African-Centered Psychology & Africana Studies
African-centered psychology has been instrumental in advancing theory and research that supports the cultural and intellectual autonomy of African descended peoples. As previously outlined, African-centered psychologists have been able to produce autonomous research and scholarship through their usage, development and interpretation of the concept/framework of worldview. The previous analysis of the worldview framework, along with a clear understanding of its usage within the theory and research of African-centered psychology can be helpful for the production of African-centered research throughout Africana Studies.
This genealogical review of the worldview framework within African-centered psychology attempts to function as a model for future investigations of key concepts, theories and models that inform Africana Studies and any of its constituent components. Current and future generations of Africana Studies practitioners are beset with a number of problems that have the potential of stunting the growth of the discipline. One such issue is the lack of intellectual history research produced within the discipline. Africana intellectual history as a subcomponent of Africana History is fertile ground for the interrogation and investigation of the theoretical, paradigmatic and philosophical foundations of the discipline. The application of our scholarly abilities in the investigation of the movement of ideas, concepts and models, within the discipline can lead to clarification on what Black Studies has been about prior to its institutionalization in 1968.
Arguments regarding genealogies of knowledge and knowledge production among African-centered scholars are extremely relevant to Africana Studies, along with the subcomponents that make up its disciplinary infrastructure. Genealogical work within Africana Studies rectifies the many pressing problems for both critics and advocates of the discipline. It is the hope that future Africana Studies practitioners and theorists take heed to issues of intellectual history within the discipline of Africana Studies. Not doing so runs the risk of manipulating and reconfiguring the intellectual foundations that have been set in place by previous generations of scholars.
Karanja Keita Carroll
Assitant Professor of Black Studies
State University of New York at New Paltz
* Much of this project is a synthesis of two previous works: Karanja Keita Carroll "Africana Studies and Research Methodology: Revisiting the Centrality of the Afrikan Worldview in Africana Studies Research and Scholarship," Journal of Pan African Studies, 2, no. 2 (2008): 427 and "A Genealogical Review and Critical Inquiry of the African Worldview Framework in Africana Studies Related Theory and Research," under review for Africana Studies: A Review of Social Science Literature. Medasi to Danielle Wallace, DeReef Jamison, Sekhmet Ra Em Kht Maat, Geneva Moore, and Daudi Ajani ya Azibo, for their support and critical feedback.
(1) Greg Kimathi Carr, "The African-Centered Philosophy of History: An Exploratory Essay on the Genealogy of Foundationalist Historical Thought and African Nationalist Identity Construction," in The African World History Project--The Preliminary Challenge, (Los Angeles: ASCAC Foundation, 1997), 285-320.
(2) See "genealogy" in Joseph Childers and Gary Hentzi, The Columbia Dictionary of Modern Literary and Cultural Criticism. New York: Columbia University Press, 1995.
(3) Cedric X. (Clark), D. Phillip McGee, Wade Nobles, & Luther X. (Weems), "Voodoo or IQ: An Introduction to African Psychology," Journal of Black Psychology 1, no. 2 (1975), 9.
(5) Joseph A. Baldwin, "The Role of the Black Psychologists in Black Liberation," in African American Psychology: Theory, Research and Practice, eds. A. Kathleen Hoard Burlew, W. Curtis Banks, Harriette Pipes McAdoo and Daudi Ajani ya Azibo (Newbury Park: Sage, 1992), 49.
(6) X. (Clark), et. al. "Voodoo or IQ," 23.
(7) Joseph A. Baldwin, "African (Black) Psychology: Issues and Synthesis," Journal of Black Studies 16, no. 3 (1986), 243.
(9) Cheryl Tawede Grills, "African Psychology," in Black Psychology, ed. Reginald Jones (Hampton: Cobb & Henry Publishers, 2006), 172.
(10) Ibid., 173.
(11) Azibo, "Articulating the Distinction".
(12) DeReef F. Jamison, "Through the Prism of Black Psychology: A Critical Review of Conceptual and Methodological Issues in Africology as Seen Through the Paradigmatic Lens of Black Psychology" Journal of Pan African Studies, 2, no, 2 (2008), 96-117.
(13) Azibo, "Articulating the Distinction," Daudi Ajani Ya Azibo, "Africentric Conceptualizing as the Pathway to African Liberation," International Journal of Africana Studies 5 (1999), 1-31 and Carroll, "Africana Studies and Research Methodology".
(14) Faye H. Belgrave and Kevin W. Allison, African American Psychology: From Africa to America, (Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications, 2006), 28.
(15) Dona Richards (aka Marimba Ani), "The Ideology of European Dominance," Western Journal of Black Studies 3, no. 4 (1979), 244-251; Dona Richards, "European Mythology: The Ideology of 'Progress'," in Contemporary Black Thought, eds. Molefi Kete Asante and Abdulai S. Vandi (Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, 1980), 59-79; Marimba Ani, Yurugu: An African-Centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior (Trenton: African World Press, 1994).
(16) Vernon J. Dixon, "African-oriented and Euro-American-oriented worldviews: Research Methodologies and Economics," Review of Black Political Economy 7, no. 2 (1971), 119-156; Vernon J. Dixon, "Worldviews and Research Methodology," in African Philosophy: Assumption and Paradigms for Research on Black Persons, eds. Lewis King, Vernon J. Dixon & Wade W. Nobles, (Los Angeles: Fanon R&D Center, 1976), 51-102; Kobi Kambon (aka Joseph Baldwin), The African Personality in America: An African-Centered Framework (Tallahassee: Nubian Nation Publications, 1992); Kobi Kambon, "The Africentric Paradigm and African-American Psychological Liberation" in African Psychology in Historical Perspective and Related Commentary, ed. Daudi Ajani Ya Azibo, (Trenton: Africa World Press, 1996), 57-69; Kobi Kambon, African/Black Psychology in the American Context: An African-Centered Approach, (Tallahassee: Nubian Nation Publications, 1998); Linda James Myers, "Expanding the Psychology of Knowledge Optimally: The Importance of Worldview Revisited," in Black Psychology, ed. Reginald Jones (Berkeley: Cobb & Henry Publishers, 1991), 15-32; Linda James Myers, Understanding an Afrocentric World View: Introduction to an Optimal Psychology (Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1988); William Curtis Banks, "The Theoretical and Methodological Crisis of the Africentric Conception," Journal of Negro Education 61, no. 3 (1992), 262-272; Azibo, "Africentric Conceptualizing"; Azibo, "Articulating the Distinction".
(17) While there are others who have discussed and utilized the worldview framework and concept prior to Vernon J. Dixon and Edwin J. Nichols, this analysis centers around Dixon and Nichols' impact on the development and usage of worldview as understood today. For a detailed analysis of Vernon Dixon's impact on research methodology within Africana Studies, see Carroll, "Africana Studies and Research Methodology."
(18) Dixon, "African-oriented and Euro-American-oriented worldviews."
(19) Cedric X. Clark, D. Phillip McGee, Wade Nobles, & Luther X. (Weems), "Voodoo or IQ: An Introduction to African Psychology," Journal of Black Psychology 1, no. 2 (1975), 9-29.
(20) Dixon, "World Views and Research Methodology," 53.
(21) Ibid., 54-55.
(22) Ibid., 56.
(24) Ibid., 67.
(25) Ibid., 67.
(26) Ibid., 68-70.
(27) Ibid., 69.
(28) Ibid., 75.
(29) Ibid., 75.
(30) Ibid., 76.
(31) Ibid., 76.
(32) Vernon J. Dixon, "The Di-unital Approach to 'Black Economics'," The American Economic Review 60, no. 2 (1970), 424-429.
(33) Dixon, "World Views and Research Methodology," 51.
(34) Linda James Myers, "Expanding the Psychology of Knowledge Optimally: The Importance of Worldview Revisited," in Black Psychology, ed. Reginald Jones (Berkeley: Cobb & Henry Publishers, 1991), 15-32; Linda James Myers, Understanding an Afrocentric World View: Introduction to an Optimal Psychology (Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1988); Linda James Myers, "Transpersonal Psychology: The Role of the Afrocentric Paradigm" in African American Psychology: Theory, Research and Practice, eds. A. Kathleen Hoard Burlew, W. Curtis Banks, Harriette Pipes McAdoo and Daudi Ajani ya Azibo (Newbury Park: Sage, 1992), 5-17; and Derek E. Montgomery, Mark A. Fine and Linda James-Myers, "The Development and Validation of an Instrument to Assess an Optimal Afrocentric Worldview," Journal of Black Psychology, 17, no. 1 (1990), 37-54.
(35) Robert L. Williams, History of the Association of Black Psychologists (Bloomington: AuthorHouse, 2008), 549-572.
(36) Edwin J. Nichols and Others, "Child Mental Health in the '70's." Paper presented at the American Psychological Association Annual Meeting, Honolulu, Hawaii, September 6, 1972.
Available via ERIC: ED075516.
(37) Nichols, et. al. 19.
(38) Ibid., 19.
(39) Ibid., 18.
(40) Ibid., 18.
(41) Ibid., 20.
(43) Nichols, "Cultural Foundations for Teaching Black Children," in Teaching Mathematics: Volume 1. Culture, Motivation, History and Classroom Management, ed. O. M. T. Rattery (Washington, DC: Institute of Independent Education, 1986), 10.
(44) Ibid., 10.
(45) Ibid., 16.
(46) Carol D. Lee, Kofi Lomotey, and Mwalimu Shujaa, "How Shall We Sing Our Sacred Song in a Strange Land? The Dilemma of Double Consciousness and the Complexities of an African-Centered Pedagogy," The Journal of Education 172, no. 2 (1990), 45-61; Carol D. Lee, "Profile of an Independent Black Institution: African-Centered Education at Work--New Concept Development Center," The Journal of Negro Education 61, no. 2 (1992), 160-177; Amos Wilson, Awakening the Natural Genius of the Black Child (New York: Afrikan World InfoSystems, 1991); Mwalimu J. Shujaa, "Education and Schooling: You Can Have One Without The Other," in Too Much Schooling, Too Little Education: A Paradox of Black Life in White Societies, ed. M. Shujaa (Trenton: Africa World Press, 1994), 13-36; Kwame Agyei Akoto, "Notes on an Afrikan Centered Pedagogy," in Too Much Schooling, Too Little Education: A Paradox of Black Life in White Societies, ed. M. Shujaa (Trenton: Africa World Press, 1994), 319-337; Asa Hilliard, SBA: The Reawakening of the African Mind (Gainesville: Makare, 1997); Theresa Perry, Claude Steele and Asa Hilliard Young, Gifted and Black: Promoting High Achievement Among African American Students, (New York: Beacon Press, 2004).
(47) Nichols, "Cultural Foundations for Teaching Black Children," 11.
(49) Ibid., 12.
(50) Ibid., 13.
(51) Ibid., 14.
(52) Prior to 1978, Wade Nobles published "Extend Self, Rethinking the so-called Negro Self-Concept," Journal of Black Psychology 2, no. 2 (1976), 15-24. However, this text utilizes a discussion of worldview which is generalized and does not attempt to establish an understanding centered on the key concepts stressed in this essay.
(53) Williams, A History of the Association of Black Psychologists, 138-156.
(54) Mack H. Jones, "Scientific Method, Value Judgments, and the Black Predicament in the U.S.," The Review of Black Political Economy, 7 (1976), 7-21.
(55) Wade Nobles, "Toward an Empirical and Theoretical Framework for Defining Black Families," Journal of Marriage and the Family 40, no. 4 (1978), 683.
(56) Ibid., author's emphasis, 682.
(57) Nobles, "Toward an Empirical and Theoretical Framework".
(58) Ibid., 684.
(59) Ibid., 684.
(61) Joseph Baldwin, "The Psychology of Oppression" in Contemporary Black Thought: Alternative Analyses in Social and Behavioral Sciences, eds. Molefi Asante and Abdulai S. Vandi (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 1980), 97.
(62) Ibid., 98.
(63) Dixon, "World Views and Research Methodology, 54.
(64) Kambon, The African Personality in America, 8.
(65) Cheikh Anta Diop, The Cultural Unity of Black Africa: The Domains of Matriarchy & Patriarchy in Classical Antiquity, (London: Karnak House, 1989), 3.
(66) Kambon, The African Personalityin America, 6.
(67) Kobi Kambon, "The Worldviews Paradigm as the Conceptual Framework for African/Black Psychology" in Black Psychology, ed. Reginald Jones, (Hampton: Cobb & Henry Publishers, 2004), 73-92.
(68) Jamison, "Through the Prism of Black Psychology," 102.
(69) Linda James Myers, Understanding an Afrocentric World View: Introduction to an Optimal Psychology (Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, 1989), 4.
(71) Banks, "The Theoretical and Methodological Crisis of the Africentric Conception," 266.
(72) Ibid., 266.
(73) Derek E. Montgomery, Mark A. Fine and Linda James-Myers, "The Development and Validation of an Instrument to Assess an Optimal Afrocentric Worldview," Journal of Black Psychology, 17, no. 1 (1990), 38.
(74) Ibid, 50.
(75) Ibid, 49.
(76) Richard C. Kelsey and Robert M. Ransom, "A Comparison of African and European Groups Utilizing a World-View Opinionnaire" in Handbook of Tests and Measurements for Black Populations, ed. Reginald Jones (Hampton: Cobb & Henry Publishers, 1996), 37-46.
(77) Ibid., 39.
(78) Ibid., 45.
(79) Harriet G. McCombs "The Individual/Collective World-View Scale: A Preliminary Report" in Handbook of Tests and Measurements for Black Populations, ed. Reginald Jones (Hampton: Cobb & Henry Publishers, 1996), 47-56.
(80) Ibid., 49.
(81) Ibid., 54.
(82) Ezemenari Obasi, Lisa Y. Flores and Linda James-Myers, "Construction and Initial Validation of the Worldview Analysis Scale (WAS)," Journal of Black Studies 39, no. 6 (2009): 937-961.
(83) Ibid., 938.
(84) Ibid., 937.
(85) Ibid., 956.
Karanja Keita Carroll (firstname.lastname@example.org) is currently an Assistant Professor of Black Studies and the Interim Department Coordinator of Black Studies at the State University of New York at New Paltz. He holds an MA and PhD in African American Studies from Temple University. His teaching and research interests include the disciplinary structure of Africana Studies, intellectual history within Africana Studies, African/Black Psychology, African-centered Social Theory and African-centered Theory & Methodology. He is also Associate Editor of the Journal of Pan African Studies.