Molefi Kete Asante bigraphy, stories - Philosophers

Molefi Kete Asante : biography

August 14, 1942 -

Molefi Kete Asante (born Arthur Lee Smith Jr. on August 14, 1942) is an African-American scholar, historian, and philosopher. He is a leading figure in the fields of African American studies, African Studies and Communication Studies. He is currently Professor in the Department of African American Studies at Temple University, where he founded the first December 17, 2012 PhD program in African American Studies, and President of the Molefi Kete Asante Institute for Afrocentric Studies. Asante is widely known for his writings on Afrocentricity, a school of thought that has influenced the fields of sociology, intercultural communication, critical theory, political science, African history, and social work.Ronald L. Jackson and Sonja Brown Givens, Black Pioneers in Communication Research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2007.Dhyana Ziegler, ed. Molefi Kete Asante: In Praise and Criticism. Nashville, TN: Winston Derek, 1995. He is the father of author and filmmaker M. K. Asante. He is the author of more than 66 books and the founding editor of the Journal of Black Studies.Ama Mazama, ed. Essays in Honor of an Intellectual Warrior, Molefi Kete Asante. Paris, France: Editions Menaibuc, 2008.


Asante published the book Afrocentricity: The Theory of Social Change in 1980. This book initiated a discourse around the issue of African agency and subject place in historical and cultural phenomena.Maulana Karenga, Introduction to Black Studies (4th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: University of Sankore Press, 2010. Asante maintained in the book that Africans had been moved off-center in terms on most questions of identity, culture, and history. Afrocentricity sought to place Africans in the center of their own narratives and to reclaim the teaching of African-American history from the margins of Europe.

Asante’s book The Afrocentric Idea was a more intellectual book about Afrocentricity than the earlier popular book. After the second edition of The Afrocentric Idea was released in 1998, Asante appeared on a number of television programs such as The Today Show, 60 Minutes, and the MacNeil-Lehrer News Hour to discuss the idea.

According to Asante's Afrocentric Manifesto, an Afrocentric project requires a minimum of five characteristics: (1) an interest in a psychological location, (2) a commitment to finding the African subject place, (3) the defense of African cultural elements, (4) a commitment to lexical refinement, and (5) a commitment to correct the dislocations in the history of Africa.Molefi Kete Asante, An Afrocentric Manifesto: Toward an African Renaissance. Cambridge, UK: Polity Press, 2007, p. 41.

Film list

  • Motherland (2010)
  • The Black Candle (2008)
  • 500 Years Later (2005)
  • Faces of Evil (2000)


Early life

Asante (born Arthur Lee Smith Jr.) was born in Valdosta, Georgia, the fourth of sixteen children. His father, Arthur Lee Smith, worked in a peanut warehouse and then on the Georgia Southern Railroad; his mother worked as a domestic. During the summers Asante would return to Georgia to work in the tobacco and cotton fields in order to earn tuition for school. He was influenced to pursue his education by an aunt, Georgia Smith, who gave him his first book: a collection of short stories by Charles Dickens.Patricia Reid-Merritt. "Molefi Kete Asante," Encyclopedia of African American History, Leslie M. Alexander and Walter C. Rucker, Eds., ABC-CLIO, 2010, pp. 617-618.


As an adolescent, Smith attended Nashville Christian Institute, a Church of Christ-founded boarding school for black students, in Nashville, Tennessee, from which he earned his high school diploma in 1960. While still in his high school years, he became involved with the civil rights movement, joining the Fisk University student march there in Nashville.Dr. John Henrik Clark Group Research Project. We're not going to take it anymore, Gerald G. Jackson, Ed., Beckham Publications Group, Inc., 2005, pp. 90-91. After graduation, he initially enrolled in Southwestern Christian College of Terrell, Texas, another historically black institution with Church of Christ roots, where he met a Nigerian named Essien Essien, whose character and intelligence inspired Smith to learn more about Africa.

Living octopus

Living octopus

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