Postcolonial discourses on African Diaspora history and
relations have traditionally focused intensely on highlighting the
common experiences and links between black Africans and African
Americans. This is especially true of Afrocentric scholars and
supporters who use Africa to construct and validate a monolithic,
racial, and culturally essentialist worldview. Publications by
Afrocentric scholars such as Molefi Asante, Marimba Ani, Maulana
Karenga, and the late John Henrik Clarke have emphasized the
centrality of Africa to the construction of Afrocentric
essentialism. In the last fifteen years, however, countervailing
critical scholarship has challenged essentialist interpretations of
Diaspora history. Critics such as Stephen Howe, Yaacov Shavit, and
Clarence Walker have questioned and refuted the intellectual and
cultural underpinnings of Afrocentric essentialist ideology.Tunde
Adeleke deconstructs Afrocentric essentialism by illuminating and
interrogating the problematic situation of Africa as the foundation
of a racialized worldwide African Diaspora. He attempts to fill an
intellectual gap by analyzing the contradictions in Afrocentric
representations of the continent. These include multiple,
conflicting, and ambivalent portraits of Africa; the use of the
continent as a global, unifying identity for all blacks; the
de-emphasizing and nullification of New World acculturation; and
the ahistoristic construction of a monolithic African Diaspora
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