Journal of Theology for Southern Africa 99 (November 1997) 47-57

 

“Fallacies of the new Afrocentrism”

A critical response to Kwame A. Appiah

Malinge Njeza

Department of Religious Studies, University of Cape Town

 

Introduction

It has become fashionable in certain circles of contemporary discourse to talk about Afrocentrism. At the socio-political level the debate is centred around the concept of African Renaissance, whereas the religio-theological dimensions of the discourse are concerned with African Christianity. This paper is about both aspects and how they impact upon each other. There is a long-standing tradition of the convergence of religio- and socio-economic interests between South Africa and the United States of America. It is the Black African tradition on both sides of the Atlantic which concerns this paper. Beginning in the late nineteenth century the Ethiopian movement charted the way for Black African co-operation, and established socio-religious links with African American Institutions and Churches.

In the 1970s and 1980s South Africa’s Black and Liberation theologies had much in common with its counterpart in USA than, say, African theology.[1] This transatlantic socio-theological debate has developed full circle. At both socio-economic and academic levels the common concern now is with Afrocentrism. This is a highly contested term understood differently by different people. It is used with many subtleties and nuances determined by each socio-cultural context. Our concern is to highlight some of these subtleties and nuances with a view to suggesting a more useful Afrocentrist model for the South African context. It is hoped that by so doing, we will contribute to the current debate on Afrocentrism and African renaissance and give some content to these issues. Lastly, insights emanating from our argument will be used to reflect on our way of doing theology. Afrocentrism has profound implications for future direction of theology in Africa, especially with regard to relating Black and African theologies.

We shall do this by using Kwame Antony Appiah as our main interlocutor. He is an Anglo-Ghanaian now based in Boston as a Professor of Afro-American Studies and Philosophy and Chair of the Committee on African Studies at Harvard University. As a West African residing in the United States Appiah has a foot in both the African and African American contexts of the debate—or so at [End of 47] least we would like to believe. Our argument will be based mainly, though not exclusively, on one of his recent articles, “Europe upside down”.[2]

A sample of Appiah’s views

In sharing his perspectives on African history and culture Appiah criticises what he perceives to be fallacies of what “new Afrocentrism”. This, according to him, is as it is presented in contemporary African American Afrocentrist literature. Appiah critiques this “new Afrocentrism” both in its theoretical and practical frameworks. Afrocentrism is anchored in a twofold argument. Firstly, it holds that the West views the world through Eurocentric eyes. Consequently, the achievements of other cultures are suppressed or denied. This is the point that both Cheikh Anta Diop and Martin Bernal make in their discussion of ancient and Aryan models, respectively.[3]

Secondly, Afrocentrism seeks to put Africa at the centre of world history. In this way Afrocentrist concerns, standards and values would be considered in the interpretation of this history. Thus, pre-colonial Africa and Africa’s antiquity, especially with regard to ancient Egypt, serve as the theoretical framework of this assertion. Afrocentrism, in the final analysis, embodies the black Africans’ struggle to grapple with what is called “modernity” or “modernisation”, “globalisation”, and the technological era.

In the article under review, Appiah speaks out against this ‘new’ Afrocentrist perspective. He argues that Afrocentrism, thus perceived, is seriously flawed on two counts: firstly, that it is captive to a Eurocentric worldview and, therefore, racialist in its judgements; secondly, that it mistakenly tries to locate a cultural unity on the African continent.

On the first count, Appiah argues that Afrocentrism appears to be “thoroughly at home in the frameworks of nineteenth-century European thought. . . . [and that it] seems very much to share the presuppositions of the Victorian ideologies against which it is reacting”.[4] The wise rejoinder Appiah offers is that this Afrocentrist “preoccupation with the ancient world” is wasted, for “the antagonists it identifies with are largely dead”.[5] From these observations he draws the conclusion that the “Afrocentrists have simply challenged the old priority of the Greeks, by replacing them with Egyptians”.[6] Again to emphasise the reactionary nature of Afrocentrism, and to indicate that its agenda is set by Eurocen[End of 48]tric concerns, Appiah adds, “Afrocentrism chooses Egypt because Eurocentrism had already made a claim to it”.[7] The “intellectual weaknesses” of Afrocentrism for him, therefore, lies precisely in this “essentially reactive structure”. On these bases Appiah concludes that the new Afrocentrism is “simply Europe turned upside down”.[8]

At the core of Appiah’s methodological critique of the Afrocentrist paradigm is the notion that it is captive to a Eurocentric racialist worldview. For him, Afrocentrism seeks to reverse a Eurocentric model of world history. It seeks to replace an Aryan model with an Ancient model in that it is preoccupied with the colour of ancient Egyptians. In doing this, Appiah argues, Afrocentrism uses Eurocentric standards of perception and judgement. Ancient Egypt is perceived as being literate and having complex political, social, religious, and architectural systems. These are all Eurocentric standards of sophistication and civilisation. It is on these premises that Eurocentrism denies that ancient Egypt could have been black. By basing its claim on Egypt as being representative of Africa on the same grounds, Afrocentrism falls into the trap of Eurocentric discourse confinement. For Appiah, these standards are not only Eurocentric but also they are prejudiced against other African cultures that cannot be judged similarly. In his view, the Egyptian model as being representative of the African continent gives a false impression of a unified culture of Africa. It should be discarded just as much as the quest after the colour of Ancient Egypt should.

It would be difficult to understand Appiah outside the context of his writing. He is based in the United States and is thus responding to specific African American expressions of Afrocentrism. Thus, the charge of racial preoccupation regarding Afrocentrism is targeted towards an African American audience. Perhaps it would be reasonable to concede that there are indeed racial overtones within some of the Afrocentrist writings of African Americans. This would not be difficult to understand. African Americans are located in a minority situation in a society they perceive as being historically oppressive to them. They invariably feel dominated by a hostile majority and frustrated by the helplessness of their situation. It would be informative for us to understand that some of the African American Afrocentrist writings could be occasioned by this sense of disillusionment about their situation. In a highly volatile racial situation it is difficult to totally avoid racialist discourse.

However, it is equally true that racialism is not merely a fear but, on the contrary, it is also a real factor. Nineteenth century historical discourse is an example par excellence of the extent to which racism has permeated modern society. Therefore, with Martin Bernal, “the penetration of racism and ‘continental chauvinism’ into all our historiography, or philosophy of writing history” must be fully recognised.[9] [End of 49]

Racialism may be dead in terms of legislation or morality, but its legacy lives on. Its realities and memories are still too fresh. In the same way, racialism may have lost its moral ground but it still has a significant audience. With the erosion of its social and intellectual respectability it has since become “more complicated and subterranean”.[10] The current “Afro-pessimism”, for instance, is just one way in which racialism and neo-colonialism is cast. Afrocentrist preoccupation with classicism is not simply academic and it is thus appropriate, in our view, that issues of racialism should continue to feature highly in the agenda of Afrocentrism.

On the second count, Appiah alleges that Afrocentrism fosters a false notion of African cultural unity. This again, he reasons, is a bias, which grows directly out of a Eurocentric preoccupation with identifying a common core of Western culture.[11] For Appiah, the cultural diversity of post-modern Africa is such that there can be no talk of African culture. The gap between Africa of the past and modern Africa is unbridgeable. Our recollection of the past is merely a result of our own fantasies and inventions. Further, this quest after a culturally unified African past and present is, because of its Eurocentric origins, doomed to racial stereotypes and should be abandoned. Instead, contemporary “African culture is something which needs to be constructed in the present and future, and not something which can be retrieved from an invented past”.[12] Thus construed, African culture would be a product of and also would reveal the diversities of modern Africa. For Appiah, anything short of this is a fallacy. By locating itself within a notion of African cultural unity, the new Afrocentrism is based on African American fantasies rather than on African realities.

Underlying the Afrocentrist debate are the two prevalent views of Africa and Africanness. One view argues that there is no cultural unity in Africa, while the other maintains that there is in fact an underlying uniformity to the cultures of Africa. Among the exponents of the former view that emphasise the diversity of African cultures is our interlocutor, Kwame Appiah. He vigorously argues that “whatever Africans share, we do not have a common traditional culture, common languages, a common religious or conceptual vocabulary . . . we do not even belong to the same race”.[13] Appiah is consistent in his denial of cultural unity in Africa such that, for him, the only unity there is in Africa exists in our ideas and as a figment of our own imagination.[14] The perceived uniformity, according to Appiah, is more of an illusion than reality. Consequently, Appiah then savagely dismisses the Africanist discourse as being based on an illusion.

Appiah is not alone in defending Africa’s heterogeneity and diversity. There is a whole body of tradition of African intellectuals who maintain the same view. [End of 50] On the same score Takatso Mofokeng insists that it is incorrect to continue to “perceive of African culture as monolithic, classless, genderless and struggle-less”.[15] However, these other African scholars do not reach similar conclusions as Appiah does with regard to Afrocentrism. For them, Afrocentrist claims are not invalidated because of the heterogenous nature of Africa.

On the other hand, there are those Africans who maintain that there is an underlying uniformity to the cultures of Africa. Cheik Anta Diop is the champion of this view. He defends the assertion on historical and political grounds.[16] The philosophy of negritude, for instance, is based on this view.[17] It is also maintained on anthropological and theological grounds. Idowu E. Bolaji argues that “there is common Africanness about the total culture and religious beliefs and practices of Africa. The common factor may be due to either the fact of diffusion or to the fact that most Africans share common origins with regard to race and customs and religious practices”.[18] Indeed, even if in the final analysis it may not be completely articulated or reduced into fine words, there is a felt reality among black Africans that constitutes this common Africanness. Black South Africans invariably call it ubuntu/botho; Placide Tempels called it vital force. Surely, there must be an African culture to which to appeal in the end.[19] This cultural unity, in turn, is both rooted in Africa’s native culture and civilisation and embedded in Africa’s long history and traditions.

The need for African cultures to find a common historical root that could unify the people of Africa cannot be overemphasised. This is the premise of most of Diop’s writings. Although this may be incorrect according to the first view, it is analytically permissible to extrapolate from an African culture to African culture. This is done on the basis of the obvious commonalties that exist between African cultures. The fact that there is no consensus on the definition of African culture(s) as such is no reason for its denial. This on its own may be a credit and a sign of creativity, for “the continent of Africa can be characterized as a collection of cultures, but it is also a place for the blending of many cultures, a process sometimes called ‘syncretism’”.[20] This is why we think that Appiah is tackling the issue in terms of the African American debate rather than the debate which must be more internal to Africa and, therefore, less mythological and more realistically nuanced. However, even within its African American context it is informative to appreciate the genuine emotional symbiosis with Africa felt by African [End of 51] Americans. What is needed, therefore, is the correction of the stereotype and misconceptions, not the assassination of the quest.

The danger in Appiah’s critique is that it easily leaves itself open to abuse by forces hostile to Africanisation. His critique contains incipient and/or open denial of the concept of African culture. This denial is couched within a series of systematic attacks aimed at disproving that the ideological basis of Afrocentrism is false. Eroded of the fundamental basis of African culture Afrocentrist claims are hollow. However, this would be to misconstrue Appiah’s view. His aim is not to deny the possibility or even reality of an African culture, but rather the generalisations of that claim. He, in fact, is correct in maintaining that “it is surely preposterous to suppose that there is a single African culture, shared by everyone from the civilizations of the Upper Nile thousands of years ago to the thousand or so language-zones of contemporary Africa”.[21] We are, thus, in no conflict with Appiah in so far as he advocates a critical and dynamic view of African culture. However, this does not come out clearly in his views.

In an increasingly global world and in a post-modernist discourse it is increasingly difficult to find the purely pure. There are fewer (if any) geographical, cultural or biological purities. The interconnections and interdependencies of geography, biology, and culture have become much more complex and multiple. In this global village cultures continue to be defined and delineated with a view to the present and the future. However, the past continues to cast its shadow on the future and present. Admittedly, a lot has happened since pre-colonial or ancient times to have made it possible for African religio-cultural traditions to remain untouched. “The Africa of today is not the Africa of yesterday. Times have changed”.[22] A total and uncritical appropriation of the past is neither possible nor essential. However, we do not uncritically sacrifice the past, either, in the melting pots of the present globalisation. A much more critical view of the relationship of the past to the present and the future is necessary. What we need in the reconstruction of Africa’s history, in my view, is an endogenous view of Africa and its traditions rather than exogenous historiography.

Implications for South Africa

Appiah raises significant issues that are important for our understanding of Afrocentric paradigms in the new South Africa. The questions of racialism and cultural unity are of profound relevance to our multiracial and multicultural context. One of the ironies of the ‘rainbow nation’ is that we shall for a while yet continue to speak in a language that is not colour blind. This is one of the legacies of our past. Frankly, the legacy of apartheid lives on in the poverty and deprivation of the majority of South Africans. Our people continue to suffer from the hardships of unemployment and homelessness. A significant economic shift from the [End of 52] white minority to the black majority has yet to happen. Political transformation is meaningless without the economic empowerment of those who have been historically disadvantaged and discriminated against. Economic struggle, the second struggle, is still very much on. Consequently, it is necessary to continue to respond to apartheid legacies in whatever forms and manifestations. It is not racialist but rather realistic to observe that while blacks are in parliament it is the whites who have a monopoly on South Africa’s economy. Thus the need in our public discourse to continue to engage racially sensitive issues, without becoming racist in the process, is crucial.

This is not merely reactionism, just as Afrocentrism is not a reaction to Eurocentrism but rather to Eurocentric racialism. Afrocentrism simply challenges the basis of the Aryan model and reasserts the claims of the ancient model in a revised form if necessary. We do not see any illegitimacy in this quest. What is at stake here is the tension between tradition (ancient model) and literacy (Aryan model). Bernal’s ambiguous conclusions about the colour of ancient Egyptians are acceptable to us precisely because Afrocentrism is not about replacing white with black Egypt, or vice-versa. It is not the pigmentation thereof, but the geo-cultural location of Egypt that concerns us. In fact, evidence indicates that ancient Egyptians varied in skin colour from very dark to light brown and, significantly, that they were culturally African. However, we do not want to be drawn into a racist understanding of culture. Without being literalist, therefore, it is rather the symbolism of Egypt as part of the continent of Africa and ancient Egypt as a symbol of African pride and initiative that places it at the centre of Afrocentrist discourse. Afrocentrism is not about black totalitarianism; rather it is about making a claim for Africa in world history. In the words of Alton Pollard III:

The goal of Afrocentricity is not to uncritically replace ‘white’ history with ‘black’ history or ‘European’ Christianity with ‘African’ Christianity, but rather to promote a more authentic view of the world as the product of all human cultures, broadly defined and valued in their many hues, not least of which is black. In so doing, Afrocentrism prophetically challenges Eurocentric claims to superiority.[23]

Africa’s claim is necessary in connecting contemporary African identity with that of the past, even antiquity. We need to continue to relate the past to the present even if only to demonstrate evolutions of modern Africa and the modern African. The liberating and therapeutic effect this connectedness has is summed up in the words of George G. M. James, “it really signifies a mental emancipation, in which black people will be liberated from the chain of traditional falsehood, which for centuries incarcerated them in a prison of inferiority complex and world humiliation and insult”.[24] [End of 53]

There have historically been two strands of Afrocentrism in South Africa that continue well into the present. On the one hand there has been the Black Consciousness tradition “with an ‘exclusive’ and at times ‘nationalistic’ form of Afrocentricity”, while on the other there has been the Freedom Charter tradition with a “more ‘inclusive’ or ‘ecumenical’” Afrocentric perspective.[25] Both traditions have been concerned with the placing of Africa and its heritage “at the centre of our self-understanding so that we are no longer alienated from ourselves, and so that we can become our own best selves”.[26] Despite the common goal there was a strategic and ideological distinction between the two traditions. The distinction, in our view, concerned the particularity and universality of the struggle. While the former emphasised black African particularity the latter embraced African universality. However, the particular and the universal approaches are not exclusive of each other.

This is the critical balance that we should maintain in the new Afrocentrism. (South) Africa is an integral part of the New World Order and, therefore, participates in universalist discourse. This is how we would insist that the role of (South) Africa in shaping the world is ensured. As an emancipated country and continent we have a critical role to play in the global process of the freedom of humanity. In the same way, South Africa is also an African country; a Black country in terms of its majority and location. This has to be made clearly visible in its political, economic, ecclesiastical, and academic structures. These are the realities and the diversities of the South African situation, which to a large extent are microcosmic of Africa. Africa’s progress and contribution to globalisation must be culturally constructed on the basis of the indigenous heritage. The participation of Africa in modernism should be assessed from one viewpoint: “the total interests of the African masses”. When these are held together in creative balance Africa would be “a particularly spectacular example of cultural blending and the creative assembly of diverse traditions” that it needs to be.

Theological reflections on the debate

The Afrocentrist debate reflects the need for a review of theological methods in Africa. Both post-colonial Africa (with South Africa’s 1994 democratic elections) and South Africa’s democracy have unleashed uncontrolled forces of modernity and globalisation which, in turn, have set both African and Black theologies in a crisis.[27] Black and African theologies are confronted with the challenge of integrity in the face of modernism and neo-colonialism. The latter two often operate in tandem with each other and are not always easy to distinguish. In the same way, issues in the post-apartheid era appear rather grey and ambiguous. [End of 54] Black theology was a Christian theological expression of the struggle against apartheid racism, traditional African theology was set on the premise of Africa’s cultural unity. Both these historical foundations for Black and African theologies no longer hold water in view of contemporary developments. Rather, what is needed is a more realistic and nuanced representation of these life-situations or contexts as the interlocutors of Black and African theologies. The impact of Black and African theologies lies in their ability to theologically reflect on these new contexts.

Black theology, on the one hand, emerged as a reflection on the life-experiences of transplanted Africans in North America and the contemporary African American experience. On the other hand, it was a comment on the life-situation of South African blacks under colonialism and apartheid. These were relevant to its North American and South African contexts, respectively. Thus, although the social location of Black theology was black experience of oppression and discrimination and was, therefore, rooted within this black particularity, it extended its global horizons across the Atlantic. The African American and Black South African partnership was thus the global world of Black theology. Each context served as the global partner of the other. This was Black theology’s universality; informed by the common black experience of economic and political suffering.

African theology, in turn, was born out of the need to relate the Christian faith to the religio-cultural traditions of Africa. If racism was the hinge around which Black theology revolved, culture was the focal point of African theology. Reconstruction of Africa’s religio-cultural traditions from the past and the relation of these to Christianity in the here and now was the main concern of African theology. Emphasis was placed on the significance of the African heritage in contemporary struggle for Africa’s identity. In its representation of Africa’s past, the cultural unity of Africa was African theology’s underlying principle. African theology, then, tended to be characterised by a synchronic view of African history. This arose, probably, out of the need to recognise the particular African religio-cultural context as a sine qua non in the process of doing theology in Africa. Thus African theology was a theological expression of the quest for African identity in neo-colonial Africa. And this identity was defined almost always in traditional religio-cultural terms. Thus, Black and African theologies are different in terms of their history, concerns and methods.

However, the fundamental question is whether these can afford to continue to count their differences and measure their distance from each other in the face of the escalating challenges of modernity. For us, the response is a clear ‘no’. If theological discourse is to remain a viable option in Africa it will do so not as separate or antithetical entity but rather with Black and African theologies as complementary partners. The Afrocentrist challenge to both Black and African theologies, in our view, is for these to abandon their historical reductionism and dichotomies. Black theology can no longer continue to define blackness only in economic and political terms, in as much as African theology cannot afford to perceive Africanness merely in traditional religio-cultural terms. In so far as both Black and African theologies insist on these terms, then, they are in danger of anthropological reductionism. In the same way, the forced dichotomy between [End of 55] blackness and Africanness is not viable. The distinction in terms of terminology is acceptable but it should not serve to divide the indigenous peoples of Africa who are the subjects of both Black and African theologies. Similarly, the factors behind poverty and modernity in Africa are not unrelated.

The Afrocentrist challenge to Black and African theologies, then, is that these should surrender their differences in favour of complementary partnership for the sake of the total interests of the African masses. The masses of Africa today suffer the double injustice of economic and cultural impoverishment. There are no artificial and comfortable distinctions between these as they are experienced by Africa’s indigenous masses. This should be the renewed particularity of a truly authentic theology in Africa. Authentic theology in Africa would, in our view, be a result of the complementary partnership between Black and African theological traditions. Inspired and informed by the African experience, authentic theology in Africa would then seek to engage other theological traditions on their own terms. It would not seek to deny the right of existence to, for instance, Asian or European theologies, for these are authentic manifestations of other theological contexts in their own right. Instead, they represent the global partner to which all authentic theology should relate.

In its interlocution with Eurocentric theologies, for instance, the African theological approach should be carry an Afrocentrist bias. The tendency hitherto has been to begin with Eurocentric interpretations of Christianity and theology, and only later apply an Afrocentrist re-reading or hermeneutic of suspicion. However, this still inadvertently regards European Christianity as the point of departure and the norm around or against which other positions are formulated. The standard practice in theological curriculum is to assume that the Christian faith in Africa began with the European missions. The implications of this are twofold: firstly, it incorrectly assumes a European primacy in the Christian faith, and, secondly, it falsely excludes the Egyptian and North African Christian theological traditions from Africa. However, Africanisation is not about “particularization of the universal, . . . but the elevation of the particular to a universal resonance”.[28] With its recent revitalisation the symbolism of the Coptic Christian tradition is, for example, important for the reconstruction of an authentically African Christianity and theology. Authentic theology in Africa must be firmly rooted within Africa’s historical theological traditions even as it engages with the present and future challenges.

Dialogue with Coptic Christianity can serve to recognise the African role in and contribution to the development of Christian thought. Equally, it is imperative that for theology in Africa to be authentic it should deal with the current challenges that face Africa today, namely poverty and modernity. Subsequently, African national cultural identity should emerge out of this engagement with Africa’s pertinent problems. This, in turn, would result in cultural plurality as well as a plurality of Christianities. In our theological engagement with the factors that impact on Africa, an Afrocentrist approach should be the norm. The real test [End of 56] of an authentic African Christian theology, therefore, is the extent to which it is represents the total interests of the indigenous people of Africa.

 

Notes

1 We Are One Voice, ed. Simon S. Maimela and Dwight N. Hopkins (Braamfontein: Skotaville Press, 1989). [Back to text]

2 Kwame A. Appiah, “Europe Upside Down: Fallacies of the New Afrocentrism,” in Perspectives on Africa, ed. Richard Roy Grinker and Christopher B. Steiner (London: Blackwell Publishers, 1997), 728-31. [Back to text]

3 Cheik Anta Diop, Precolonial Black Africa (Westport: L. Hill, 1987); and Civilization or Barbarism: An Authentic Anthology (Brooklyn: Lawrence Hill Books, 1991). Martin Bernal, Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization: Volume 1: The Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785-1985 (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1987). [Back to text]

4 Appiah, “Europe Upside Down,” 729. [Back to text]

5 Appiah, “Europe Upside Down,” 729. [Back to text]

6 Appiah, “Europe Upside Down,” 729. [Back to text]

7 Appiah, “Europe Upside Down,” 730. [Back to text]

8 Appiah, “Europe Upside Down,” 730. [Back to text]

9 Bernal, Black Athena, 2. [Back to text]

10 Bernal, Black Athena, 437. [Back to text]

11 Appiah, “Europe Upside Down,” 731; and In My Father's House: Africa in the Philosophy of Culture (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992), 82. [Back to text]

12 Appiah, “Europe Upside Down,” 686. [Back to text]

13 Appiah, In My Father's House, 26. [Back to text]

14 Appiah, In My Father's House 41. [Back to text]

15 Takatso Mofokeng, “Discovering Culture and Its Influence in the Bible,” Journal of Black Theology in South Africa 5, no. 2 (May 1991): 1-13; cf. also John S. Pobee, Skenosis: Christian Faith in an African Context (Gweru: Mambo Press, 1992), 58-62. [Back to text]

16 Cheik Anta Diop, The Cultural Unity of Black Africa (Chicago: Third World Press, 1978); cf. also Paulin J. Hountondji, African Philosophy: Myth and Reality (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1983). [Back to text]

17 Leopold Sedar Senghor, “Negritude: A Humanism of the Twentieth Century,” in Perspectives on Africa, 629-36. [Back to text]

18 Bolaji Idowu, African Traditional Religion: A Definition (London: SCM Press, 1973), 13. [Back to text]

19 Hountondji, African philosophy. [Back to text]

20 Perspectives on Africa, xxii. [Back to text]

21 Appiah, “Europe Upside Down,” 731. [Back to text]

22 Kwesi A. Dickson, Theology in Africa (Maryknoll; London: Orbis Books; Darton, Longman and Todd, 1984), 84. [Back to text]

23 Alton B. Pollard III, “An Afrocentric Gospel for South Africa,” Journal of Black Theology in South Africa 9, no. 1 (May 1995): 46. [Back to text]

24 George G. M. James, Stolen Legacy: Greek Philosophy is Stolen Egyptian Philosophy (New York: Philosophical Library, 1954). Emphasis in original. [Back to text]

25 Pollard III, “An Afrocentric Gospel for South Africa,” 46. [Back to text]

26 Pollard III, “An Afrocentric Gospel for South Africa,” 41. [Back to text]

27 Cf. Tinyiko Sam Maluleke, “‘A Morula Tree Between Two Field’: The Commentary of Selected Tsonga Writers on Missionary Christianity,” DTh diss (University of South Africa Press, 1995). [Back to text]

28 Aylward Shorter, African Christian Theology (London: Geoffrey Chapman, 1975), 21. [Back to text]