ChickenBones: A Journal

for  Literary & Artistic African-American  Themes

   

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With verve and vision [Moses] energizes Black intellectual discourse,

exploding its myths and romance and exposing weaknesses and strengths

in the works of many black and white scholars, pundits, and polemics

 

 

Books by Wilson Jeremiah Moses

Golden Age of Black Nationalism, 1850-1925 (1988)  / The Wings of Ethiopia  (1990)

 Alexander Crummell: A Study of Civilization and Discontent (1992)  / Destiny & Race: Selected Writings, 1840-1898  (1992) 

 Black Messiahs and Uncle Toms: Social and Literary Manipulations of a Religious Myth (1993)

Liberian Dreams: Back-to-Africa Narratives from the 1850s  / Afrotopia: The Roots of African American Popular History (2002)

Creative Conflict in African American Thought (2004)

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Afrotopia: The Roots of African American Popular History

 

By Wilson Jeremiah Moses

Reviews

Wilson Moses traces the origins of Afrocentrism since the 18th century. Moses provides a rich history of black intellectual life and the concept of race. Afrocentrism and its history have long been disputed and controversial. In this book, Wilson Moses presents a critical and nuanced view of the issues. Tracing the origins of Afrocentrism since the eighteenth century, he examines the combination of various popular mythologies, some of them mystical and sentimental, others perfectly reasonable. A level presentation in what is often a shouting match, Afrotopia: The Roots of African American Popular History is a rich history of black intellectual life and the concept of race.Publisher

 

Wilson Moses has written an enormously engrossing book. It is trenchant, timely, and beneficently iconoclastic. His mind is a gift to the field of African American studies.David Levering Lewis, author of W.E.B. Dubois: Biography of a Race winner of the Pulitzer Prize in Biography

 

In  Afrotopia Wilson J. Moses boldly challenges both the proponents and critics of Afrocentrism, Egyptocentrism, and multiculturalism . . . With verve and vision [he] energizes Black intellectual discourse, exploding its myths and romance and exposing weaknesses and strengths in the works of many black and white scholars, pundits, and polemics . . . an accessible and important study of Black intellectual traditions by one of the major historians in the modern academy."Darlene Clark Hine, coauthor of A Shining Thread of Hope: The History of Black Women in America

 

Most authors would rather be attacked than ignored, so perhaps I should not protest too much the reactions of the scholars who have taken my ideas seriously enough to respond to them. Stephen Howe and Eugene Genovese apparently view me as an apologist for historical romanticism and accuse me of unfairly attacking the work of Mary Lefkowitz, while L. Keita and Molefi Asante see me as a Eurocentrist, who replicates Professor Lefkowitz’ worst mischief.  

None of the above would call me an Afrocentric extremist, but none of them are comfortable with my attempt to take a moderate position. I can readily accept Afrocentrism in the tradition of David Walker (1785-1830), who recognized a spiritual and political tie to Africa, but expressed his dedication to America, believing that black and white Americans should become "a united and happy people."  

Like Martin Delany (1812-1885), I see no contradiction between commitment to Africa and the struggle for democracy and integration as a citizen of the United States. Wilson J. Moses­—Penn State University, on  L. Keita’s Request for Further Documentation in his Review of Afrotopia: The Roots of African American Popular History.

 

Afrotopia is a book that helped me to clear away some of the cobwebs of racial thought and imaginings, especially regarding Afrocentrism and other mythic views carried around in the heads of even the most enlightened black intellectuals. I thank God often for the wit and critical humor of Wilson Jeremiah Wilson. This book will never get old.

Rudolph Lewis, Editor ChickenBones: A Journal

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Paperback - 288 pages (September 1998)Cambridge Univ Pr  Afrotopia: The Roots of African American Popular History

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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updated 15 October 2007

 

 

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