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Keywords:

  • anthropology;
  • Afrocentricity;
  • African American Studies

Anthropology has largely been silent in the debate around the role of Afrocentricity in the academy. Indeed, anthropologists “have been strangely absent from both the forceful assertions and rigorous critique of Afrocentric discourse” despite the fact that Afrocentricity clearly falls “squarely within the purview of anthropological inquiry” (Baker 2000:223). In fact, Afrocentricity has been the central focus in only one manuscript in Transforming Anthropology since 1990.1 This article explores anthropological intersections with and antecedents to African American Studies. Considering these antecedents and intersections, and using Jackson's conceptualization of sincere versus authentic approaches to racial understanding, I argue against Molefi Asante's suggestion that Afrocentricity should be “the sine qua non of Black Studies” (1998:191).