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Ignored 1969 Book Points to Africology Today

An extensive review of a rare book published in Britain in 1969 reviewed by Tracy Keith Flemming, an assistant professor of African/African American Studies at Grand Valley State University in Allendale, Michigan, reveals that the holistic approach to the concept of Africology first appeared as the topic of a monograph produced in London in 1969, and that many of the Afrocentric elements that constitute Africology in academe today, as well as ongoing epistemological and ethical/moral debates related to the discipline, were articulated in the often ignored 1969 book. Thus, in 1994 the first Department of Africology was formed at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee as an academic discipline to critically examine the cultures, societies and political economies of people of African origin and descent; followed later by the Africology and African American Studies departments at Eastern Michigan University, and Temple University.

“Indeed, our thinking about the future of the discipline must always be in conversation with the past and the present. To my knowledge, a protracted review or scholarly engagement with E. Uzong’s 1969 book that is titled Africology has never appeared in print; I have not come across any scholarly work in Africology (or elsewhere) that does so. In fact, I was not able to locate a direct quotation from the book in any academic or non-academic publication after reading the volume during the Summer 2017 until fairly recently,” Dr. Flemming said.

Moreover, the author writes that the book is valuable resource for defining Africology and a useful reference for teaching and learning at all levels, based on the premise that Africology must start from the foundation of continental African phenomena, with the “prehistoric” African past constituting its crux/foundation with ancient African cultures before classical African civilizations such as Nubia and Kemet, and therefore, it is a pioneering conceptual articulation of Africology with content reflective of the theory that became Afrocentricity, two decades after its publication.

The review, “Africology: An Introductory Descriptive Review of Disciplinary Ancestry.” was published on the website of the journal Africology: The Journal of Pan African Studies at www.jpanafrican.org.

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