AFRICAN AND AFRO AMERICAN STUDIES CURRICULUM OFFERING
In Quest for meaning in african studies or afro-american studies in our institutions of higher learning in South Africa do not need to re invent the wheel.
Especially, when it comes to curriculum offering in the above mentioned disciplines.
A cursory glance around the world shows a plethora of universities and research institutions that have vested interest in africa to be as numerous as the autumn leaves. Suffice it to say, South Africa institutions of higher learning only need to to make a creative adoptation of some of the curriculunm offering from well established institutions in the preferred area of study.
Dr. Stephen Mncube
The review of literature in african studies or afro- american studies around the world shows that many universities and research institutions prefer eurocentric approach towards studying african phenomenon, rather than afrocentric view in addressing the myriad problems that are prevalent in the african issues.
South Africa as a newly found rainbow nation can best benefit by making a curriculum offering in tertiary education that leans towards afrocentric approach for community of learners.
In doing a reapppraisal of african studies starting first by depicting african setting before colonialism when african could designate their destiny to colonial period ending with the hard earned independence that was sort and acquired by africans through their own latent power now requires closer analysis for usable knowledge.
Before the onslaught of colonialism and land usurpation by European countries, african had a proud history of great achievement in all spheres of life. The mosaic collectivity of people who lived in africa made it a custodian of philosophers, scientitsts and poets whose fame and glory broaden the horizon of knowledge to the far end of the universe.
African philosophers traced the genesis of mortal beings
far and beyond the oracles to the vestiges of creation itself.
African scientists invented aparatus to bring us close to the realities of the descriptive laws of nature that measure all the skirmishes of life to infinity.
African poets penetrating eyes captured the imagination of coming home with the evening breeze
They visualize how lovers dream in the midnight rain
They alone rise up with the morning star
African luminories are a conscience of this planet.
The above mentioned is a fair reflection of the objective condition of the aims and aspiration that africa had attained before the encroahment of colonialism perpetrated by mainly Europeans invaders.
Colonialism can be considered as the greatest evil that permeated itself through the length and breath of africa and caused the uprootment of millions to go into the diaspora.
To follow is my attempt to recreate the tragedy that afflicted the african scene during colonial era and its atrocities that ocurred in many parts of africa.
ONLY THE RAINBOW KNOWS THE DEPTH AND SORROW OF HUMAN SUFFERING WHEN IN CHAINS A MILLION LEFT FROM MANY CORNERS
Only the rainbow knows the depth and sorrow
of human suffering when in chains a million left
From many corners and crevices of the land
to distant horizons of America, South and North
and the greater Antilles
My soul empathizes with many who died
and fed the sharks of the deep sea
While others served as human sacrifice
In the lynching alters of Alabama and Mississippi
And others died from the shimmering sun
In the cotton fields of no return
I sang songs of lament and sorrow
And hope the heavens would open for all souls day
To mark this day as the origin of soul music
Filled with Africa spirit.
In the late sixties I happened to be directly or indirectly involved with some of the development of the curriculum offerings in African and African-American studies
It is out of this concern that the following Universities stated below in no strict order were selected to serve as a model prospective that can be adopted in a creative manner for curriculum offering in some of the instutions of higher learning in South Africa and else where in the african scene.
- Syracuse University United State of America (USA)
- Morehouse University USA
- Howard University USA
- Cortland Univeristy USA
- Temple University USA to mention a few.
Before presenting the course offerrings in the above mentioned universities
I would like to reiterate the wise words of the late doyen of african literature Prof. Eskia Mpahlele when he said to us as young students then that we are academic casualities yet we have a flare of good sounding words.
This is applicable to comments that are uttered in the radio stations of our rainbow nation on this vital subject of african and afro-american or children of africa who are helter skelter scaterred every where in the diaspora.
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