By William David Hart (auth.)
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Extra resources for Afro-Eccentricity: Beyond the Standard Narrative of Black Religion
Afrocentricity has been severely criticized. ”28 “This can be seen in the very categories Afrocentrism uses to define itself. ” But this minstrelsy is not enough. 30 So the history of black people is reduced to a static phenomenon (a gross misunderstanding) by ignoring the difference that slavery and the Black Atlantic experience made. ”32 Afrocentrism is a form of conservative reaction reminiscent of Booker T. Washington’s accommodationism (though less justified) and of Louis Farrakhan’s Jewish- envy, anti-Semitism, and ressentiment.
They chose to order their lives this way, but we are forced do so. The unintended consequence of their ascetic choices is our lack of choice. They volunteered. We are conscripted. Their loosely fitting cloak constrains us like an iron cage. 20 One hears a note of melancholy in the following observation: To-day the spirit of religious asceticism . . has escaped from the cage. But victorious capitalism since it rests on mechanical foundations needs its support no longer. The laughing blush of its rosy heir, the Enlightenment, seems also to be irretrievably fading, and the idea of duty in one’s calling prowls about in our lives like the ghost of dead religious beliefs.
To enter the room was to enter a gilded space that recreated a more recent American gilded age of extremes of wealth and poverty that rested in large measure on the dispossession of American Indians, an economic regime of neoslavery, imperial expansion, and banking, agricultural, and industrial polices that exploited the white peasantry and working class while encouraging them to view Blackamericans as the problem. For thirty years Avey had constructed a bulwark against the ghetto chaos from whose physical confines she and Jay had succeeded in escaping less than twenty years ago.
Afro-Eccentricity: Beyond the Standard Narrative of Black Religion by William David Hart (auth.)