ATLANTA—Molefi Kete Asante, professor and chair of the Department of African American Studies at Temple University, will deliver the 32nd annual Benjamin E. Mays Lecture in a virtual format on Feb. 25 at 6:30 p.m.
At this event, hosted by the Alonzo A. Crim Center for Urban Educational Excellence, Asante will give a presentation entitled, “African Epistemologies: A Transition to a Pan World Academy.” He will discuss Africology, or the study of African phenomena from an Afrocentric perspective, and how this specific discipline not only crosses generational and continental divides, but also centers Africans as people with agency.
“We are very fortunate to have Dr. Asante deliver the 2021 Mays Lecture at this time when democracy, inter-cultural understanding and truthful curricula are threatened in our society,” said Joyce King, Benjamin E. Mays Endowed Chair for Urban Teaching, Learning and Leadership. “He models the intellectual courage, confidence and commitment to racial justice that we, as educators, want our students and colleagues to emulate.”
Considered by his peers to be one of the most distinguished contemporary scholars, Asante has published 77 books, including “Race, Rhetoric and Identity: The Architecton of Soul,” “Erasing Racism: The Survival of the American Nation” and “100 Greatest African Americans.” His high school text, “African American History: Journey of Liberation,” is used in more than 400 schools in North America. He has written more than 550 articles and essays for journals, books and magazines, co-founded the Journal of Black Studies and founded the theory of Afrocentricity. In 1984, he became chair of the African American studies program at Temple University, where he created the first Ph.D. program in African American studies in 1987. Asante holds more than 100 awards for scholarship and teaching, including a Fulbright and honorary doctorates from three universities. In 1995, he was made a traditional king, Nana Okru Asante Peasah, Kyidomhene of Tafo, Akyem, Ghana. In 2012, he was given the title of Wanadoo of Gao in the court of the Amiru Hassimi Maiga of Songhoy.
“The challenges of this past year have elevated conversations about power, privilege and oppression; at the same time, the COVID-19 epidemic has amplified disparities related to class and race in public education,” said Brian Williams, Crim Center director. “Dr. Asante’s scholarship offers invaluable intellectual guidance about how we might address both these challenges.”
Benjamin E. Mays was a minister, educator, sociologist, social activist and president of Morehouse College in Atlanta from 1940 to 1967. He also was president of the Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education and supervised the desegregation of Atlanta’s public schools. The annual Mays Lecture encourages the discussion of issues facing urban educational leaders, honors the memory of Mays and promotes his philosophy of excellence in the education of those typically least well served by the larger society.
For more information about the lecture, visit http://bit.ly/MaysLecture or call 404-413-8070.