- an intellectual perspective of African people
- a way to show Africans’ contributions to Western culture
- something that seeks to discover and interpret info through a diff filter from Eurocentric scholarship
The majority of students chose to search in the following electronic locations:
When students were asked why the majority of them chose to search in these locations, they identified the following reasons:
- Google is easy to use
- Wikipedia was the first result that came up on Google
- Wikipedia is a good place to find factual information
After addressing the students’ decisions based on their responses to the previous questions, we had a discussion about how different search engines and databases yield different results, and how some search engines and databases may be more reliable than other engines. For example, after discussing the results students came to class with, I had students conduct a search again for Afrocentricity using Google, Google Scholar, and JSTOR. I then explained how Google Scholar is more reliable than Google because it provides results for academic papers written about Afrocentricity, while Google displays a broad range of results that may or may not be reliably or evaluated by researchers. I then explained that JSTOR is more reliable than Google Scholar because it contains a database of peer-reviewed articles written about Afrocentricity; while Google Scholar also contains peer-reviewed publications, it often does not exclude papers that have not been peer-reviewed by scholars and experts of a particular discipline from its search results.
Based on the results found in scholarly search engines and databases, I had students give new definitions for Afrocentricity. Surprisingly, based on the definitions for which students searched, they found similar results. Most definitions pertained to intellectual perspectives of people of African descent, or African worldviews. I then asked students to highlight words in each of these definitions with which they were less familiar. Students identified intellectual perspective, Eurocentric, and most commonly, worldview, as some of these terms. Because the term worldview is highly abstract, students first needed to identify what that term means. Most students defined worldview as a way of seeing the world, and then determined that Afrocentricity is a way in which Africans and African Americans see the world. This of Afrocentricity definition is still abstract though. As a focus for the rest of the semester, the class posed the following question as a lens for understanding the rest of the intellectual work we seek to accomplish in the course: How do Africans and African Americans see the world? More on students' progress toward understanding the African worldview to come.