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Principles of Afrocentric or African centered Perspective in Human Services Darrin E. Wright, LMSW.

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1 Principles of Afrocentric or African centered Perspective in Human Services Darrin E. Wright, LMSW

2 Sankofa Sankofa (return and fetch it) symbolizes one taking from the past what is good and bringing it into the present in order to make positive progress through the benevolent use of knowledge (derived from Akan People of West Africa). Copied from 2009 National CASTL Institute PowerPoint

3 Afrocentric Human Services Afrocentric perspective in human services can be defined as methods of human service practice that arise from the sociocultural and philosophical concepts, traditions, and experiences of African Americans and other people of African descent. Its fundamental philosophical thrust emanates from traditional African philosophical assumptions about human behavior and nature, That have been documented to survive among many people of African descent. It seeks to describe, explain, solve and prevent problems that all people face in general and particularly among people of African ancestry.

4 Worldview An overarching mode through which people interpret events and define reality. It is a racial or ethnic group’s psychological orientation toward life(kambron 1992; Schiele, 1993). It provides a group with a structure for expressing its own cultural truths(karenga, 1996). It provides a way for the group or individual in question to organize its experiences and interpretations into a logical and fairly stable conceptual scheme(Karenga, 1996).

5 Continued This conceptual view is the basis for knowledge development in a given society or culture. Though, they may be common elements of knowledge development across various cultural groups. It is generally believed that these groups have their own unique cultural ethos.

6 Cultural oppression and worldview Under unnatural conditions of cultural oppression the worldview of various cultural groups who occupy a common space and time are not equally validated. Which often result in cultural oppression. Whereby the dominant group uses its control to universalize its experiences, history and interpretations as the only reality.

7 European and African World Views Central Tendencies of African Worldview The highest value of life lies in the interpersonal relationships between humans. One gains knowledge through symbolic imagery and rhythm. One should live in harmony with nature; There is a oneness between humans and nature; The survival of the group holds the utmost importance. Humans should appropriately utilize the materials around them. One's self is complementary to others; Change occurs in a natural, evolutionary cycle; Spirituality hold the most significance. Cooperation, collective responsibility, and interdependence are the key values to which all should strive to achieve. All humans are considered to: be equal, share a common bond, and be a part of the group. The Afrocentric worldview is a circular one, in which all events are tied together with one another. Central tendencies of European worldview The highest value of life lies in the object, or in the acquisition of the object. One gains knowledge through counting and measuring and quantifying. One should control and dominate nature; There is a dichotomy(division), or separateness, between nature and man. The survival of the fittest holds the utmost importance; Men should have an unlimited exploitation of the materials around them. One's self is distinct from others. Change occurs to meet the immediate objectives, A distant, impersonal god holds the most significance Competition, independence, separateness, and individual rights are the key values to which all should strive to achieve. All men are considered to be individualistic, unique, and different. The Eurocentric worldview is a linear one, in which all events are separate and there is no togetherness

8 Latinos of African Ancestry

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