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Molefi Kete Asante

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Information about Molefi Kete Asante

Profile image of Molefi Kete Asante

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
African American Studies Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Earth Tones
Favorite Food:
Sweet Potatoes
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Ghana
Favorite Quote:
It Is Not Enough To Know, One Must Act To Humanize The World.

Birthplace

Born:
8/14/1942
Birth Location:
Valdosta, Georgia

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
African American Studies Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Earth Tones
Favorite Food:
Sweet Potatoes
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Ghana
Favorite Quote:
It Is Not Enough To Know, One Must Act To Humanize The World.

Birthplace

Born:
8/14/1942
Birth Location:
Valdosta
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Biography

Professor, founder, and author Molefi Kete Asante was born on August 14, 1942 in Valdosta, Georgia to Arthur Lee and Lillie B. Wilkson-Smith. He is the fourth of sixteen children. At the age of eleven, Asante attended Nashville Christian Institute, a religious boarding school for black students. At the age of eighteen, Asante embarked upon his journey to study African history and culture. He attended Southwestern Christian College where he obtained his A.A. degree in l962, and later graduated from Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma with his B.A. degree, becoming the first member of his family to graduate from college. While at Oklahoma Christian, Asante published his first book, a poetry collection titled Break of Dawn, during his senior year in college He earned his M.A. degree from Pepperdine University in Los Angeles, California in l965. Three years later, Asante earned his Ph.D. degree in communications from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Following graduation, Asante worked as assistant professor in the department of communications at Purdue University. While working as an assistant professor, he published his second book, The Rhetoric of Black Revolution and was founding editor of the Journal of Black Studies. Asante left Purdue University to work as assistant professor at UCLA were he also served as the first permanent director of the Center for Afro American Studies, and created the Center’s M.A. degree program. In 1980, Asante authored, Afrocentricity: The Theory of Social Change, the first of a quartet of books mandating that Africans be viewed as subjects rather than objects. From l973 to l981 Asante was professor and head of the Department of Communication at State University of New York at Buffalo. He went to Zimnbabwe in l981 to assist the government in training journalists and was in charge of the first diplomas in journalism in free Zimbabwe. In 1984, Asante was hired at Temple University as professor and department chair of the African American Studies department. Two years later, he founded the first Ph.D. program in African American Studies in the nation. In l996 he was enstooled as the Kyidomhene of Tafo in Ghana, and in 2011, he was made a Wanadu of the Court of Amiru Hassimi Maiga of the Songhay Kingdom in Mali. Asante has directed more than one hundred and forty Ph.D. dissertations making him one of the leading producers of African American doctorates.

Throughout his career Asante has published over seventy-five books, five hundred articles and has won over 100 awards, honorary doctorates and distinguished professorships. He is the leading authority on African culture and philosophy. Asante is frequently sought after by television and news media for insight into the growing field of African American studies. In 2010, along with his wife, he founded the Molefi Kete Asante Institute for Afrocentric Studies in Philadelphia as a high-level African American Think-Tank. Asante has continued to explore African tradition and culture through his writings, consultations, interactions with African leaders, and his professorship. Asante resides in Elkins Park, Pennsylvania with his wife, Ana Yenenga. Together they have three adult children , Eka, Mario, and MK, and three grandchildren, Ramses, Ayaana, and Aion.

Molefi Kete Asante was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on May 20, 2012.

See how Molefi Kete Asante is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Molefi Kete Asante's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Molefi Kete Asante lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Molefi Kete Asante describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about the oral traditions of the black community in Valdosta, Georgia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Molefi Kete Asante describes his mother's education and aspirations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Molefi Kete Asante describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Molefi Kete Asante describes his paternal grandfather's occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Molefi Kete Asante describes his father's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Molefi Kete Asante remembers his father's occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about his paternal great-great-grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Molefi Kete Asante describes how his parents met
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about his likeness to his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Molefi Kete Asante describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Molefi Kete Asante describes the circumstances of his birth
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about his upbringing
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Molefi Kete Asante lists his siblings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Molefi Kete Asante describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Molefi Kete Asante recalls his father's musicianship
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Molefi Kete Asante remembers his home in Valdosta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Molefi Kete Asante describes his early educational influences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Molefi Kete Asante remembers Magnolia Elementary School in Valdosta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Molefi Kete Asante describes the entertainment of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Molefi Kete Asante remembers his semester at Dasher High School in Valdosta, Georgia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Molefi Kete Asante describes his experiences at the Nashville Christian Institute in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Molefi Kete Asante recalls traveling with Marshall Keeble
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Molefi Kete Asante describes the Nashville Christian Institute's affiliation with David Lipscomb College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about the racial demographics of the Church of Christ
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Molefi Kete Asante describes the history of the Church of Christ
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Molefi Kete Asante remembers his influential teachers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Molefi Kete Asante recalls protesting with Diane Nash
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about the civil rights leaders in Nashville, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Molefi Kete Asante remembers Billie Sol Estes
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Molefi Kete Asante remembers the murder of Emmett Till
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Molefi Kete Asante recalls his doubts about Christianity
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Molefi Kete Asante remembers beginning to question authority
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Molefi Kete Asante describes his decision to leave Christianity
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Molefi Kete Asante recalls enrolling at the Southwestern Christian College in Terrell, Texas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Molefi Kete Asante remembers the Southwestern Christian College in Terrell, Texas
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Molefi Kete Asante describes the Oklahoma Christian College in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Molefi Kete Asante recalls the publication of 'The Break of Dawn'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Molefi Kete Asante describes his experiences of racial discrimination at Oklahoma Christian College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Molefi Kete Asante recalls his introduction to African culture
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Molefi Kete Asante remembers enrolling at George Pepperdine College in Malibu, California
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Molefi Kete Asante remembers his professors at Pepperdine College
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about his decision to attend the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Molefi Kete Asante recalls his introduction to the black student movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Molefi Kete Asante describes his experiences at University of California Los Angeles during social and political unrest, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Molefi Kete Asante remembers the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Molefi Kete Asante recalls the founding of the Afro American Studies Center in Los Angeles, California
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Molefi Kete Asante remembers writing 'Rhetoric of Black Revolution'
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about the audience of his early writings
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Molefi Kete Asante describes the history of the Afro American Studies Center at the University of California, Los Angeles
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about the relationship between Maulana Karenga and Bobby Seale
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about the impact of COINTELPRO
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Molefi Kete Asante recalls founding the Journal of Black Studies
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Molefi Kete Asante remembers the early black studies programs
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about the limitations on black studies departments
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Molefi Kete Asante recalls his transition to the State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Molefi Kete Asante reflects upon his time in Buffalo, New York
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Molefi Kete Asante recalls his visiting professorships
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Molefi Kete Asante describes the faculty at the State University of New York at Buffalo
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Molefi Kete Asante remembers training journalists in Zimbabwe
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Molefi Kete Asante recalls teaching in the John H. Johnson School of Communications at Howard University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Molefi Kete Asante recalls joining the faculty of Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Molefi Kete Asante describes the history of black studies at Temple University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about creating the first Ph.D. program in black studies
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Molefi Kete Asante describes the requirements of the black studies Ph.D. program at Temple University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about the concept of Afrocentricity
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Molefi Kete Asante describes his philosophical influences
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about Chinweizu
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Molefi Kete Asante describes his hopes for the Department of African American Studies at Temple University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about the attacks on Afrocentricity
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Molefi Kete Asante describes his concerns for the black studies department at Temple University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about his chairmanship of the black studies department at Temple University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Molefi Kete Asante describes the current state of the Department of Africology and African American Studies at Temple University
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Molefi Kete Asante describes the Molefi Kete Asante Institute for Afrocentric Studies
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Molefi Kete Asante remembers his students
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Molefi Kete Asante describes his plans for the future
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Molefi Kete Asante describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Molefi Kete Asante reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 12 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about the future of Afrocentricity
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Molefi Kete Asante reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Molefi Kete Asante talks about his children and wife
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Molefi Kete Asante describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Molefi Kete Asante narrates his photographs