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The HouseofOtem.com website is an Afrocentric online magazine. It has been around for a few years now and when people ask the question, “What is House of Otem?”, the description on the website states that it is “an Afrocentric Online Magazine Reporting What Interests Us” that promotes “Black Arts, Business, Culture, Life, Entertainment, and other Interests”. The House of Otem does not exclude other ethnicities, but the primary focus is on the African cultures of the entire diaspora. But what is it to be Afrocentric?
Coined in the 1980’s by African American scholar and activist, Molefi Asante, the term Afrocentric is a derivative of Afrocentrism. Afrocentrism is the worldview belief that prioritizes cultural, social, and political influence of traditional African cultures and values. Afrocentrism is of the utmost importance to the existence of the African diaspora. Through the ages, and to this very day, the world has been dominated by White Supremacy brought on by slavery, colonialism, and conquest by several European powers. African history, and culture, had been systematically erased, or rewritten to indicate or suggest that all contributions to humanity were from non-African people, particularly Europeans. In fact, former United States congressman from the state of Iowa, Steve King, proudly stated on a nationally televised program that all contributions to humanity were made by Europeans. This type of purposeful ignorance has brought to the world a millennium of African historical insignificance that perpetuates racist views, and exploitation by non-African people, and often self-hatred amongst African peoples. The world view is mainly centered around European views. For these reasons, people of the African diaspora, must develop, maintain, and celebrate of the achievements of African civilizations, history, culture, and contributions to humankind. The African diaspora must promote the correctness of their own history, traditions, and values.
Why is Afrocentrism important? It is important to counter hundreds of years psychological, political, and economical devastation done to African people across the planet. People who adhere to Afrocentric values, must seek to preserve, promote, teach and understand African culture, and infuse it into the contemporary African influenced cultures of the diaspora around the world. This includes, but not limited to, food, music, clothing, and entertainment. This is the only way to reverse subconscious feelings of inferiority, and self-hatred, that was caused by White Supremacy, slave trade, and colonialism. If this is accomplished, African people of the world, and also African nations, can join in the prosperity shared by others that are commonly elusive to them.
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