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The male female principle in traditional africa

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The Church in African American Life - Lecture on October 3, 2011

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The male female principle in traditional africa

  1. 1. The Church in African American Life Monique Liston, MPA October 3, 2011 THE MALE/FEMALE PRINCIPLE IN TRADITIONAL AFRICA10/3/2011 Liston 1
  2. 2. Ground Rules for Intellectual Work: (Dr. Greg Kimathi Carr)10/3/2011 Liston 2
  3. 3. African Diaspora10/3/2011 Liston 3
  4. 4. Presentation OutlineGoalsQuestions to Think AboutConcepts & DefinitionsDispelling Myths of AntiquityPre-colonial Perceptions of Manhood/WomanhoodCritically Analyzing Male/Female PrinciplesThe Church in African-American Life10/3/2011 Liston 4
  5. 5. GoalsYou will…  have an understanding of male and female relationships in African antiquity.  have an understanding of pre-colonial African perceptions of the male/female principle in contrast with post- colonial African diasporic perceptions of the male/female principle  have a basis for critiquing modern* ideas and philosophies on the male/female principle  have a list of resources to find out more information on the male/female principle in the African diaspora10/3/2011 Liston 5
  6. 6. African Women in World History John Henrik Clarke (maa kherw) - Be present.10/3/2011 Liston 6
  7. 7. Guiding Questions• How does this relate to the church in African-American life? (BEFORE)• What is traditional Africa?• What is the male/female principle?• How was the male/female principle changed over time and space?• How does this relate to the church in African-American life? (AFTER)10/3/2011 Liston 7
  8. 8. Presentation OutlineGoalsQuestions to Think AboutCONCEPTS & DEFINITIONSDispelling Myths of AntiquityPre-colonial Perceptions of Manhood/WomanhoodCritically Analyzing Male/Female PrinciplesThe Church in African-American Life10/3/2011 Liston 8
  9. 9. Ontology & Epistemology Manifestations Ontology – What is Epistemology – What is of being? knowing? Understanding (Religion & Spirituality) • Concerned with the • Concerned with ideas • Ifa natural world about the natural world • Santeria • Defines the • How can we know and • Christianity fundamental concepts reason REALITY? • Islam of REALITY10/3/2011 Liston 9
  10. 10. Why does REALITY relate to our discussion? “Power is the ability to define reality and to convince other people that it is their definition.” - Dr. Wade Nobles10/3/2011 Liston 10
  11. 11. Power of Language Far more than princes, states and economies, it is language communities who are the real players in world history, persisting through the ages, Ways of clearly and consciously Knowing perceived by their speakers as symbols of identity, but nonetheless gradually changing, and perhaps splitting Power and or even merging as the Reality communities react to new realities. - Nicholas Ostler, Empires of the Word Language as a ToolLanguage is the means ofmemory, the medium ofhistory.10/3/2011 Liston 11
  12. 12. “Nommo”• the creative power of the word• word creates life• Masters of the Water• The Teachers10/3/2011 Liston 12
  13. 13. Africana Religion and Science Dr. Ray Hagins is the Chief Elder & Spiritual Leader of The Afrikan Village and Cultural Center in St. Louis, Missouri. He is also a clinician, therapist, musician, and a pilot.

Dr. Hagins has attended and completed studies in various academic institutions such as: Montclair State University, Northeastern Bible College, Lighthouse Christian College and Trinity Theological Seminary and holds a doctorate (C.C.D.) in counseling and a Ph.D. with an emphasis in Cognitive Psychology.10/3/2011 Liston 13
  14. 14. Presentation OutlineGoalsQuestions to Think AboutConcepts & DefinitionsDISPELLING MYTHS OF ANTIQUITYPre-colonial Perceptions of Manhood/WomanhoodCritically Analyzing Male/Female PrinciplesThe Church in African-American Life10/3/2011 Liston 14
  15. 15. "In Africa, the womans place was not only with her family; she often ruled nations with unquestionable authority. Many African women were great militarists, and on occasion led their armies in battle. The Africans had produced a civilization where men were secure enough to let women advance as far as theirJohn Henrik Clarke“African Warrior Queens” in talent, royal lineage andBlack Women in Antiquity prerogatives would takeEdited by Ivan Van Sertima them.”10/3/2011 Liston 15
  16. 16. Queen Hatshepsut • “the first great woman in history” • Hatshepsut means chieftain of noble women • Ruled as the “Living Horus” • Matrilineage key in supporting her authority10/3/2011 Liston 16
  17. 17. African Origins of LifeKemet: Ausar, Auset, & Yorubaland: Ifa and theHeru Orisa10/3/2011 Liston 17
  18. 18. Matriarchy & Kingship• Patriarchal Theory – Henry Maine, Ancient Law (1861) – Concluded that individualism and social contract were the highest form of civilization and superior to kingship based systems – Forms the basic patriarchy paradigm in European philosophical and political thought• Cheikh Anta Diop – The Cultural Unity of Black Africa (1989) – Traces patriarchy to the Kurgans (Indo- Europeans) – African structure was essentially matriarchal10/3/2011 Liston 18
  19. 19. Ancient Women’s Rights • Hypatia, the great scientist and martyr • Egypt v. Rome • Equal Pay for Equal Work • Legal Rights • Property Rights10/3/2011 Liston 19
  20. 20. Presentation OutlineGoalsQuestions to Think AboutConcepts & DefinitionsDispelling Myths Of AntiquityPRE-COLONIAL PERCEPTIONS OF MANHOOD/WOMANHOODCritically Analyzing Male/Female PrinciplesThe Church in African-American Life10/3/2011 Liston 20
  21. 21. Oyo-Yoruba* “Gender is a construction of two categories in hierarchal relationship to each other; and it is embedded in institutions. Gender is best understood as “an institution that establishes patterns of expectations for individuals [based on their body type], orders the social processes of everyday life, and is built into major social organizations of society, such as the economy, ideology, the family, and politics. (p. 39)”10/3/2011 Liston 21
  22. 22. Igbo (Nnobi) • Myths of Origin – IDI UCHU – ITE UBA • Production – Female crops: cocoyam and cassava – Women did not own land but the symbols of wealth were similar, including the taking of wives. • Male Daughters • Female Husbands (Ekwe title)10/3/2011 Liston 22
  23. 23. Presentation Outline Goals Questions to Think About Concepts & Definitions Dispelling Myths of Antiquity Pre-colonial Perceptions of Manhood/Womanhood CRITICALLY ANALYZING MALE/FEMALE PRINCIPLES The Church in African-American Life10/3/2011 Liston 23
  24. 24. Critically Analyzing Male/Female Principles “Mainstream Western characterizations of the social world tend to be unilinear and universalistic in ways that arrest critical theorizing about the rest of the world…” – Oyeronke Oyewumi10/3/2011 Liston 24
  25. 25. Critically Analyzing Male/Female Principles: Colonialism and Beyond*• Sex v. Gender – What‟s the difference?• Universals v. Particulars – Is this true for everyone or just a sample of the population?• Language (again!) – What power does language bring to the situation?• Epistemology (again!) – How can we know and reason reality?• Religion & Spirituality (again!)10/3/2011 Liston 25
  26. 26. Presentation OutlineGoalsQuestions to Think AboutConcepts & DefinitionsDispelling Myths of AntiquityPre-colonial Perceptions of Manhood/WomanhoodCritically Analyzing Male/Female PrinciplesTHE CHURCH IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN LIFE10/3/2011 Liston 26
  27. 27. The Church in African American Life• How does this relate to TODAY?• How does this relate to the church in African-American life?10/3/2011 Liston 27
  28. 28. Review What was the male/female principle like in antiquity? What is the difference between the male/female principle in pre-colonial African societies and post-colonial African societies? How and why should we be critiquing „modern‟ ideas of gender?10/3/2011 Liston 28
  29. 29. AssignmentPass in a maximum two-page analysis of thepresenter‟s thesis as it relates to Africanspiritual systems and their impact onAfricans in the Diaspora. Due next class.10/3/2011 Liston 29
  30. 30. ResourcesThiong‟o, N. w. (2009). Something Torn And New An AfricanRenaissance.. New York: Basic Civitas BooksAmadiume, I. (1987). Male daughters, female husbands: gender andsex in an African society. London: Zed Books.Diop, C. A. (1978). The cultural unity of Black Africa: the domains ofpatriarchy and of matriarchy in classical antiquity. LA: Third WorldPress.Oye , O. (1997). The invention of women: making an African senseof Western gender discourses. Minneapolis: University of MinnesotaPress.Oye , O. (2005). African gender studies: a reader. New York:Palgrave.Sertima, I. (1984). Black women in antiquity. New Brunswick:Transaction Books.10/3/2011 Liston 30

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