Dr. Molefi Kete Asante is Professor, Department of African American Studies at Temple University. Asante was born Arthur Lee Smith Jr. in Valdosta, Georgia, the fourth of 16 children. His father, Arthur Lee Smith, worked in a peanut warehouse and then on the Georgia Southern Railroad; his mother worked as a domestic. During the summers Asante would return to Georgia to work in the tobacco and cotton fields in order to earn tuition for school. His aunt, Georgia Smith, influenced him to pursue his education; she gave him his first book: a collection of short stories by Charles Dickens.
Asante has been recognized as one of the ten most widely cited African Americans. In the 1990s, Black Issues in Higher Education recognized him as one of the most influential leaders in the decade. Molefi Kete Asante graduated from Oklahoma Christian College in l964. He entered Pepperdine soon afterwards and Asante completed his M.A. at Pepperdine University in l965. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA at the age of 26 in l968 and was appointed a full professor at the age of 30 at the State University of New York at Buffalo.
Asante has published 75 books, among the most recent are Facing South (2013), Herodotus on Egypt (2012), As I Run Toward Africa (2011), Maulana Karenga: An Intellectual Portrait (2009), Afrocentric Manifesto (2008); The History of Africa: The Quest for Eternal Harmony (2007); Cheikh Anta Diop: An Intellectual Portrait (2006); Spear Masters: An Introduction to African Religion (2006), co-authored with Emeka Nwadiora; Handbook of Black Studies, (2005), co-edited with Maulana Karenga; Encyclopedia of Black Studies, (2004) and the Encyclopedia of African Religion (2008),both co-edited with Ama Mazama; Race, Rhetoric, and Identity: The Architecton of Soul (2005); Erasing Racism: The Survival of the American Nation, (2009); Ancient Egyptian Philosophers (2000); Scattered to the Wind; Custom and Culture of Egypt; and 100 Greatest African Americans.
Character always trumps propaganda! May Madiba always inspire us to greatness.
— Molefi Kete Asante (@Molefiasante) December 11, 2013
Asante proposed the first doctoral program in African American Studies to the administration at Temple University in 1986. This program was approved, and the first class entered the doctorate in 1988. More than 500 applicants had sought admission to the graduate program. Temple became known as the leader among the African American Studies departments and held its leadership for ten years before a doctoral program was introduced at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1997. Students from the Temple program are found in every continent, many nations, and many direct African American Studies programs at major universities.
He has directed more than 140 Ph.D. dissertations. He has written more than 500 articles and essays for journals, books and magazines and is the founder of the theory of Afrocentricity.
In 1995 he was made a traditional king, Nana Okru Asante Peasah, Kyidomhene of Tafo, Akyem, Ghana. Dr. Asante has been or is presently a consultant for a dozen school districts.
Asante was elected in September, 2009, by the Council of African Intellectuals as the Chair for the Diaspora Intellectuals in support of the United States of Africa. Dr. Molefi Asante believes it is not enough to know, one must act to humanize the world.
He was recently made a Wanadu of the Court of Hassimi Maiga, the Amiru of Songhay. Asante trained journalists in Zimbabwe immediately after the 2nd Chimurenga and was the mentor to the first group of liberated journalists from Zimbabwe Institute of Mass Communication.
“A wise person speaks carefully and with truth, for every word that passes between one’s teeth is meant for something.”
― Molefi Kete Asante
Follow him on twitter @molefiasante His website: http://www.asante.net
References: Courtesy of