Ever heard of Afrocentric Psychology?

Black woman smiling
Image by Dellon Thomas from Pixabay

Throughout the time as an undergraduate psychology major, students are taught about this idea of Psychology and all of the findings that psychologists have gathered since psychology’s start. What is hidden from these students is the fact that what they are learning is only applicable to one subset of the population of the world. In fact, they may not learn a single thing about other populations. This fact is a blaring one. There are entirely different psychologies for everyone that does not fall under the category of WEIRD (people from countries that are Western [White], Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic).

Specifically, Afrocentric Psychology is a psychology dedicated to the Black experience. To varying degrees, depending on the school of thought, Afrocentric Psychology understands and rejects the findings of what we have come to know as psychology or white psychology. Within Afrocentric Psychology there are three schools of thought. The first, the traditional school, is understood to acknowledge a difference between black and white psychology, but does not do much else. The second, the Reformist School, focuses on a need for change in public policy as well as acknowledging the differences between the two psychologies. The final, the Radical School, focuses solely on the black experience and the transformation that must occur in order to fully encompass the African worldview.

Psychology as a whole has been entirely whitewashed to the point where students are not receiving an education that encompasses the experiences of anyone who does not have white skin. As a discipline, we have failed. We have intentionally forgotten populations that do not subscribe to whiteness. The entire Psychology community continues to perpetuate this cycle of whiteness. How can we integrate the psychologies of other populations into our teachings? Because after all, have you ever heard of Afrocentric Psychology?

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