Theories of African American Personality: Classification, Basic Constructs and Empirical Predictions/Assessment

This article represents a brief overview and review of the state of contemporary theories of African American personality. A slight modification of an earlier scheme put forth by Kambon (1992, 1998) provides the organizational framework for the analysis. The scheme comprises three classifications of such theories: Eurocentric Approaches, Transitional Africentric Approaches and Africentric Approaches. The addition of the Transitional Africentric Approach is designed to better capture approaches that represent more or less a hybrid or diffuse version including basic aspects of both the Eurocentric and Africentric approaches, yet reflecting at the same time a slowly but definite movement away from the Eurocentric toward the Africentric approach ("Transitioning"). A more or less composite of the Eurocentric Approach is presented, while the William Cross model of Nigrescence is discussed as representative of the Transitional Africentric Approach. Much of the discussion of the Africentric approach is taken from previous manuscripts by the authors (Kambon, 1998; Kambon & Bowen-Reid, 2009) and emphasizes Kambon's African Self-Consciousness model as representative. The major thrust of the article emphasizes what are the key-central constructs of the representative models (both core and peripheral), as well as the changes that have occurred in these models over the past quarter of a century or more since their introduction, and the general status of the research that is associated with the main paradigms involved. Finally, we give some limited consideration to some of the seemingly pressing issues in the short-term future outlook for the field.

© Itabari Zulu Jun 2010. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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