(“Can you be Pro-Black Believing in the White Man’s Map?” is an excerpt taken from a Black Dawah Network lecture of Professor Shareef Muhammad. )
Maps are inherently political, always have been. Maps have always been political. They’ve always reflected the politics of the people who are making the maps. The idea of making Europe north up superior, Africa south bound down below sub; even the word sub-Saharan. The word sub implies subpar. That this is a completely arbitrary demarcation in relationship to the cosmos. Because there is no up and down, left and right.
So the decision to exclude the Arabian Peninsula entirely from the continent of Africa, from the historical, cultural, geographical, and genetic content of Africa is as should be by Afro-centrist standards just as problematic as excluding Egypt from the rest of Africa. The same rocks and trees that are on one side of the Red Sea are on the exact immediate other side of the Red Sea. The languages that are spoken on one side of the Red Sea are phonetically similar to the languages immediately on the other side of the Red Sea. The phenotype of the people on one side of the Red Sea are very similar to the phenotype of the people on the other side of the Red Sea.
The problem with Afro-centrism is it’s not a real discipline. It never became a discipline with theory, criteria, and methodology. It’s sort of grasped in the dark or in very dim light to pick up whatever it could use as a tool to sort of fashion a view or perspective on history that undermines and offset the extremely biased view of the white established an academic view of history.
Professor Shareef Muhammad has taught history at Georgia State University and Islamic studies at Spelman University. He has a masters in history at Kent State University with his thesis on The Cultural Jihad in the antelbellum South: How Muslim slaves preserved their religious/cultural identity during slavery.