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16.S: Chapter Summary

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  • Review of Key Points

    • Roughly speaking, African can be divided into two distinct regions: North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
    • Black Africans are the people of sub-Saharan Africa.
    • The African worldview focuses on interdependence, rhythm, harmony, and spirit.
    • Religion and spirituality are very important to Africans, and humans hold a privileged position at the junction of spirit and nature.
    • Time is part of the cyclical rhythm of life, set by God, who knows what is right.
    • The tribe is the basic unit of life, not the individual. The family includes a broad range of relatives, and caring for one’s family, especially the aged, is an important obligation.
    • Marriage is an important institution, providing a rhythmic link between past, present, and future. A marriage is only complete when the couple has children.
    • Hospitality to all people, including strangers, is expected, and a sign of good character.
    • Ubuntu encompasses the social harmony that is valued in African life.
    • Among the people of the African diaspora, ubuntu may be seen in action as the soul referred to in soul food, soul music, and soul brothers.
    • Negritude represents the active claiming of those best elements of a common African personality by the people of Africa.
    • Nigrescence is the process of converting from Negro to Black among the people of the African diaspora. It appears to follow four stages: pre-encounter, encounter, immersion-emersion, and internalization.
    • In post-colonial African countries, educational systems were developed based on the ideals of the new nations. Teachers were trained to embody those ideals.
    • There is some evidence for the usefulness of traditional approaches to studying personality in Africa with formalized testing. However, significantly more work needs to be done.
    • Common elements of personality across Africa seem to represent a middle ground between the individualistic personalities seen in the West, and the collectivistic personalities seen in the East.
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