Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Sankofa Praxis—An Africentric Meta-Theory of Sankofa and Jegnaship—As a Reclamation of Africentric Episteme, Psychology, Spiritness, and Personhood: A Scholarly Personal Narrative of Cultural Retrieval, Alignment, and Actualization
by Deterville, Adeeba Dwanimen, Ph.D., California Institute of Integral Studies, 2020, 178; 28255700
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation proposes the Sankofa Praxis meta-theory as an emic contribution to guide African-ascendent people in achieving alignment and self-actualization for psycho-spiritual wellness. My experience of alignment and self-actualization is explored through Scholarly Personal Narrative (SPN) as a method of cultural retrieval in three realms—past, present, and future (Sankofa)—to articulate the core construct of the Sankofa Praxis meta-theory. Through a series of guiding questions that follow the main tenets of SPN (Bradley & Nash, 2011), this inquiry flowed from Me-Search (How did my intuitive and internal experiences and practices lead me to a sense of psycho-spiritual wellness and alignment?) to Re-Search (How can I articulate these experiences and practices to guide other people towards psycho-spiritual wellness and alignment? How did Jegnaship [intentional guided relationships] impact this journey to psycho-spiritual wellness and alignment? What are the pathways to knowing and knowledge acquisition that contributed to psycho-spiritual wellness and alignment and actualization?), culminating in We-Search through the core universalizable inquiry questions: What are the necessary components to construct a transformational meta-theory of Africentric psycho-spiritual wellness? What goes into the calabash of Sankofa Praxis?

The philosophical underpinnings of Sankofa Praxis are located in Africentricity constructs of Sankofa, Jegnaship, and Africentric notions of Episteme, Psychology, Spiritness, and Personhood. In the literature review I define Africentric Episteme as the epistemological history and frameworks used in the study of Black peoples (Asante, 1998; Piper-Mandy & Rowe, 2010); approach African-Centered Psychology through the lens of the Association of Black Psychologists, Inc., which explores the ontology of human-beingness (Myers & Speight, 2010); explore Africentric Spiritness through the cosmology of Blackness via African-rooted spiritual traditions and practices (Karenga, 2004; Nobles, 2015); and discuss Africentric Personhood via the notions of an African-centered transpersonal self (Deterville, 2014) and the concept of Ubuntu (Brooke, 2008; Washington, 2010).

Through composing 10 scholarly personal narratives, this dissertation contributes a definition of Jegnaship for the reclamation of Africentric notions of episteme, psychology, spiritness, and personhood as a means of psycho-spiritual alignment and actualization of African ascendent people. It further demonstrates that Sankofa Praxis meta-theory can be applied in multiple academic and community contexts.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Elawar, May
Commitee: Boston, Denise, Jackson, Theopia
School: California Institute of Integral Studies
Department: Transformative Studies
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 82/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Psychobiology, African American Studies
Keywords: African-centered psychology, Africology, Jegnaship, Kawaida Maat, Sakhu, Sankofa
Publication Number: 28255700
ISBN: 9798557030717
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