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Marimba Ani
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materThe New School (MA), University of Chicago (BA)
Notable work
Yurugu (Book)

Marimba Ani is an active organizer in the Afrikan Community. She has conducted Rites of Passage programs for Afrikan youth and young adults. She travels frequently to Ghana, West Afrika, where she is continuing her study and support of Afrikan traditional healing concept and practices. She is part of a "think tank" of Afrikan-centered scholars currently spear-heading the socially and politically dynamic "To Be Afrikan" campaign. She is Director of the Afrikan Heritage Afterschool Program, a voluntary effort which has been operating in the Harlem Community for the past 14 years. Marimba Ani holds a BA degree in philosophy from the University of Chicago, and the MA and Ph.D. degrees in anthropology from the Graduate Faculty of the New School University. She is Professor of Afrikan Studies in the Department of Black and Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College in New York City. Her daughter Dzifa graduated in May of 1999 from Howard University with a BS degree in biology.

University Work

Ani was brought to the Department of Africana and Puerto Rican Studies by Dr. John Henrik Clarke in 1974 as she was completing her PhD dissertation at the Graduate Faculty of New School University. She had worked as a field organizer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Mississippi from 1963 to 1966, and had acted as Director of Freedom Registration for the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party in 1964 which challenged the all-white Mississippi delegation to the Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City that summer. Dr. Clarke became her Jegna ("warrior- teacher, intellectual father, ideological influence") as she moved back to New York and into graduate school. It was through his influence that she became committed to Pan Afrikan liberation.

Originated Concepts

Marimba Ani has developed the concepts of Ma'afa, Asili, Utamawazo, and Utamaroho as part of the on-going process of Afrikan-centered reconceptualization in which several Pan-Afrikan scholars are involved. She has helped to initiate an intellectual and ideological movement, the purpose of which is to construct a theoretical framework which will allow people of Afrikan descent to explain the universe as it reflects their collective interests, values and vision. [1]

Published works

  • "The Ideology of European Dominance," The Western Journal of Black Studies. Vol. 3, No. 4, Winter, 1979, and Presence Africaine, No. 111, 3rd Quarterly, 1979.
  • "European Mythology: The Ideology of Progress," Contemporary Black Thought, eds. M. Asante and A. Vandi, Beverly Hills: Sage Publications, 1980, (59-79).
  • Let The Circle Be Unbroken: The Implications of Afrikan Spirituality in the Diaspora. New York: Nkonimfo Publications, 1988 (orig. 1980).
  • "The Nyama of the Blacksmith: The Metaphysical Significance of Metallurgy in Afrika," Journal of Black Studies. Vol. 12, No. 2, December, 1981.
  • Yurugu: An Afrikan-centered Critique of European Cultural Thought and Behavior. Trenton: Africa World Press, 1994.
  • "The Afrikan Asili," Selected Papers from the Proceedings of the Conference on Ethics, Higher Education and Social Responsibility, Washington, D.C.: Howard University Press, 1996.
  • "The Afrikan 'Aesthetic' and National Consciousness," The African Aesthetic, ed. Kariamu Welsh-Asante. Westport, Ct.: Greenwood Press, 1993. (63-82) and To Heal a People, ed. Erriel Kofi Addae, Columbia, MD.: Kujichagulia Press, 1996 (91-125).
  • "Writing as a means of enabling Afrikan Self-determination," Defining Ourselves; Black Writers in the 90's, ed. Elizabeth Nuñez and Brenda M. Greene. New York: Peter Lang, 1999 (209-211).