Molefi Kete Asante, Arthur Lee Smith, Jr.

Arthur Lee Smith, Jr., is the birth name of scholar and educator, Dr. Molefi Kete Asante (1942–    ), whose first name means “keeper of tradition.” A scholar of intercultural communication and speech and also of black nationalist intellectual history, he is professor and chairperson of the Department of African-American studies at Temple University. He earned a bachelor's degree from Oklahoma Christian College (1964), a master's degree from Pepperdine University (1965), and a doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles (1968). The author of more than seventy books and four hundred articles on communication theory and the African-American experience, he is considered to be the leading proponent of the Afrocentric movement, which promotes the importance of African people as agents of history and culture. His autobiography, As I Run Toward Africa, was published in 2012, and his most recent book, The African Pyramids of Knowledge, was published in 2015. His more than one-hundred awards include induction into the Literary Hall of Fame for Writers of African Descent (2004).

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