Who I am.
I am a proud African American psychologist, scholar, professor, husband, father, son and brother. My philosophy is captured in a quote by the Kenyan theologian John Mbiti “I am because we are and because we are therefore I am.” I have an African-centered/Afrocentric worldview that sees people of African descent as central rather than marginal to human civilization.
The symbols on my page are Adinkra of West Africa. These complex visual symbols were originally created by the Akan and used in fabrics, pottery, and logos. They are popular among people who identify as being African-centered. I use them to be connected to my African cultural heritage.
I embrace a collectivist worldview that places the concerns of the Black collective over individual concerns. I am a tireless defender of Black people and Black culture. I have been blessed to be able to pursue a wonderful career that allows me the freedom to research and teach about African American culture. The dedication to my book The Myth of Black Anti-Intellectualism aptly describes the priorities and guiding forces in my life.
"To the ancestors, all of whose names will never be known, but whose sacrifices made it possible for me to be here . . .
To Baba Asa Hilliard, who challenged the myth of Black anti-intellectualism and exemplified the best of what it means to be African and a Black scholar . . .
To my students (from left: Dr. Collette Chapman-Hilliard, Jasmine Graham, Marlon Bailey, Jeremy Simmons, Dr. Andrea Holman, Keino Miller , and Steven Stone), who have demonstrated that to be young, gifted, and Black is the norm rather than the exception . . .
To my parents, Angelo and Elma Cokley, whose support and pride in me were motivation to always represent them well . . .
To my children who are blessings from God and serve as constant reminders of the importance of the work that I do . . . and
To my wife, Germine “Gigi” Awad, whose intellect has pushed me to be better, and whose love and support made it possible for me to complete this book."