Dr. Na'im Akbar
He is what they call a “Black Psychologist,” an “Afrocentric Scholar,” sharing his thoughts on national issues with the entire population through books, articles, lectures, seminars, radio talkshows and Internet chatrooms. His message is clear and simple, yet provocative and well grounded: Black people in America are "crazy." Not so much individually, but culturally. This scholar, psychologist, author, business owner, and lecturer was acclaimed by Essence Magazine as “one of the world’s preeminent psychologists and a pioneer in the development of an African-centered approach in modern psychology."
His name is Dr. Na'im Akbar and his ideas have penetrated most aspects of progressive thought affecting the minds of African people throughout the world. His insight and his analysis of the social concerns affecting African-Americans in particular and humanity as a whole is soul stirring, superbly rational and highly informative. Actively quoted and interviewed in print media, broadcast media and the Internet; and celebrated on five continents, Dr. Akbar is one of the greatest Thinkers and Orators of our time.
Dr. Na'im Akbar has been acclaimed by Essence Magazine as "one of the world's preeminent Psychologists and a pioneer in the development of an African-centered approach in modern psychology." Akbar has served as Associate Professor at Norfolk State University, was Chairman of the Morehouse College Psychology Department and is currently on the faculty in the Department of Psychology at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida. He has served on the Boards of Directors of a variety of important civic and professional organizations, including several terms on the Board of the National Association of Black Psychologists, wh which he was elected president in 1987. He has served on the editorial board of the Journal of Black Studies and for eight years was the associate editor of the Journal of Black Psychology. Akbar is a graduate of the University of Michigan, with both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Psychology and has received many honors for his progressive and landmark contributions to his specialized studies of the psychology of the African American. Among these are the "Annual Member Award" and recognition as a "Distinguished Black Psychologists" by the National Association of Black Psychologists for his outstanding scholarship and research in African Psychology.
The Mayors of Atlantic City, New Jersey; Cleveland, Ohio; Jackson, Mississippi and Cincinnati, Ohio have declared "Na'im Akbar Days" in recogniton of his accomplishments. He was recipient of the Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Scholar Award at Florida State University. In addition, Edinboro Unversity of Pennsylvania and Lincoln University (Pennsylvania) have both awarded him honorary Doctorates of Humane Letters. Dr. Akbar has been enthusiastically received at well over 500 colleges, universities, conferences and symposia throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. In 1995 he was enstooled as a "Development Chief" at Abono Lakeside Village near Kumasi, Ghana.
Tens of thousands of people around the world have read and been inspired by his highly readable and significant books which include, BREAKING THE CHAINS OF PSYCHOLOGICAL SLAVERY, THE COMMUNITY OF SELF, VISIONS FOR BLACK MEN, and KNOW THY SELF, among other titles and numerous scholarly papers and articles. He has been interviewed on the "Oprah Winfrey Show," "Tony Brown's Journal," "The Geraldo Show" and a wide variety of other national and local television programs. Significant articles about him have appeared in Essence Magazine, The Washington Post, Jet Magazine and a large number of local, national and international newspapers. As a recipient of literally scores of plaques and awards, Akbar is recognized as one of the great thinkers and orators of our time.
The published volumes of Dr. Akbar’s works are excellent illustrations of the unique and special approach he has taken to the role of an activist scholar. His volumes are targeted to a mass audience. Though the concepts that he presents are highly sophisticated, they are presented in a concise and simple way that readers with minimal education and possibly no familiarity with mainstream psychology will be able to comprehend the ideas from his books and increase their understanding of themselves. Though his scholarly status is unquestioned this area of his work is targeting a much broader audience than would likely encounter his works prepared for advanced students, professional colleagues and for the dialogue of the academy. He feels very strongly that truly relevant ideas should be available to as wide an audience as possible in order that they may study these ideas and apply them to their lives and to their communities. The measure of success for this aspect of his scholarship becomes the number of people from various walks of life that have been able to study these ideas, change their lives and their world.
Na’im Akbar was trained as a scientist and practitioner in the field of Clinical Psychology. This is an area of study in traditional psychology that is involved with the evaluation of human mental functioning and the practice of psychotherapeutic processes to improve mental health. Early in Dr. Akbar’s career, he decided to devote his skills of research and practice to the increased understanding of the cultural basis of African-American mental functioning and the development of techniques to address the unique mental health needs of African-Americans. As an Activist Scholar, he has done considerable research, teaching, theory-development and critical analysis in this area.
The recognition of his significant work and leadership in these areas of scholarship have resulted in his being asked to serve on the Editorial Boards of the Journal of Black Studies, and the Journal of Black Psychology, where he served as Associate Editor for over 10 years. His recognition within the academy as an important scholar is evidenced by the award of the prestigious Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Distinguished Scholar Award at Florida State University and the honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by the Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.
The concepts from Dr. Akbar’s writings have been extensively quoted, required reading in the syllabi of psychology and Black Studies Courses nationwide and included in a variety of volumes of collected readings on African-American mental life and functioning. In addition, the concepts from his writings have been used as the foundation for the establishment of a wide variety of Rites of Passage programs for youth, Substance Abuse Treatment Programs and Personal Development Programs throughout the United States, and in other parts of the world.
Na’im Akbar is clearly recognized as being a major contributor to the scholarly understanding of African people and of humanity in general. He is a luminary on the horizon of rebirth of true Afrocentric scholarship and by Lincoln University in Lincoln, Pennsylvania.