Aaron Smith, Africology, Professor, African American Studies, Temple University

It wasn’t long ago that Dr. Aaron X Smith was a student at Temple University’s North Philadelphia main campus merely grateful for an opportunity at higher education. The foundation of his opportunity were his god given athletic talents and a thirst for knowledge gifted to him by his parents. As he progressed though his academic life he realized the opportunity for higher education was not readily accessible for most and even more difficult to attain for the underrepresented and underprivileged members of his communities. This realization shaped his personal purpose to dedicate his life to uplifting a new generation of young people to help them unlock the transformative power of education and recognize the potential of investing in one’s personal growth.

Dr. Smith currently serves as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Africology and African American Studies at Temple University. He is the author of The Murder of Octavius Catto (featured in the Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia 2015). Smith has also published multiple entries in the Encyclopedia of African Cultural Heritage (2015) and a chapter on James Baldwin titled, “Boundless Baldwin” recently published in, Contemporary Critical Thought in Africology and Africana Studies. His innovative artistic presentation style has gained him the name, “The Rapping Professor”. During his short tenure at Temple University, Dr. Smith has quickly been recognized as a dynamic and innovative speaker, educator, artist and facilitator who utilizes his vast wealth of knowledge, uncanny energy and unique oratorical abilities to translate Hip-Hop culture into a universal language of leadership, learning and love. During his professorship he has been focused on developing unique and dynamic ways to actively engage the Gen Z students of today in an effort to solidify their love of learning.

Selected Publications

Chapters in Books

  • Smith, Aaron X., “A Critical Contextualization of Pan African Literature: The Chronological Edge.," In A Companion to African Rhetoric, Edited by Segun Ige, Lexington Books 2021.
  • Smith, Aaron X., "The Death of the Arrogance of Ignorance," McFarland and Company, 2021.
  • Smith, Aaron X., “When the Soul Leaves the Body Because Justice is Absent in the Streets; Reflections on the Murder of George Floyd,” Edited by George D. Yancy, Lexington Books, 2021.
  • Smith, Aaron X., “Boundless Baldwin: Assessing the Creative Freedom of a Cultural Critic,” In Contemporary Critical Thought in Africology and Africana Studies, Edited by Molefi Kete Asante and Clyde E. Ledbetter, Jr., Lexington Books, Pages 63-74, 2017.

Book Reviews

  • Smith, Aaron X., Review of Molefi Kete Asante's African Pyramid of Knowledge: Kemet Afrocentricity and Africology. New York: Universal Write. In Journal of Pan African Studies. Pages 378-381, March 2017.                
  • Smith, Aaron X., Review of Ana Monteiro Ferreira's The Demise of the Inhuman: Afrocentricity, Modernism,  and Postmodernism. Albany: SUNY Press In Journal of Pan African Studies. Pages 537-538, March 2016.         

Encyclopedia Entries

  • Smith, Aaron X., "Black Classics Press,” Pages 253-255 in the SAGE Reference Project: The SAGE Encyclopedia of African Cultural Heritage in North America, M. Shujaa and K. Shujaa, ed Thousand Oaks, California. 2015. 
  • Smith, Aaron X., “Maleness, Masculinity and Manhood," Pages 549-551 in the SAGE Reference Project: The SAGE Encyclopedia of African Cultural Heritage in North America, Edited by Mwalimu J. Shujaa and Kenya J. Shujaa, Thousand Oaks, California. 2015. 
  • Smith, Aaron X., “Murder of Octavius Catto” in The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia, 2015.
  • Smith, Aaron X., “Running Away as Resistance to Enslavement," Pages 744-746 in the SAGE Reference Project: The SAGE Encyclopedia of African Cultural Heritage in North America, Edited by Mwalimu J. Shujaa and Kenya J. Shujaa, Thousand Oaks, California. 2015.  

Journal Entries

  • Smith, Aaron X., Afrocentricity as the Organizing Principle for African Renaissance, Interview with Prof. Molefi KeteAsante, Temple University (USA), Vestnik RUDN. International Relations (Russian Journal), Vol 20, No 1 (2020): Decolonization, Neocolonialism and Recolonization: 60th Anniversary of the Year of Africa.

Courses Taught

  • Dimensions in Racism 
  • History and Significance of Race  
  • Sports and Leisure 
  • Introduction to African American Music  
  • Tupac Shakur and the Hip-Hop Revolution  
  • The Black Church 
  • The Obama Presidency 
  • Representing Race 
  • Colorism and Self Hate 
  • Meek Millennials 
  • Black Wealth