Dorothy Gilliam seems surprised at the opposition engendered by Afrocentrism {"Afrocentric Education Would Benefit All," Nov. 19}. She sees Afrocentrism as merely as "an attempt to correct and balance history." If that were the issue, those of us teachers who have been correcting and balancing history for many years would applaud it.

As Dorothy Gilliam surely knows, scholarly revisions spanning more than three decades have corrected most of the old Eurocentric distortions and lack of inclusion of the African and African-American past. Although much remains to be done, distortions are being replaced by balanced and inclusive histories, enriched by research in anthropology and archaeology. Where distortions and imbalance continue, they should be corrected. Where exclusion persists, inclusion is required.

Afrocentrism is under attack because:

Many Afrocentrists make historical claims and assertions reflecting a woeful unfamiliarity with recent developments in the fields they write about, as well as an inability to critically evaluate documents and sources.

Many Afrocentrists write about specialized fields in which they have no training, thus making embarrassing errors and reaching unfounded conclusions.

Advocates of Afrocentrism seek to avoid scholarly debate by hurling facile charges of "Eurocentrism" at those who disagree with them.

As a high school history teacher and a long-time supporter of a strong African and African-American content in school curricula, I find Afrocentrism divisive, unscholarly and certainly inappropriate for schools committed to a scholarly based multicultural curriculum.