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Africana philosophy

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Africana philosophy

Africana philosophy is the work of philosophers of African descent and others whose work deals with the subject matter of the African diaspora.

Africana philosophy includes the philosophical ideas, arguments and theories of particular concern to people of African descent. Some of the topics explored by Africana philosophy include: pre-Socratic African philosophy and modern day debates discussing the early history of Western philosophy, post-colonial writing in Africa and the Americas, black resistance to oppression, black existentialism in the United States, and the meaning of "blackness" in the modern world.

Lucius Outlaw writes:

"Africana philosophy" is very much a heuristic notion - that is, one that suggests orientations for philosophical endeavors by professional philosophers and other intellectuals devoted to matters pertinent to African and African-descended persons and peoples.

Professional philosophers in the areas of ethics, social philosophy, political philosophy, philosophy of biology, semantics, critical race theory, and postcolonialism are currently exploring Africana philosophy. The American Philosophical Association has 10,000 members in North America. It is estimated that only 100 of its members in North America are of African descent.[1]

Lewis Gordon writes:

Africana philosophy is a species of Africana thought, which involves the theoretical questions raised by critical engagements with ideas in Africana cultures and their hybrid, mixed, or creolized forms worldwide. Since there was no reason for the people of the African continent to have considered themselves African until that identity was imposed upon them through conquest and colonization in the modern era... this area of thought also refers to the unique set of questions raised by the emergence of "Africans" and their diaspora here designated by the term "Africana"...Africana philosophy refers to the philosophical dimensions of this area of thought.

Branches of Africana philosophy

Branches include: African philosophy, black existentialism, double consciousness, black liberation theology, and womanism.

List of Africana philosophers

See also

Further reading

  • An Introduction to Africana Philosophy by Lewis Gordon
  • Philosophy Born of Struggle by Leonard Harris
  • Race and Racism in Continental Philosophy by Robert Bernasconi
  • A Companion to African-American philosophy by Tommy L. Lott and John Pittman
  • African-American Perspectives and Philosophical Traditions by John P. Pittman
  • Blacks and Social Justice by Bernard R. Boxill
  • African American Philosophers by George Yancy
  • Black Skin, White Masks by Frantz Fanon
  • Philosophies Africaines, Jean-Godefroy Bidima ed., Collège international de philosophie journal Rue Descartes, 2002.

External links

  • Africana Philosophy entry by Lucius T. Outlaw, Jr. in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
  • Society for the Study of Africana Philosophy
  • Philosophy Born of Struggle
  • The Alain Locke Society
  • The Collegium of Black Women Philosophers
  • Caribbean Philosophical Association


  1. ^ Robin Wilson (2007). "Black Women Seek Role in Philosophy". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 2008-09-01. 
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