The intellectual history of the last quarter of this century has been marked by the growing influence of Africana thought--an area of philosophy that focuses on issues raised by the struggle over ideas in African cultures and their hybrid forms in Europe, the Americas, and the Caribbean. Existentia Africana is an engaging and highly readable introduction to the field of Africana philosophy and will help to define this rapidly growing field. Lewis R. Gordon clearly explains Africana existential thought to a (...) general audience, covering a wide range of both classic and contemporary thinkers--from Douglass and DuBois to Fanon, Davis and Zack. (shrink)
In this undergraduate textbook Lewis R. Gordon offers the first comprehensive treatment of Africana philosophy, beginning with the emergence of an Africana consciousness in the Afro-Arabic world of the Middle Ages. He argues that much of modern thought emerged out of early conflicts between Islam and Christianity that culminated in the expulsion of the Moors from the Iberian Peninsula, and from the subsequent expansion of racism, enslavement, and colonialism which in their turn stimulated reflections on reason, liberation, and the meaning (...) of being human. His book takes the student reader on a journey from Africa through Europe, North and South America, the Caribbean, and back to Africa, as he explores the challenges posed to our understanding of knowledge and freedom today, and the response to them which can be found within Africana philosophy. (shrink)
This article explores several philosophical questions raised by Rebecca Tuvel’s controversial article, “In Defense of Transracialism.” Drawing upon work on the concept of bad faith, including its form as “disciplinary decadence,” this discussion raises concerns of constructivity and its implications and differences in intersections of race and gender.
This article is a reflective essay, drawing upon insights on racism and related forms of oppression as expressions of bad faith, on several influential movements in contemporary philosophy of race and racism. The author pays particular attention to theories from the global south addressing contemporary debates ranging from Euromodernity, philosophical anthropology, and the racialization of First Nations or Amerindians to intersectionality theory, discourses on privilege, decolonization, and creolization.
Her Majesty's Children reveals not only a deeply personal account of the experience of racism but is also a revolutionary work that asks us to reconsider our ordinary practices and lives to recognize and resist the traces of a colonial age of racism that so many claim is only part of our past.
Lewis Gordon presents the first detailed existential phenomenological investigation of antiblack racism as a form of Sartrean bad faith. Bad faith, the attitude in which human beings attempt to evade freedom and responsibility, is treated as a constant possibility of human existence. Antiblack racism, the attitude and practice that involve the construction of black people as fundamentally inferior and subhuman, is examined as an effort to evade the responsibilities of a human and humane world. Gordon argues that the concept of (...) bad faith militates against any human science that is built upon a theory of human nature and as such offers an analysis of antiblack racism that stands as a challenge to our ordinary assumptions of what it means to be human. (shrink)
Originally delivered to mark the fiftieth anniversary of both Frantz Fanon’s death and the publication of his seminal discourse on decolonization, The Wretched of the Earth, these remarks seek to offer a preliminary outline of Fanon’s continuing relevance to the present. Conceptually spanning such touchstone elements of Fanon’s thought as sociogeny, race, violence, the human, and the relation between decolonial ethics and decolonial politics, the authors turn our attention to diagnosing the neoliberal face of contemporary coloniality/modernity and contributing to movements (...) from the Arab Spring to the Occupy movement, from Philadelphia’s “flash mobs” to the new Latin American Left. (shrink)
This article is the keynote address of the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill, Barbados, philosophy symposium in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of the British outlawing the Atlantic Slave Trade. The paper explores questions of enslavement and freedom through challenges of philosophical anthropology, philosophy of social change, and metacritical reflections posed by African Diasporic or Africana philosophy. Such challenges include the relevance and legitimacy of philosophical reflection to the lives of racialized slaves and concludes with a discussion (...) of the implications of the analysis for an understanding of the “face” of political life and the importance of the concept of “home” for a cogent theory of freedom. (shrink)
This introduction outlines why the author assembled a community of scholars with the task not of commenting on Jane Anna Gordon’s work on creolizing political theory but instead placing it in dialogue with their own. The idea is that the value of theory depends also on the extent to which it could be engaged as a communicative practice with other theories dedicated to a shared concern. In this case, it is scholars committed to thought devoted to concerns of dignity, freedom, (...) and liberation as well as the critical question of the ultimate value of doing theoretical work. (shrink)
This review essay explores Josiah Young's project of developing a liberatory Pan-Africanism that is attuned to cultural diversity and Victor Anderson's advocacy of postmodern cultural criticism in African-American religious thought. After situating African-American religious thought as a branch of Africana thought, the author examines these two religious thinkers' work as an effort to forge a position on African-American religious thought--including its relation to theology--in an age where even theory is treated as a god that is about to die. At the (...) conclusion, secularism emerges as a religious project that normatively undergirds the methodological dimensions of these works. (shrink)
De nombreux philosophes noirs donneraient cher pour avoir pris un café avec Jean-Paul Sartre. Si nous en avions la possibilité, beaucoup d’entre nous commenceraient par le remercier de son courage. Il a lutté non seulement contre les forces anti-humaines de la société française et de la société américaine, mais aussi contre ces forces en lui qui proposaient toujours la séduction d’une..