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)
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)
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)
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.
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 volume presents timely commentaries on issues relating to Africa and Latin America, demonstrating the value of intercultural dialogue amongst voices from the Global South on decoloniality, cultural rights and politics.
The social sciences were founded at the height of the Euromodern era when the belief in infinite expansion coexisted with the willingness to enclose, categorize, and lock up a large part of humanity. The invention of the social sciences was closely linked to this enterprise of disciplinarization of spaces and of populations which accompanied the expansion of capitalism and colonial conquest. Stigmatized, dominated, and colonized groups were constituted as objects by social scientists who considered themselves as pure subjects, and concealed (...) the conditions under which they undertook their research and prohibited the colonized from expressing their own subjectivity. Colonization also imposed a binary cartography of the world and a geography of reason with obligatory references and strict disciplinary divisions. There are many ways to decolonize knowledge, but they remain marginal in a world where white male supremacy is also epistemological. The rejection of disciplinary decadence implies not only a critical but a metacritical gesture, and the refusal of the imperative of objectivation and non-engagement. (shrink)
The essays in Fanon and the Decolonization of Philosophy all trace different aspects of the mutually supporting histories of philosophical thought and colonial politics in order to suggest ways that we might decolonize our thinking. From psychology to education, to economic and legal structures, the contributors interrogate the interrelation of colonization and philosophy in order to articulate a Fanon-inspired vision of social justice. This project is endorsed by his daughter, Mireille Fanon-Mendès France, in the book's preface.
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.
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)
For the past 30 years, Paget Henry has been one of the most articulate and creative voices in Caribbean scholarship, making seminal contributions to the study of Caribbean political economy, C.L.R. James studies, critical theory, phenomenology, and Africana philosophy. This volume includes some of his most important essays from across his remarkable career, providing an introduction to a broad range of pressing contemporary themes and to the unique mind of one of the leading Caribbean intellectuals of his generation.
The scope of Philosophy in Multiple Voices provides the reader with eight philosophical streams of thought-African-American, Afro-Caribbean, Asian-American, Feminist, Latin-American, Lesbian, Native-American and Queer-that introduce readers to alternative, complex philosophical questions concerning gendered, sexed, racial and ethnic identities, canon formation, and meta-philosophy. The overriding theme of the text is that philosophy is pluralistic in voice, rich in diversity, and ought to valorize democratic intellectual spaces of philosophical engagement.
This chapter examines race in film through exploring what the author calls “cinema beyond the veil.” This involves addressing several themes. The first is historical—namely, the story of racial portraits in film. The second is hermeneutical—that is, interpreting the portrayal of race in film. The third is philosophical—pertaining particularly to the aesthetic quality of film where race emerges. And the fifth is political—whether race can be in film without subordinating aesthetic aims to political imperatives. Conceptual tools rallied in the service (...) of this analysis include audiovisuality, allegory, monstrosity, political aesthetics, and potentiated double consciousness. (shrink)