​​Indigenous Thoughts Network 



PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION

PHILOSOPHY BY REGION

BRUCE FERGUSON'S

PROJECTS

​Where the Rivers Meet (WTRM) Website

"WE SHALL OVERCOME"

We shall overcome, we shall overcome
We shall overcome some day
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
We shall overcome some day

The Lord will see us through, the Lord will see us through
The lord will see us through some day 
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
The Lord will see us some day

We’re on to victory, we’re on to victory
We’re on to victory some day
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
We’re on to victory some day

We’ll walk hand in hand, we’ll walk hand in hand
We’ll walk hand in hand some day
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
We’ll walk hand in hand some day

We are not afraid, we are not afraid
We are not afraid today
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
We are not afraid today

The truth shall make us free, the truth shall make us free
The truth shall make us free some day
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
The truth shall make us free some day

We shall live in peace, we shall live in peace
We shall live in peace some day
Oh, deep in my heart, I do believe
E shall live in peace some day

This article traces the history of systematic African philosophy from the early 1920’s to 2014. In Plato’s Theaetetus, Socrates suggests that philosophy begins with wonder. Aristotle agreed. However, the pattern of discourse in the history of systematic African philosophy which began in the 1920s suggests that African philosophy began with frustration and not with wonder.

This frustration, according to Ruch and Anyanwu (1981:184-85), was due to historical events such as slavery, colonialism and racism that generated frustration with European philosophy. This eventually led to angry questions and then responses and reactions out of which African philosophy emerged. These reactions led to a great debate and then to more questions and reactions. So began the on-going spiral of arguments. The frustration was borne out of colonial caricature of Africa as culturally naïve, intellectually docile and rationally inept; the caricature was created by European scholars such as Kant, Hegel and, much later, Levy-Bruhl. It was the reaction to this caricature that led African scholars returning from Europe into philosophizing, The frustration about this treatment of Africa influences African philosophers to this day. It has a wider implication that touches on sensitive issues such as the identity of the African people, their place in history, and their contributions to civilization. To dethrone and undercut the colonially-built episteme became a ready attraction for African scholars’ vexed frustrations. Thus began the history of systematic African philosophy with the likes of Aimer Cisaire, Leopold Senghor, Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, William Abraham, John Mbiti and expatriates such as Placid Tempels, Janheinz Jahn and George James.

PHILOSOPHERS FROM AFRICA


This is a list of philosophers who theorize in the African tradition, as well as philosophers from the continent of Africa.

Algerian

  • Louis Althusser
  • Mohammed Arkoun
  • Augustine of Hippo
  • Malek Bennabi
  • Albert Camus
  • Jacques Derrida
  • Frantz Fanon
  • Bernard-Henri Lévy
  • Djillali Liabes
  • Mohammed Chaouki Zine


Beninese

  • Paulin J. Hountondji


Cameroonian

  • Achille Mbembe


Congolese

  • Jacques Depelchin
  • V. Y. Mudimbe
  • Ernest Wamba dia Wamba
  • Theophile Obenga


Egyptian

  • Mustafa 'Abd al-Raziq
  • Arnouphis
  • Abdel Rahman Badawi
  • Mohamed Osman Elkhosht
  • George of Laodicea
  • Hassan Hanafi
  • Ihab Hassan
  • Suzy Kassem
  • Zaki Naguib Mahmoud
  • Abdel Wahab El-Messiri
  • Plotinus
  • Rifa'a al-Tahtawi
  • Fouad Zakariyya


Ethiopian

  • Walda Heywat
  • Zera Yacob


Ghanaian


  • Kwame Nkrumah
  • Al-Hajj Salim Suwari
  • Anton Wilhelm Amo
  • W. E. B. Du Bois
  • Kwame Gyekye
  • Ato Sekyi-Otu
  • Kwasi Wiredu


Hellenistic

  • Apollodorus of Athens
  • Clitomachus (philosopher)
  • Dio of Alexandria
  • Dionysius of Cyrene
  • Heraclides Lembus
  • Hypatia
  • Lacydes of Cyrene


Kenyan

  • John Mbiti
  • Micere Githae Mugo
  • Henry Odera Oruka
  • Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o


Libyan

  • Sextus Julius Africanus
  • Aref Ali Nayed


Moroccan

  • Taha Abdurrahman
  • Alain Badiou
  • Bensalem Himmich
  • Mohammed Abed al-Jabri
  • Mohammed Aziz Lahbabi
  • Judah ben Nissim
  • Mohammed Sabila
  • Abu al-Abbas as-Sabti
  • Mohammed Allal Sinaceur
  • Hourya Sinaceur
  • Abdellatif Zeroual


Nigerian

  • Obafemi Awolowo
  • John Olubi Sodipo
  • Chinua Achebe
  • Wole Soyinka
  • Nana Asma'u
  • Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze
  • Usman dan Fodio
  • Josephat Obi Oguejiofor
  • Ike Odimegwu
  • Olusegun Oladipo
  • Kolawole Olu-Owolabi


Oba

Rwandan

  • Alexis Kagame


Senegalese

  • Cheikh Anta Diop
  • Gaston Berger
  • Souleymane Bachir Diagne


South African

  • David Benatar
  • J. N. Findlay
  • John McDowell


Tanzanian

  • julius k nyerere


Tunisian

  • Rachida Triki






AL JAZEERA AMERICA NEWSDAILY

Struggle for racial equality in America continues

Race relations still a problem across the United StatesFebruary 9, 2015 10:31PM ET
by Sara Hassan

February is Black History Month, celebrating the lives and contributions of African-Americans in the United States. However, more than half a century after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I have a dream” speech, racial discrimination persists across America.

A recent poll conducted by UCLA surveyed students across more than 200 colleges and universities. It found that 25 percent of students believe racism is a thing of the past. That’s not a very large number, but it is up 7 percentage points from 1990.

There’s still a major disparity in the number of African Americans receiving a higher education. According to a report by The Education Trust, only 69 percent of black students graduated from high school in 2012, compared to 86 percent of their white peers.

Still, the country has elected its first black president, and there are many influential African Americans across various industries, including television personalities, athletes, authors, and entertainers.

During Al Jazeera America’s Sunday night segment “The Week Ahead,” Thomas Drayton spoke to Christopher Emdin, Associate Professor of Science Education at Columbia University; and to Jamilah Lemieux, Senior Editor at Ebony.com.

“The conversations [about race] have always existed, but they are more critical than ever before because of platforms like social media and more avenues for the gathering of young people,” says Emdin.

“The election of President Obama kind of stirred up this notion of post-racialism in America,” says Emdin. “I would argue that the 25 percent who are under the impression that racism no longer exists are still falling under the myth that was created with the presence of a black president.”

Lemieux agrees and believes the president is not being allowed to reach his full potential. “The attempts to keep him from doing anything is a very obvious example of racism.”

When it comes to how blacks perceive themselves, Emdin says, “I think it’s a misperception that self-worth is not prevalent in [black] communities. It’s more a matter of whether or not the communities at large are able to identify the forms of self-worth that black males in particular exhibit.”

Emdin explains that a black student who under-performs in school may be mistaken as not wanting to do well, when in fact it may actually may be a result of the inability of schools to focus on the culture of the student or a disengaging curriculum.

Another, often over-looked, aspect of the African American community is the struggles of women. “Unfortunately, the civil rights and black power movements have centered black male struggle as the definitive black struggle.” Lemieux says that now particularly under the banner of “Black Lives Matter” women and their issues are becoming more visible.

The recent controversies over police incidents in which white officers use deadly force toward black men has set emotion running high. The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner last year led to massive protests across the country, and it’s raised questions about profiling and racial discrimination in police forces.

“I think something was triggered there,” says Lemieux. She says the deaths did not revisit standard ground laws the way they should have.                                          

Some people argue that young black males are not respectful of law enforcement officials. But Emdin disagrees. “The notion that one must subjugate his or her voice and civil rights for the sake of being treated better has been part of the narrative of causing dysfunction within African American communities,” he says. “It’s blaming the person being subjugated for the reason of their subjugation. The same case of ‘maybe if you listened’ is not applied to other populations.”

Back on the topic of schools, Emdin says that “schools in urban areas today are more segregated now than they were post-Brown vs. Board of Education,” the case that declared laws permitting separate public schools for black and white children to be unconstitutional.

He says funding for students should be equal across the board. “The issue is not the young people or whether or not they’re dangerous, but rather how we teach black children in a way that meets their unique needs. Our failure to recognize that leads to the kind of issues that we have today.”

African (Black) American Philosphers


Anita L. Allen
William B. Allen

Jan Boxill
Roderick D. Bush

Patricia Hill Collins

Angela Davis
W. E. B. Du Bois

William Fontaine

Kathryn Gines

Leonard Harris (philosopher)
Hubert Harrison
Bell hooks

Lez Edmond
Alain LeRoy Locke

John H. McClendon
Michele Moody-Adams
Moya Bailey

Huey P. Newton

Adrian Piper

Tommie Shelby

Kenneth Allen Taylor
Eric Thomas (motivational speaker)
Laurence Thomas

Cornel West
Jan Willis
Amos N. Wilson
W. D. Wright

Naomi Zack