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African-American Philosophy

A philosophy dominated by analyses and arguments about freedom and equality and, often, attempts to pursue truth with American premises and African conclusions. In its more inclusive sense, it is philosophy on, or about Africans or people of African descent in America.

New and Forthcoming Publications
To address some of the current issues, more inclusive and varied texts on African philosophy are being published. Take, for example, the upcoming Blackwell Companion to African Philosophy edited by Kwasi Wiredu and intended to provide a comprehensive anthology of essays on the history of ancient, modern and contemporary African philosophy and on all the main branches of the discipline, including logic, epistemology, metaphysics, aesthetics, ethics and politics. Lee Brown's forthcoming anthology on Traditional African Philosophical Thought, to be published by Oxford University Press, focuses on epistemological and metaphysical perspectives. Also of interest is Barry Hallen's sequel to Sodipo and Hallen's Knowledge, Belief and Witchcraft, to be published in January 2001 by Indiana University Press and titled The Good, the Bad, and the Beautiful : Discourse About Values in Yoruba Culture. Forthcoming in December 2000 from Africa World Press is Globalizing Africa edited by Malinda Smith. African Philosophy as Cultural Inquiry edited by Karp, Ivan and Masolo is scheduled for publication by Indiana University Press. To deal with the much neglected issues about women and African philosophy, Nkiru Nzegwu has been working on several projects. The first, on feminist issues in African philosophy of culture, is to be titled Family Matters. The others, Mutations of Imperialism and Matchworks, expand the scope to deal with philosophy, transmigration and new strains of colonialism and a North-South partnership model of development respectively. On a broader scale, twelve contemporary women of color examine the methods and subjects of philosophy in Women of Color and Philosophy: A Critical Reader edited by Naomi Zack to be released by Blackwell Publishing in June 2000.

African Intellectual Heritage: A Book of Sources edited by Asante and Abarry was published in 1995 by Temple University Press. However, the list of more recent and forthcoming books on African philosophy include the following: The African Philosophy Reader, edited by Coetzee and Roux and published in 1998 by Routledge; Political Discourses in African Thought: 1860 to the Present by Pieter Boele Van Hensbroek and published in May 1999 by Greenwood Publishing Group, Inc.; Our Heritage: The Past in the Present of African-American and African Existence by Tsenay Serequeberhan, which was supposed to have been released in March 2000 by Rowman & Littlefield; Existentia Africana: Understanding Africana Existential Thought by Lewis Gordon, which was supposed to have been released in March 2000 by Routledge; The Egyptian Philosophers: Ancient African Voices from Imhotep to Akhenaten by Molefi Asante, which was supposed to have been released in May 2000 by African American Images; and Kawaida Theory: An African Communitarian Philosophy by Maulana Karenga, which is to be published in June 2000 by University of Sankore Press.

It is noteworthy that the Russian Institute for Cultural Research has again initiated a series of cross-cultural investigations that include Africa philosophy. Also noteworthy is Caliban's Reason: Introducing Afro-Caribbean Philosophy by Paget Henry, which was supposed to have been released in March 2000 by Routledge. In Thoughts and Sentiments on the Evil of Slavery: And Other Writings by Quobna Ottobah Cugoano, edited with an introduction by Vincent Carretta and published in 1999 by Viking/Penguin, a Ghanaian who was enslaved in the West Indies in 1770 submits arguments to the British in 1787 and 1791 on the moral obligation of slaves to rebel. Included in the African-American collection are: African-American Philosophers: 17 Conversations edited by George Yancy and published in 1998 by Routledge; Frederick Douglass: A Critical Reader edited by Lawson and Kirkland in 1998 and published by Blackwell Publishers; The Critical Pragmatism of Alain Locke : A Reader on Value Theory, Aesthetics, Community, Culture, Race, and Education edited by Leonard Harris in 1999 and published by Rowman & Littlefield; The Cornel West Reader edited by Cornel West and published in 1999 by Perseus Books; and Reflections: An Anthology of African American Philosophy edited by Montmarquet and Hardy in 1999 and published by Wadsworth Publishing Company.

With respect to journals, QUEST is still active and affiliated with the University of Zambia, African Philosophy is sponsored by the Society for African Philosophy in North Africa (SAPINA) and the International Society for African Philosophy (ISAP), and the APA Newsletter on Philosophy and the Black Experience (NPBE) is by the American Philosophical Association Committee on the Status of Blacks in Philosophy. Also of interest is An African Practice of Philosophy, SAPINA special issue, Vol. X, 2. 1997, edited by Valentin Mudimbe. Current internet resources include at which is produced by Kwame Appiah and Louis Gates, Jr. and covers the history, culture and philosophy of people of African descent. Bruce Janz's African Philosophy Resources at promotes conversation among African philosophers and the academic world in general. The Africa Resource Center, at, is a multi-purpose web portal affiliated with the International Society for the Study of Africa (ISSA) and its forthcoming journal called Journal for African Philosophy and Studies.

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