ISBN-10:
0130846961
ISBN-13:
9780130846969
Pub. Date:
01/14/2002
Publisher:
Pearson
African-American Philosophy: Selected Readings / Edition 1

African-American Philosophy: Selected Readings / Edition 1

by Tommy L. Lott, Tommy Lee Lott

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Overview

This anthology brings together a selection of historical and contemporary writings on topics in African-American Philosophy. Questions regarding a wide range of issues--including slavery and freedom, social progress, self-respect, alienation, sexuality, cultural identity, nationalism, feminism, Marxism and violence--are critically examined from different perspectives by well-known philosophers and by non-philosophers from many disciplines. It emphasizes the historical significance of the philosophical arguments within very specific social and political contexts. Features substantial extracts, and in some cases complete works by important 19th- and 20th-century social and political thinkers--organized under sections on Antebellem Critical Thought, Emigrationist and Diaspora Thought, Assimilation and Social Uplift, Contemporary Black Feminist Thought, Civil Rights and Civil Disobedience, Marxism and Social Progress, Rebellion and Radical Thought, Social Activism Reconsidered, Black Women Writers on Rape, and Alienation and Self-Respect. For anyone interested in the African-American experience and American history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780130846969
Publisher: Pearson
Publication date: 01/14/2002
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 516
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

This anthology provides readings for use in courses designed to introduce students to African-American philosophy. Although recent debates regarding affirmative action, race, and racism are prominent in philosophy texts, a much broader ,perspective is needed to deal more adequately with issues of major concern to African-Americans. Indeed, this volume presents a wide range of issues that emanate from a history of African-American thought regarding social progress. I have based the selection on my experience teaching a variety of courses in philosophy departments, as well as in interdisciplinary studies programs, at several universities. In a philosophy course on African-American social and political thought that I taught at Stanford University the philosophical questions underlying the historical debates were the main focus with an eye to contemporary issues. When I taught a humanities course on philosophies of social change at Wheelock College, I emphasized the historical significance of the arguments within very specific social and political contexts, for in this interdisciplinary studies course, African-American philosophy was one of several components. Nonetheless, the reading for both courses included classic nineteenth-century texts and articles by twentieth-century writers.

Patterned along the same lines, this volume incorporates writings by historical and contemporary authors from many disciplines into a format that includes writings by philosophers, a format that opens dialog across disciplines. This serves a twofold objective. For the benefit of instructors and students who lack a background in African-American studies some of the basic ideas informing African-American thought are represented in many of the speeches and essays. There is also a benefit for students and instructors who lack a background in philosophy. In the essays by philosophers the style and method of philosophical analysis are given an application to questions that have a bearing on social policy regarding African-Americans. The references listed under Further Reading at the end of each chapter provide a guide to important books and articles on each topic.

I would like to thank the Prentice Hall reviewers for their valuable insight and comments about the manuscript: Rita Manning, San Jose State University; Jay M. Van Hook, Northwestern College; and David Theo Goldberg, University of California, Irvine.

I would also like to thank John Perry, Chair of Philosophy at Stanford University and Theresa Perry, Dean of Humanities at Wheelock College, for providing me the opportunity to teach courses on African-American Philosophy. I am deeply indebted to my graduate teachers at U.C.L.A., Angela Davis, Bernard Boxill, and Ronald Takaki, for introducing me to the history of African-American thought.

Tommy L. Lott

Table of Contents

(NOTE: Each section begins with Introduction and concludes with Further Reading.)

I. ANTEBELLUM CRITICAL THOUGHT.

Howard McGary, Resistance and Slavery. David Walker, Speech at the First General Colored Association, Boston, 1828. Maria W. Stewart, An Address Delivered at the African Masonic Hall, Boston, Feb. 27, 1833. Henry Highland Garnet, An Address to the Slaves of the United States of America.

II. EMIGRATION AND DIASPORA THOUGHT.

Mary Ann Shadd Carey, A Plea for Emigration, or Notes of Canada West. Martin R. Delany, The Condition, Elevation, Emigration, and Destiny of the Colored People of the United States 'Politically Considered.' Edward Wilmot Blyden, The Call of Providence to the Descendents of Africa in America. The African Problem and the Method of Its Solution. Marcus Garvey, Race Assimilation. The True Solution of the Negro Problem. An Appeal to the Conscience of the Black Race to See Itself. The Negro's Place in World Organization. Aims and Objects of Movement for Solution of Negro Problem. Racial Ideals.

III. ASSIMILATION AND SOCIAL UPLIFT.

Frederick Douglass, An Address to the Colored People of the United States. The Present and Future of the Colored Race in America. The Lessons of the Hour. Anna Julia Cooper, Has America a Race Problem? If So, How Can It Best Be Solved? W.E.B. Du Bois, The Conservation of Races. The Talented Tenth.

Booker T. Washington, Atlanta Exposition Address. Our New Citizen. Democracy and Education. Address Delivered at Hampton Institute.

IV. CONTEMPORARY BLACK FEMINIST THOUGHT.

Patricia Hill Collins, The Social Construction of Black Feminist Thought. bell hooks, Black Women Shaping Feminist Theory. Kim Crenshaw, Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics. Audre Lorde, Age, Race, Class, and Sex: Women Redefining Difference. The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House.

V. CIVIL RIGHTS AND CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE.

Richard Wasserstrom, Rights, Human Rights and Racial Discrimination. A. Philip Randolph, A Call for Mass Action. Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Philosophy of the Student Nonviolent Movement. A Time to Break Silence. Bayard Rustin, Dr. King's Painful Dilemma.

VI. MARXISM AND SOCIAL PROGRESS.

Lucy Parsons, Address to the First Convention of the IWW. Ralph Bunche, Marxism and the 'Negro Question.' W. E. B. Du Bois, Marxism and the Negro Problem. Socialism and the Negro Problem. E. Franklin Frazier, La Bourgeoisie Noire. Cornel West, Marxist Theory and the Specificity of Afro-American Oppression.

VII. REBELLION AND RADICAL THOUGHT.

Malcolm X, The Ballot or the Bullet. Jill Gordon, By Any Means Necessary: John Locke and Malcolm X on the Right to Revolution. Stokely Carmichael, Toward Black Liberation. Huey P. Newton, Functional Definition of Politics. Prison, Where Is Thy Victory? Angela Davis, Political Prisoners, Prisons and Black Liberation. Cornel West, The Paradox of the African-American Rebellion.

VIII. SOCIAL ACTIVISM RECONSIDERED.

Adolph Reed, Jr., The 'Black Revolution' and the Reconstitution of Domination. Thomas Sowell, The Civil Rights Vision. Glenn C. Loury, Beyond Civil Rights. Shelby Steele, The Memory of Enemies.

IX. BLACK WOMEN WRITERS ON RAPE.

Angela Davis, Rape, Racism, and the Myth of the Black Rapist. Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Lynching, Our National Crime. Illinois Lynchings. Alice Walker, Advancing Luna and Ida B. Wells. Valerie Smith, Split Affinities: The Case of Interracial Rape. Joy James, Sexual Politics: An Anti-Lynching Crusader in Revisionist Feminism.

X. ALIENATION AND SELF-RESPECT.

Howard McGary, Alienation and the African-American Experience. Ralph J. Bunche, Race and Alienation. W.E.B. Du Bois, Separation and Self-Respect. Thomas Hill, Jr., Servility and Self-Respect. Laurence M. Thomas, Rawlsian Self-Respect and the Black Consciousness Movement. Bernard R. Boxill, Self-Respect and Protest.

Preface

This anthology provides readings for use in courses designed to introduce students to African-American philosophy. Although recent debates regarding affirmative action, race, and racism are prominent in philosophy texts, a much broader ,perspective is needed to deal more adequately with issues of major concern to African-Americans. Indeed, this volume presents a wide range of issues that emanate from a history of African-American thought regarding social progress. I have based the selection on my experience teaching a variety of courses in philosophy departments, as well as in interdisciplinary studies programs, at several universities. In a philosophy course on African-American social and political thought that I taught at Stanford University the philosophical questions underlying the historical debates were the main focus with an eye to contemporary issues. When I taught a humanities course on philosophies of social change at Wheelock College, I emphasized the historical significance of the arguments within very specific social and political contexts, for in this interdisciplinary studies course, African-American philosophy was one of several components. Nonetheless, the reading for both courses included classic nineteenth-century texts and articles by twentieth-century writers.

Patterned along the same lines, this volume incorporates writings by historical and contemporary authors from many disciplines into a format that includes writings by philosophers, a format that opens dialog across disciplines. This serves a twofold objective. For the benefit of instructors and students who lack a background in African-American studies some of the basic ideas informing African-American thought are represented in many of the speeches and essays. There is also a benefit for students and instructors who lack a background in philosophy. In the essays by philosophers the style and method of philosophical analysis are given an application to questions that have a bearing on social policy regarding African-Americans. The references listed under Further Reading at the end of each chapter provide a guide to important books and articles on each topic.

I would like to thank the Prentice Hall reviewers for their valuable insight and comments about the manuscript: Rita Manning, San Jose State University; Jay M. Van Hook, Northwestern College; and David Theo Goldberg, University of California, Irvine.

I would also like to thank John Perry, Chair of Philosophy at Stanford University and Theresa Perry, Dean of Humanities at Wheelock College, for providing me the opportunity to teach courses on African-American Philosophy. I am deeply indebted to my graduate teachers at U.C.L.A., Angela Davis, Bernard Boxill, and Ronald Takaki, for introducing me to the history of African-American thought.

Tommy L. Lott

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