385,552 research outputs found

    “Strength Shed by a New and Terrible Vision:” The Organic Evolution of the Blues and the Blues Aesthetic in Richard Wright’s \u27Uncle Tom’s Children\u27

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    An exploration into the development of the blues aesthetic in the African-American literary tradition

    Personhood and Rights in an African Tradition

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    It is generally accepted that the normative idea of personhood is central to African moral thought, but what has not been done in the literature is to explicate its relationship to the Western idea of rights. In this article, I investigate this relationship between rights and an African normative conception of personhood. My aim, ultimately, is to give us a cursory sense why duties engendered by rights and those by the idea of personhood will tend to clash. To facilitate a meaningful philosophical discussion, I locate this engagement in the context of a debate between Ifeanyi Menkiti and Kwame Gyekye about the nature of Afro-communitarianism, whether it will ground rights as primary or secondary. I endorse Menkiti’s stance that duties are primary and rights secondary; and, I also problematize moderate communitarianism for taking a Western stance by employing a naturalist approach to rights

    Individualism in African Moral Cultures

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    This article repudiates the dichotomy that African ethics is communitarian (relational) and Western ethics is individualistic. ‘Communitarianism’ is the view that morality is ultimately grounded on some relational properties like love or friendship; and, ‘individualism’ is the view that morality is ultimately a function of some individual property like a soul or welfare. Generally, this article departs from the intuition that all morality including African ethics, philosophically interpreted, is best understood in terms of individualism. But, in this article, I limit myself to the literature in the African moral tradition; and, I argue that it is best construed in terms of individualism contrary to the popular stance of communitarianism. I defend my view by invoking two sorts of evidences. (1) I invoke prima facie evidence, which shows that both secular and religious moral thinkers in the tradition tend to understand it in individualistic terms. And, (2) I invoke concrete evidence, I show that the two terms that can be said to be definitive features of African ethical framework, namely: personhood and dignity, are individualistic. I conclude by considering possible objections against my defense of individualism as a central feature of African ethics

    Book Review: HENRY J. RICHARDSON III, THE ORIGINS OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN INTERESTS IN INTERNATIONAL LAW

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    This short review evaluates Professor Richardson\u27s book both as a contribution to the history of the Atlantic slave trade and as contribution to critical race theory. Professor Richardson has read innumerable historical monographs, works of legal and sociological theory, international law and critical race theory. Armed with this store of knowledge, he is able to recount a detailed narrative of African-American claims to, interests in and appeals to international law over approximately two centuries spanning, with occasional peeks both forward and backward in time, from the landing of the first African slaves at Jamestown in 1619 to the 1815 Treaty of Ghent. The work partakes of some of the narrative and methodological strategies of the critical race theory tradition, including the fictive reconstruction of historical events, with new African-American voices added to the mix. But Professor Richardson is equally at ease with the approach to international law of the New Haven School, and he is thus able to write with great authority of how African-American history can be understood to have comprised a tradition of appeals to international law or international legal norms as a source of remediation for the injustices that African-heritage people suffered in the Americas

    The Logic of Consciencism

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    According to Kwame Nkrumah, the conscience of the African society is plagued with three strands of influences which have competing and conflicting ideologies: “African society has one segment which comprises our traditional way of life; it has a second segment which is filled by the presence of the Islamic tradition in Africa; it has a final segment which represents the infiltration of the Christian tradition and culture of Western Europe into Africa, using colonialism and neocolonialism as its primary vehicles.” When these three segments with their conflicting ideologies are allowed to co-exist, the African society “will be racked by the most malignant schizophrenia.” Nkrumah’s solution, philosophical consciencism, presents an ideology aimed at achieving a harmony among the three segments in such a way that is “in tune with the original humanist principles underlying African society.” I do two main things in this paper: first, I present an analysis and critique of Nkrumah’s understanding of how the harmony is to be achieved in African societies; and second, I show how the theoretical ideas of philosophical consciencism – materialism, dialectical change, categorial conversion, socialism – are given actual form and content on the social-political scene through an analysis of Nkrumah's set theoretic term

    Tradition, African Philosophy and the Issue of Development in Africa

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    One of the central themes in postcolonial African philosophy is that of the relationship between tradition and African development. One of the fundamental questions relating to this is what should be the attitude of African to their traditional cultural heritage. Response to this question bifurcated African philosophy into two major orientations, that is the traditionalist and modernist orientations. This essay critically engage the attitude of these orientations to African traditions and Western cultural hegemony. I argue in the essay that both orientations demonstrate improper attitudes to African tradition because they treated tradition as product rather process that allows for change in the development process. If Africa would have to develop, whether in philosophical or socio-political terms, it needs no legitimation from the West. This however does not imply uncritical romaticisation of African cultural material. The Essay concludes by looking at how tradition can be put to good use. Keywords: Tradition, Development, Traditionalist, Modernist, Self-definition DOI: 10.7176/JPCR/43-03 Publication date: April 30th 201

    Speech is My Hammer, It\u27s Time to Build: Hip Hop, Cultural Semiosis and the Africana Intellectual Heritage

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    The article examines Hip Hop music\u27s relationship with African cultural symbolism and the discipline of Africana Studies. The author maintains that Africana Studies must reclaim the study of cultural semiosis, which may be used to contextualize Hip Hop praxis. Examining semeiotic traces within African and Afrodiasporic primary sources, including Hip Hop lyrics, the article posits that Hip Hop is the latest development in a long tradition of Afro-Kemetic oral artistry, semeiotic systems and the uses of these dual literacies as modes of resistance and affirmations of Black historical and cultural agency. The article adapts Harryette Mullen\u27s literary model of African Spirit Writing and Elaine Richardson\u27s Hip Hop Literacy studies to discuss specific constructs that affirm an African Diasporic worldview and foster resistance to the dominant political-economy that frames Black agency

    Background of King\u27s Preaching Theology (Chapter One of King\u27s Speech: Preaching Reconciliation in a World of Violence and Chasm)

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    Excerpt: From birth, King was surrounded and influenced by the black faith community. Both his maternal grandfather and his father were successful African-American Baptist preachers in Atlanta, Georgia. Put simply, King was a product of the black church in America: How exactly, then, did the black Baptist church-or the black church in general-influence King\u27s reconciliatory preaching theology? There are at least three significant elements of the black church tradition that influenced King: the freedom tradition, open-ended Christian practices, and the particular interpretative tools of allegory and typology

    A Word Fitly Spoken

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    (Excerpt) Let the people say Amen! Amen. I can\u27t hear you. AMEN! Thank you, Jesus. Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed. Alleluia, alleluia! I like to say, when I gather with folk who care about what we do after we say I believe, when it comes down to ultimate things, I\u27m just a nobody trying to tell everybody about somebody who can save anybody. Let me run that by again, so everybody can give a rousing Amen I\u27m just a nobody trying to tell everybody about somebody who can save anybody. Amen. And the task I have today is a somewhat substantial one, to speak as an African American Lutheran (people from Jump Street-as we would say in Brooklyn-would call that term an oxymoron from the start). Yet there are surprising and delightful areas of congruence when we look at the sacramental tradition and the African-American church tradition

    2018, Still struggling with a pair of shoes bought in 1996

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    For so long, We have been suffering, violated and victimised, For things, we cannot give name to, All we knew was, It’s against our tradition. Tradition and culture hold South African queers captive. South Africa, with perhaps one of the most progressive constitutions in the world is, in Gastrow’s (1992) view, acknowledged for fostering ideas of democracy and equality across the continent. However, perhaps South Africa is not as free as it seems; perhaps, it is arguably only free because there is no alternative way to conceptualise the phase we are in as a country. It is questionable that marginal identities within the South African context are constantly subjected to violence and victimisation aggravated by how queerness is framed culturally and traditionally as taboo. Such stigmatisation of queer subjects is informed by hegemonic masculinity. Furthermore, queer visibility in the traditional landscape becomes a trap, as it is held as offensive to normative, traditional ways of being
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