Philosophy Born of Struggle: Anthology of Afro-American Philosophy From 1917
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Philosophy Born of Struggle – Afro-American Philosophy from 1917, Third Edition, features philosophic foundations. Voices that express competing ideas about the nature of religion, social activism, humanism, culture, race, identity, dignity and values. Thus, the sections’ Meta- philosophy, Political Theology and Moral Suasion, Political Theology and Critical Humanism, Ontology (Existentialism, Contract Theory, Feminism), Normativity Forging Identity, Renunciations, Dignity and Transvaluation feature chapters that use an authors’ philosophic foundation to address a particular issue. The resistance tradition remains the tradition that the anthology promotes. Authors represent a particular philosophy, not a particular kind. Thus, a chapter authored by a man may present a feminist position, an LGBTQ scholars’ chapter may present an argument about Afro-pessimism and transhumanism, a materialist authors’ chapter may present on racism and a womanist on Kingdom rhetoric and African American life. There are certainly many areas of philosophy not covered, however, the anthology is intended as a contribution to important on-going debates. This edition features “Suggested Readings” and “Research and Paper Topics” that provides suggested readings and queries that show the radical disagreements between philosophies and encourages critical engagement.
David Walker (1796/97–1830)
Maria W. Stewart (1803–1879)
Religion and the Pure Principles of Morality, the Sure Foundation on Which We Must Build
Lecture Delivered at the Franklin Hall
Political Theology and Moral Suasion
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929–1968)
Letter from the Birmingham Jail
Political Theology and Critical Humanism
William R. Jones (1933–2012)
Liberation Strategies in Black Theology: Mao, Martin, or Malcolm?
Mitzi J. Smith
Slavery, Torture, Systemic Oppression, and Kingdom Rhetoric: An African American Reading of Matthew 25:1–13
Philosophy, Politics, and Power: An Afro-American Perspective
Lewis R. Gordon
Phenomenology and Race
Ontology: Contract Theory
Charles Mills (1951–2022)
Jacoby A. Carter
The Insurrectionist Challenge to Pragmatism and Maria W. Stewart’s Feminist Insurrectionist Ethics
NORMATIVITY FORGING IDENTITY
W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963)
The Conservation of Races, 1897
Stephen C. Ferguson, II
Exploring The Matter Of Race
Racial Nihilism as Racial Courage
Shut Your Mouth When You’re Talking to Me: Silencing the Idealist School of Critical Race Theory through a Culturalogical Turn in Jurisprudence
Melvin G. Hill
“A Dangerous Idea”:
Calvin L. Warren
Black Nihilism and the Politics of Hope
W. E. B. Du Bois
On Being Ashamed of Oneself—An Essay on Race Pride, 1933
Bernard R. Boxill
Self-Respect and Protest
Dignity and Subjection
Alain Locke (1885–1954)
Moral Imperatives for World Order
What, then, is “Philosophy Born of Struggle”?: Philosophia NATA EX Conatu: (Philosophy as, and Sourced by, Strife, Tenaciousness, Organisms Striving)
Lee A. McBride, III
Insurrectionist Ethics and Racism
Philosophy born of massacres. Marikana, the theatre of cruelty: The killing of the “kaffir”
Introduction—Prison Reform or Prison Abolition?
Leonard Harris, Ph.D., initiated African American philosophy as a professional field of study in American philosophy with the publication of the first Philosophy Born of Struggle in 1983. The Philosophy Born of Struggle Conference, PBOS.COM is an annual meeting with presentations focused on themes addressed in the book.
Harris is a Professor of Philosophy at Purdue University, author of A Philosophy Born of Struggle, edited by Lee McBride, 2021, co-author Jacoby A. Carter, Philosophic Values and World Citizenship, 2010, co-author, Charles Molesworth, Alain L. Locke: Biography of a Philosopher, 2008, editor, The Critical Pragmatism of Alain Locke, 1999, editor, The Critical Pragmatism of Alain Locke, 1999 and editor of Racism, 1999; Herbert Schneider Award “for distinguished contributions to the understanding of American Philosophy,” 2018; College of Liberal Arts Discovery Excellence Award for the Humanities, 2017; Franz Fanon Lifetime Achievement Award, Caribbean Philosophical Association, 2014.
Philosophy Born of Struggle, edited by Dr. Leonard Harris, is the definitive introduction to Black philosophy in the United States. This text has clarified the key debates in Black philosophy concerning the construct of race, Black liberation, and political struggle for scholars across the world. First published in 1983, Harris’s collection was groundbreaking and established for the first time the central problems, be they political, ethical, or existential, that defined the terrain of the Black philosophical tradition. From Africa to the United States, Philosophy Born of Struggle has provided a foundation and been a sterling contribution to the growth and development of Africana philosophy for 40 years. This new edition of Harris’s anthology not only showcases the advance of research in Black philosophy over the last several decades, but will serve as an invaluable resource for students, young philosophers, and scholars looking to decolonize their curricula, histories, and scholarship for years to come.
Professor Tommy J. Curry
Personal Chair in Africana Philosophy and Black Male Studies
University of Edinburgh
Leonard Harris has done Africana intellectual thought a great service for almost forty years with his three editions of Philosophy Born of Struggle. In this edition of Philosophy Born of Struggle, Harris introduces readers to several resistance traditions in Africana philosophy. He rightly characterizes these traditions as consisting of debates among Africana philosophers who hold competing meta-philosophical orientations and normative philosophies and belong to competing philosophical schools of thought. Nearly every participant in the debates featured in this anthology may be North American, but they represent philosophical orientations and positions that are not limited to North America. Among those philosophical orientations and positions are critical theistic humanism, existentialism, racial contract theory, racial nihilism, Afro-pessimism, insurrectionist ethics, and prison abolitionism. Harris invites us to read these Africana philosophers because, despite their differences, they reject anti-Black racism and advocate for the elimination of oppressive conditions that rob people of their dignity.
Dwayne A. Tunstall
Professor of Philosophy
Grand Valley State University
Philosophy Born of Struggle Association, Executive Director
Brimming with philosophical giants from the 19th and 20th centuries to today, this anthology presents us with the most urgent questions arising from the dire existential conditions of the African American experience. The authors and their texts coalesce, despite their philosophical differences and incompatibilities, to form the canon of resistance traditions in African American philosophy (and needless to say, philosophy as such). This is an essential anthology for scholars and students considering the orientation of philosophy as arising from, and a tool for overcoming struggle.
Tiffany E. Montoya
Visiting Assistant Professor of Philosophy
Consortium for Faculty Diversity Fellow, Muhlenberg College
In the Third edition of Philosophy Born of Struggle, editor Leonard Harris remakes and refreshes his influential anthology to include writings that could not have been anticipated by the first edition. New generations of philosophers demand new answers to new questions as they vindicate the inspiration of voices who have advanced struggle over time. Meanwhile, the editor has reorganized the presentation of texts to help readers grasp the diverse and incompatible tributaries that contribute to the wide river of resistance philosophy since David Walker issued his first Appeal. This collection confronts the reader with philosophical choices that make Afro-American philosophy profound and restless. Exemplary texts compel the engaged reader to experience vital cross currents of philosophies born of struggle.
Texas State University
Editor of The Acorn: Philosophical Studies in Pacifism and Nonviolence.