This book is a compilation of essays by distinguished writers, critics, and artists in the field of Dance and African American Studies who address several areas and disciplines of African dance both on the continent and in the diaspora. Sir Rex Nettleford, the distinguished Jamaican choreographer, professor and writer, stresses in the foreword to the book, the continuity between all dances that derive from Africa and the significance of this book. African dance, he argues, is a dominant, pervasive and empowering force in African communities.
African Philosophy: The Analytic Approach sets out to demonstrate that the analytic approach to philosophy, which is prominent in the world today, can both be applied to and derived from Africa’s indigenous cultural heritage. The author achieves this via critiques of the viewpoints of several leading scholars who maintain, for various reasons, that there is insignificant evidence of substantive philosophical thought in the indigenous African cultural context.
Since its original publication in 2003, Beauty and Culture has remained the only full-length major book contribution to the area of philosophy of art and aesthetics by an African philosopher. This is an area which has had very little or no critical systematic philosophical discussion from an African and African Diaspora perspective to date, either by African or African Diaspora thinkers or, for that matter, by non-African philosophers and intellectuals, leaving the assessment and discussion of African and Diaspora art and artistic experience to Euro-American intellectuals with scant or warped understanding of the sensitivities and sensibilities that under-gird the art they are commenting on
Focused on Kant, Hegel, and Marx the book explores the Eurocentric vista that structures the stance, of these iconic figures, on the non-Occidental world. The thesis is that the efforts of these thinkers--explicitly aimed at articulating the possibility of human freedom in history--in effect authorize and give metaphysical buttress and credence to Occidental hegemony.
Philosophical Essays seeks to present the idea of democracy systematically beginning with the ancient philosophers and ending with the modern philosopher, John Rawls. Democracy as we have come to know it is associated with the Greek Philosophers, Plato and Aristotle. The accepted view is that the idea of democracy originated with the Greeks and that democracy is exclusively European. Although this is largely true, there is a sense in which it is misleading, which needs to be corrected by further analytic distinctions.
Indeed, Ethiopia, a country with a long history of survival and independence, defined by a form of pristine Christianity colored with African traits, remains an enigma. With an imperial system based on conflict as well as the connivance between centripetal and centrifugal forces, a land-holding system supporting fluid yet stratified social classes, a cultural life combining a written tradition with folk thinking, nationalism with ethnicity and, what is more, a country which successfully resisted all the major invading forces of history, including colonialism, to the point that it was compared to Japan, Ethiopia had all the necessary prerequisites for a successful transition to modernity.
Whereas the subject of white racism has generally been approached more or less strictly from the standpoint of various social sciences, this book is uniquely philosophical in its treatment. It goes beyond the accepted view that white racism, though serious and unrelenting, is merely either a sort of temporal, cultural or moral psychological failure, which serves simultaneously to give meaning and significance to white people and to hamper black progress in significant ways...
Through a rare autobiographical act, Zara Yacob, who acquainted himself with the teachings of the Catholic Church introduced by Portuguese Jesuit missions in Sixteenth-century Ethiopia, becomes the first self-conscious founder of a philosophical tradition in Ethiopia. Indeed, it is a mild exaggeration to assert that it is Zara Yacob who gave the continent ofAfrica an original autobiography, something that was at that time confined to literate traditions outside of Africa. His treatise is a masterful example of self-presentation, clearly and powerfully expressed in a captivating literary style.