Cover image for African-American philosophers : 17 conversations
African-American philosophers : 17 conversations
Yancy, George.
Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, 1998.
Physical Description:
x, 358 pages ; 24 cm
Angela Y. Davis -- Cornel West -- Adrian M.S. Piper -- Howard McGary, Jr. -- Lewis R. Gordon -- Michele M. Moody-Adams -- Albert Mosley -- Anita L. Allen -- Tommy L. Lott -- Leonard Harris -- Naomi Zack -- Joy James -- Joyce Mitchell Cook -- Laurence Thomas -- Lusius T. Outlaw, Jr. -- Bernard R. Boxill -- Robert E. Birt.
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Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
B944.A37 A37 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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African-American Philosophersbrings into conversation seventeen of the foremost thinkers of color to discuss issues such as Black existentialism, racism, Black women philosophers within the academy, affirmative action and the conceptual parameters of African-American philosophy.

Author Notes

George Yancyis a book review for the Philadelphia TribuneMagazineand a clinical family therapist at the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Yancy characterizes this work as an attempt to move the center of mainstream Euro-American philosophical conversations to include other, equally legitimate streams. Through interviews with 17 contemporary African American philosophers, he explores issues of diverse philosophical positions; he also deconstructs the boundaries between what is deemed "mainstream" versus marginal to offer a diversity of voices and to illustrate the wide range of philosophical concerns with which African Americans grapple. Yancy relates that the impetus for this work stemmed, in part, from his own sense of isolation in his field, based partly on the limited number of African Americans in philosophy, and the "narrow focus of the discourse" of great philosophers of the past. So his own experiences and his interviews with such philosophers as Angela Davis, Cornel West, Adrian Piper, and Lucius Outlaw reflect both similar and contrasting efforts to work through these dilemmas. The views of these philosophers with varying degrees of "race-centered concern" make for fascinating reading to those interested in both philosophy and race relations. --Vernon Ford

Library Journal Review

Yancy, a clinical family therapist in Philadelphia, interviews 17 black philosophers on such issues as racism, the nature of African American philosophy, affirmative action, and other topics of interest in contemporary African American thought. Among those interviewed are Robert E. Birt, Laurence Thomas, Joy Ann James, Angela Y. Davis, Anita L. Allen, and Cornel West. The interviewees span a wide range of contemporary thought and experience; Yancy is a skilled interviewer whose intelligent and probing questions add depth to his subjects' responses. Each interview begins with a brief biography and ends with a selective bibliography of the interviewee's published works. On the whole, the interviews are of high caliber, in particular the lead interview with Davis, who talks about the factors that affected her intellectual and social development. Recommended for libraries with collections in contemporary American thought, black studies, and the history of philosophy.¬ĎTerry C. Skeats, Bishop's Univ. Lib., Lennoxville, Quebec (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Yancy has performed an invaluable service by compiling timely interviews with a diverse group of African American philosophers: Angela Davis, Cornel West, Adrian Piper, Howard McGary, Lewis Gordon, Michele Moody-Adams, Albert Mosley, Anita Allen, Tommy Lott, Leonard Harris, Naomi Zack, Joy James, Joyce Mitchell Cook, Laurence Thomas, Lucius Outlaw, Bernard Boxill, and Robert Birt. Yancy acknowledges that much of Western philosophy "functions as a site of white cultural hegemony sustained and perpetuated in terms of the particularity of race and gender related institutional power." He aims to break down this "hegemony" by displaying the wide variety of voices in the profession that often go unnoticed: from mainstream analytic concerns (epistemology, philosophy of science, liberal and communitarian political theory), to themes taken from existentialism, postmodernism, feminism, and critical race theory. While not all interviewees share Yancy's commitments (especially about identity as an African American philosopher), all have been profoundly impacted by race both in and out of the profession and are hauntingly honest about it. Academic collections are frequently enriched post facto by interviews, memoirs, autobiographies, and Festschriften; these interviews are a testimony in medias res that much still needs to be acknowledged and done about race and gender in academic philosophy. Highly recommended for all collections and all academic philosophers. R. M. Stewart Austin College

Table of Contents

George Yancy -- Introduction: Philosophy and Moving the Center of Conversation
One Angela Y. Davis
Two Cornel West
Three Adrian M. S. Piper
Four HowardMcGary, Jr
Five Lewis R. Gordon
Six Michele M. Moody-Adams
Seven Albert Mosley
Eight Anita L. Allen
Nine Tommy L. Lott
Ten Leonard Haris
Eleven Naomi Zack
Twelve Joy Ann James
Thirteen Joyce Mitchell Cook
Fourteen Laurence Thomas
Fifteen Lucius T. Outlaw, Jr
Sixteen Bernard R. Boxill
Seventeen Robert E. Birt