Cover image for Existentia Africana : understanding Africana existential thought
Existentia Africana : understanding Africana existential thought
Gordon, Lewis R. (Lewis Ricardo), 1962-
Publication Information:
New York : Routledge, 2000.
Physical Description:
xii, 228 pages ; 24 cm.
Reading Level:
1290 Lexile.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
B944.A37 G67 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



First Published in 2000. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Author Notes

Lewis R. Gordonis Professor of Afro-American Studies, Modern Culture and Media, and Contemporary Religious Thought at Brown University. He is author of Fanon andthe Crisis of European Man(1995) and editor of Existencein Black: An Anthology of Black Existential Philosophy(1996), both published by Routledge.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Gordon (Brown Univ., author of Fanon and the Crisis of European Man, CH Jul'96, and Bad Faith and Antiblack Racism, CH Sep'95) once again brings his mastery of existentialist writers such as Frantz Fanon and Sartre to bear on issues confronting black intellectuals. Chapter 1 discusses differences between "black," "Africana," and "existential" philosophy. Chapter 2 explores the problematic role of autobiography by black writers relative to literary and philosophical criticism dominated by Euro-American interests. Chapter 3 is an excellent discussion of Frederick Douglass's autobiography as an existentialist work. In Chapter 4, Gordon brings W.E.B. Du Bois's famous account of blacks as a "problem" into dialogue with Sartrian existential phenomenology. Chapter 5 provides a careful critical review of Naomi Zack's Race and Mixed Race (CH May'94). Chapters 6 and 7 analyze gender and race issues in religious practices and critically review Josiah Young's A Pan-African Theology (1992) and Victor Anderson's Beyond Ontological Blackness (CH Apr'96). Chapter 8 briefly but suggestively reflects on how problems of racial identity are complicated by the existence of nation-states and various kinds of borders. Gordon concludes with some personal existential reflections about growing up black and wanting to be a writer. Very nice bibliography of related works. Strongly recommended for all library collections; upper-division undergraduate and above. R. M. Stewart; Austin College

Table of Contents

Preface, with Acknowledgmentsp. ix
1 Africana Philosophy of Existencep. 1
2 A Problem of Biography in Africana Thoughtp. 22
3 Frederick Douglass as an Existentialistp. 41
4 What Does It Mean to Be a Problem? W.E.B. Du Bois on the Study of Black Folkp. 62
5 Mixed Race in Light of Whiteness and Shadows of Blackness: Naomi Zack on Mixed Racep. 96
6 Can Men Worship? An Existential Portrait in Black and Whitep. 118
7 Recent Africana Religious Thought: Existential Anxieties of Pan-Africanism and Postmodernism at the End of the Twentieth Centuryp. 135
8 Existential Borders of Anonymity and Superfluous Invisibilityp. 153
9 Words and Incantations: Invocations and Evocations of a Wayward Travelerp. 164
Notesp. 181
Works Consultedp. 187
Indexp. 217