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Interview with Professor Charles Mills

Charles Mills

Abstract


"In the forced black diaspora to the Americas and Europe, by contrast, Africana philosophy is centrally going to be shaped by racial slavery and its legacy. So it is in these regions of the world that Afro-descendant/“black” populations are going to be most preoccupied with issues of race and the battle for racial equality." -- Charles Mills

"If you compare the British treatment of India and its treatment of its African colonies, for example, the difference is quite clear. And Native Americans, even when they were the victims of white settlement and encroachment, were sometimes seen as impressive warriors, “noble” savages. Today quite a few white Americans are proud to claim part Native American ancestry; that certainly doesn’t happen with black ancestry (we are “ignoble” savages). What we always have to remember is that for centuries—because of the global significance of the Atlantic Slave Trade, and the slave systems on both continents of the Americas and in the Caribbean—the consciousness of the world was shaped by the idea of Africans as “natural” slaves, as a “slave race,” whether through theological racism (Noah’s curse on Ham) or “scientific” racism (claims that black inferiority could be scientifically demonstrated). And Africa itself, of course, was famously characterized as the “Dark Continent.” So that intellectual and cultural legacy, those “memes” of sub-humanity (to use the language of the contemporary Internet), live on in popular consciousness, not just in the white population but in other communities also." -- Charles Mills

Keywords


Biography; Philosophy; Feminism; Race; Politics

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Journal on African Philosophy. ISSN: 1533-1067 (online).
Editor: Olufemi Taiwo.

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