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Interview with Professor Lewis Gordon

Lewis Gordon


"I see Africana philosophy and other forms of theory from the global south to be indigenous to our times and are thus more attuned to the conditions of what is to come. The distinction is between forms of philosophy in which there is heavy investment despite its spiraling irrelevance versus one in which there isn't much material investment in spite of its profound relevance. The danger of irrelevance speaks for itself. Relevant philosophies exemplify an adage from Anna Julia Cooper in her essay, "What Are We Worth?": Their ability to thrive despite low investment means they are alive and thus give back to humanity much more than they've received. They are, in her formulation, worth much more to us all long term." -- Lewis Gordon

"Africana philosophy raises the question of the humanity of Africana people. This requires seeing us as agents of history. Looking to the pre-Euromodern past, it means understanding how hegemonic history has erased ancient African intellectual history through rewriting the past as a story in which thought and deed only emerged as white or, as in the story offered by neo-Kantians through to G.W.F. Hegel, one of a movement from Asia to Europe. Simply pointing out this travesty is insufficient. It's important to engage, with detail, the actual thought of those people we now designate as ancient Africans and black peoples, even though they may not have referred to themselves in such terms." -- Lewis Gordon


Biography; Philosophy; Feminism; Race; Politics

Full Text:


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

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