Academic Commons


Philosophy and the Afro-American Experience

West, Cornel

How does philosophy relate to the Afro-American experience? This question arises primarily because of an antipathy to the ahistorical character of contemporary philosophy and the paucity of illuminating diachronic studies of the Afro-American experience. I will try to show that certain philosophical techniques, derived from a particular conception of philosophy, can contribute to our understanding of the Afro-American experience. For lack of a better name, I shall call the application of these techniques to this experience, Afro-American philosophy. I will examine historical sources of these techniques and explore the way in which they underscore the feasibility of an Afro-American philosophy. Finally, I will attempt to show what results such a philosophy should yield.

Geographic Areas


  • thumnail for Philosophy_and_the_Afro-American_Experience.pdf Philosophy_and_the_Afro-American_Experience.pdf application/pdf 155 KB Download File

Also Published In

Philosophical Forum

More About This Work

Academic Units
Union Theological Seminary
Published Here
March 1, 2013
Academic Commons provides global access to research and scholarship produced at Columbia University, Barnard College, Teachers College, Union Theological Seminary and Jewish Theological Seminary. Academic Commons is managed by the Columbia University Libraries.