REVIEW COORDINATOR: Melissa Burchard
Grappling with Epistemic Trauma
The Africana Quest for New Humanity
This paper discusses strategies through which W. E. B Du Bois, Frantz Fanon, and Amílcar Cabral have engaged with epistemic trauma perpetrated by Eurocentric racialized humanism, and how these Africana thinkers have responded with alternative humanity. In the last five centuries, Eurocentric epistemic violence has carved up the world by excluding identities, knowledge, and systems of knowing that are presumed unfit, resulting in the epistemic trauma that Africana people have experienced since the dawn of modernity. In fact, modernity has long dealt with the humanistic query of whether blacks are “humans” or not, a question to which it has concluded that they are not. This assumption has dispatched various colonial enterprises to undertake a so-called civilizing mission to deliver blacks from objecthood. The result of these interventions are conquest, colonization, enslavement, genocide, and their aftermath, disrupting blacks from a sense of humanism and being human. Africana people continue—while grappling with white supremacy, systemic racism, and the neo-colonialism still imbedded in the psyche of modernity—to reclaim their humanity using various strategies to restore Africana humanism. Some of these tactics include Dubois’s “double-consciousness”; Fanon’s “violence”/“decolonization”; and Cabral’s “return to the source.” Du Bois’, Fanon’s, and Cabral’s critical theories interrogate the epistemic trauma inflicted on Africans and people of African descent while proposing a new humanity envisioned by Fanon founded on and maintained by liberation, moving beyond Eurocentric humanistic values by reclaiming the black-African identity, views, and values. Despite confronting differing problems with their own contextual and cultural differences, these Africana thinkers share a perspective that proposes a restorative humanism as an alternative to the exclusive Eurocentric humanism that prioritizes race in the welfare, worth, and dignity of human beings.
Let us waste no time in sterile litanies and nauseating mimicry. Leave this Europe where they are never done talking of Man, yet murder men everywhere they find them, at the comer of every one of their own streets, in all the corners of the globe. For centuries they have stifled almost the whole of humanity in the name of a so-called spiritual experience. Look at them today swaying between atomic and spiritual disintegration.
The epistemic trauma that Africana people have experienced and continue to experience throughout the world since the dawn of Western modernity and its racialized ideals of humanism has compelled many to search for what Frantz Fanon calls a “new humanity,”(1) that is “new concepts”(2) that bring about liberation of human beings. Humanism here is defined according to Lewis Gordon, “a value system that places priority on the welfare, worth, and dignity of human beings”(3) within a particular social order. Epistemic trauma then should be taken as a distressful experience resulting from systemic disruption of “welfare, worth, and dignity of human beings” due to racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual differences. “Epistemic” means knowledge (philosophical, historical, biological, psychological, sociological, etc.) about the systematically excluded “human beings,” the language and system of domination that reproduce them human others and their trauma in the everyday practice of social relations. In fact, epistemic trauma results from what Gayatri Spivak calls “epistemic violence” or the act of dominant ideologies carving up the world or instituting social systems by excluding those identities presumed unfit(4) because of their supposed difference (racial, ethnic, gender, and sexual). A seminal example of such ideologies is Eurocentrism which, in the last five centuries, has mapped out the world reproducing Africans and other indigenous people, bodies, knowledge, and systems of knowing as inferior and unfit. Under such systems of domination, racism, ethnicism, genderism-sexism, and sexualism have legitimately found and maintain hierarchies in which the othered social groups are denied equality in “welfare, worth, and dignity” that are reserved only for some. At worst, the social lower casts are inferiorized, misrepresented, and dehumanized. Since the seventeenth century, Eurocentric scientific racism, sexism, and homophobia have assumed, for instance, that “black people cannot reason,”(5) “Black women. . . were inherently lascivious,”(6) gays and lesbians were sexually “deviant.”(7) Race, gender, and sexuality have been used as the regulators of social inclusion and exclusion, access and deprivation, ability and inability in the everyday practice of such humanistic values as the economy, polity, knowledge, and identity.
This paper is not only concerned with the epistemic trauma that Africans and people of African descent have experienced under the modern racialized ideals of humanism, but this study—more importantly—delves into Africana thinkers’ responses to the dehumanization based on racism as instituted by “coloniality of power”—or legacies and practices of colonialism founded on race as the organizing principle of humanity.(8) Specifically, W. E. B Du Bois’s “color line” and “double-consciousness” in The Souls of Black Folk’s (1903)(9) “Of Our Spiritual Strivings,” Frantz Fanon’s “violence”/“decolonization” in The Wretched of the Earth’s (1961)(10) “Concerning Violence,” and Amílcar Cabral’s “National Liberation and Culture” in Return to the Source: Selected Speeches by Amílcar Cabral (1973)(11) assert “new humanity” founded on the liberation envisioned by Fanon to contest the racist discourse of Western humanism. Western modernity’s five-hundred-year-old discourse—based on the presumption that blacks are not human and appropriating humanity for itself as the “absolute being”(12)—sanctioned the use of race to colonize, enslave, and exclude Africans and blacks from the realm of humanity. How, then, do the Africana critical theories of Du Bois, Fanon, and Cabral interrogate current global racialized humanism and reclaim a “new humanity”?
2. Tracing Epistemic Trauma: Europe Encounters Africana (America and The Caribbean) and the Problem of Western Modernity
In the “Forethought” and first chapter of The Souls of Black Folk, Du Bois declares that “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.”(13) argue that, beyond being a twentieth-century issue, the “color line” is, in fact, a problem of Western modernity and its spirit of “coloniality” or legacies and practices of colonialism founded on and maintained through race as the organizing principle of humanity.(14) The epistemic trauma that blacks experience is mainly a result of Western modernity’s coloniality manifested through various interrelated types of violence linked to its humanistic structure based on dualities.(15) As Boaventura de Sousa Santos puts it, “Western modernity as a socio-political paradigm”(16) “consists of a system of visible and invisible distinctions. . . established through radical lines that divide social reality into two realms, the realm of ‘this side of the line’ and the realm of ‘the other side of the line’. The division is such that ‘the other side of the line’ vanishes as reality becomes nonexistent, and is indeed produced as nonexistent. Nonexistent means not existing in any relevant or comprehensible way of being.”(17) Western modernity is founded on division of “social reality”—space, time, humans, knowledges, etc.—in terms of “visible” versus “invisible,” real versus false, “this side of the line” versus “the other side of the line.” While the first term is privileged and produced as the legitimate reality, the second is underprivileged and reproduced as irrelevant, incomprehensible, thus “radically excluded because it lies beyond the realm of what the accepted conception of inclusion considers to be its other.” This irony is ordered and regulated through what Santos calls “epistemicide” or a murder of other knowledges often preceded by genocide.(18) During slavery, from the fifteenth to nineteenth centuries, millions of Africans died in the kidnapping process and en route to the Americas and the Caribbean; those who survived were, then, deprived from practicing much of their African knowledge, religion, and systems of knowing.(19) The genocide of Africans and epistemicide of African knowledge continued through the Scramble for Africa and the so-called civilizing mission from the late nineteenth century to mid twentieth century.(20) The division of social reality through genocide and epistemicide was also maintained through what Ramon Grosfoguel calls “epistemic fundamentalism,” or the elevation of one philosophical tradition as superior and more legitimate than others by degrading the thoughts of others as inferior.(21) Upon conquest, enslavement, and colonization of blacks, the binary tradition of European philosophy is imposed on the conquered, enslaved, and colonized as the superior, legitimate language that structures a universal humanism. Western epistemicide, epistemic fundamentalism, and epistemic violence, have mapped the world through conquest, enslavement, colonization by removing blacks and other indigenous people from the realm of humanity.
The sanction to map the modern world can be traced as far back as the Doctrine of Discovery of Africa sanctioned by Pope Nicholas V in Dum Diversas (1452) and Romanus Pontifex (1455) granting Euro-Christians kingdoms the right to claim indigenous and non-Christian lands and dispossess and subjugate the peoples of these lands. The bulls are important foundational decrees; in fact, they are birth certificates of the modern narrative. Every single Euro-Christian nation or kingdom (Catholic or Protestant) that has embarked on a “discovery” mission has used these documents to vindicate their right to conquer a particular non-Christian territory throughout the world. The Portuguese, the precursors of Euro-modernity(22) encountered Africa in one of their last crusade missions(23) to conquer presumed “pagans”—i.e., blacks, “Muslims,” and “other enemies of Christ”—as well as their lands and possessions in the name of European Christendom or Christian domination. (24) As such, the humanity of Africans (and the humanity of other indigenous groups around the world) fell under the Euro-Christian philosophical and religious order, whose organizing principle is based on dichotomies of good versus evil. As such, the Euro-Christian belief system reproduced that polarity and its metaphorical byproducts within the encountered social reality in terms of the values and traits that make someone human. Beyond its conventional sense, the concept of “good” also meant normal, relevant, and desirable humanistic identity and “evil” meant the opposite. Europeans Christians presumed themselves to be generally “good,” their humanity and value system legitimate, while reproducing non-Christians as “heathens,” “abnormal,” “evil,” therefore an undesirable version of the human. As Achille Mbembe asserts, “[r]ight from the beginning, the Christian narrative of Africa is dominated by the motif of darkness. Theologically speaking, ‘darkness’ constitutes a primordial tragedy if only because, in the state of darkness, the truth is shrouded in all kinds of superstitions. . . . Africa is the metaphor par excellence of the human fall into a state of sin. . . liv[ing] at a distance from the divine. Indeed, this is the essence of paganism . . . a corruption of being.” (25) Upon encountering Africa, Euro-Christian discourse racializes the concept of “human being,” plotting the black body into a chain of polarities—such as whiteness versus darkness, European versus African, Christian versus Pagan—characteristic of the Western philosophical system.(26) Codified as a pagan, the black-African human being and African humanism are believed to be a “corrupt, negative, undesirable version”(27) of the white human and European humanism, “a fall away from”(28) them. This cosmological fundamentalism first abolishes African spirituality and belief systems, which had hitherto rooted black humanity and African humanism in relation to the cosmos. The European abolition of African cosmology justified conquest of Africa—considered “terra nullius (no man’s land),”(29) or a blank slate inhabited by presumed pagans—and the plunder of its natural resources. Christendom’s fundamentalism also legitimized the reduction of black people to perpetual chattel slavery,(30) initiating their exclusion and/or removal from the realm of humanity.
Conquest, colonialism, and chattel slavery become the foundation of modern humanity and humanism.(31) The enslaved Africans (and the conquered indigenous Americans and Caribbeans) under European religious and philosophical fundamentalism established what Fanon calls the “colonial world”(32) founded on polarities of space, values, and humanism. This colonial “Manichean world”(33) has shaped modern humanism through “coloniality of power.” Social stratification based on racial difference between the colonizer and the colonized has affected “the welfare, worth, and dignity of human beings.” This “codification of the differences between conquerors and conquered in the idea of ‘race,’ a supposedly different biological structure. . . placed some in a natural situation of inferiority to the others. The conquistadors assumed this idea as the constitutive, founding element of the relations of domination that the conquest imposed.”(34) Racism, before anything, establishes a radical hierarchy, placing Europeans as the authoritative humanity while condemning Africans (and other “people of color”) to difference— biological, spatial, temporal. The colonized are displaced as “primitive” belonging to the past, whereas Europeans are placed as modern belonging to the present. As Fanon puts it, the social realities of the colonizer and that of the colonized “are opposed. . . not in service of higher unity. . . they both follow the principle of reciprocal exclusivity. No conciliation is possible, for the two terms one is superfluous.”(35) The two realms are established differently not only to give the metaphorical impression that they are “inhabited by two different species”(36) but also to justify colonization and the civilizing mission. That is why the colonial language views enslaved Africana people as an embodiment of the “absolute evil. . . corrosive element, destroying all that comes near . . . disfiguring all that has to do with beauty or morality . . . a depository of maleficent powers.”(37) Africana humanity is perceived as not only being deficient in values, but also as opposing values.(38) The Africana humanity is made the substructure of European humanity, which is its superstructure. This antagonistic relation has inherently constrained Africana people economically,(39) as they were reduced to slave labor and other forms of forced labor while Europeans were naturally codified as the legitimate owners of lands and of all means of production. This also has intrinsically granted whites political rights and freedom, while robbing blacks from basic liberty and justice. The racialized social structure of the colonial world is thus epistemic as it reproduces Africana people as non-humans.
The Enlightenment critiqued dogmas of the Catholic Church and superstitious beliefs unfounded on science or reason. In addition, the Enlightment advanced revolutionary ideals, such as the French “Liberté, egalité, fraternité”; but the Enlightment also rationalized the Euro-Christian “motif of darkness” and “paganism” that further relegated the Africana subject as a humanity deficit. As Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze points out, “the Enlightenment’s declaration of itself as ‘the Age of Reason’ was predicated upon precisely the assumption that reason could historically only come to maturity in modern Europe, while the inhabitants of areas outside Europe, who were considered to be of non-European racial and cultural origins, were consistently described and theorized as rationally inferior and savage.”(40) In Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects (1758), David Hume assumes Africana people “to be naturally inferior to the whites,” lacking arts, nations, sciences, and manufacturers.(41) Hume’s assumption is also shared by Immanuel Kant; in Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and the Sublime (1764), he declares, “[t]he Negroes of Africa have by nature no feeling that rises above the ridiculous,”(42) even when he believes that “judgment of taste is . . . subjective.”(43) These assumptions make George W. F. Hegel conclude that Africa does no only lack history, God, and law, but her “moral sentiments are [also] quite weak, or more strictly speaking, non-existent.” (44) Hegel’s, Hume’s, and Kant’s statements reveal even the supposedly most “Enlightened” Euopean’s lack of objective knowledge about Sub-Saharan African civilizations such as the Ghana, Malian, Songhai, and Swahili civilizations that date from the eighth to sixteenth centuries. Nevertheless, their writings unveil how the “Enlightenment philosophy was instrumental in codifying and institutionalizing both scientific and popular European perceptions of the human race. . . articulating Europe’s sense not only of its cultural but also racial superiority”(45) in relation to Africa, in particular, and the rest of the world in general. Since the dissemination of “their writings . . . ‘reason’ and ‘civilization’ became almost synonymous with ‘white’ people. . . while unreason and savagery were conveniently located among the non-whites, the ‘black’. . .outside Europe.”(46) The racialized ideals of what the Enlightenment called Reason clearly reproduced Africana people as “inferior,” “savage,” and/or “primitive”(47) and Africana civilization as non-existent.
Such Eurocentric epistemic and cosmological fundamentalism toward Africana humanism set forth since the dawn of modernity continues today, as blacks experience epistemic trauma resulting from the systemic deprivation of the “welfare, worth, and dignity of human beings” based on race. Dubois identified this modern issue as a “problem of the color line.”(48) This racial demarcation, “[b]orn from the divide of black and white . . . serves as a blueprint of the ongoing division of humankind,”(49) which systemically splits humanity between “white humanity” versus “black humanity,” producing the former as the “normal”(50) while reproducing the latter as the “abnormal.”(51) The “color line”—which, according to Gordon, is also a “gender line. . . class line. . . sexual orientation line. . . religious line”(52)—is, in short, an epistemic and cosmological line founded and maintained through epistemicide, epistemic violence, and epistemic fundamentalism. When, in the fifteenth century, Pope Nicholas V issued Dum Diversas and Romanus Pontifex on the premise that there were “pagans,” “heathens,” and “other enemies of Christ” outside Europe, he was not only demarcating a global “religious line” between Christians and non-Christians; he was also declaring a religious fundamentalism against people of color, beginning in “the Age of Discovery” a religious war that informed European colonialism. The “colonial matrix of power” henceforth enforced upon the Americas and the Caribbean was propelled by the premise that Africans, people of African descent, and indigenous Americans and Caribbeans were neither Christians nor white. The discourse of colonialism in turn informed the philosophical spirit declared in the Enlightenment as much as “the Age of Reason” perpetuated coloniality and the dehumanization of the African and non-European. When Hume, Kant, and Hagel assert that Africans have a deficit of reason and feeling, they rationalize the lack of humanism on the basis of skin color. In fact, Hegel’s own words that “Africa proper. . . has remained. . . shut up. . . enveloped in the dark mantle of Night” reveal an intertextuality of the Christian concept of paganism as well as metaphorical symptoms of epistemic racism. Rationalistically speaking, Africa, because of the “darkness” constitutes a space where reason is impenetrable. Race becomes the organizing principle of “Truth.” Whiteness is subsumed as “Truth” and the European Man becomes the rational Truth bearer;(53) whereas the African is reproduced as the irrational, non-human, and bearer of Falseness—with “darkness” as the ultimate “Falseness.” Moreover, even when Africana humanity has coexisted and adopted European humanistic values through assimilation, transculturation,(54) and the civilizing mission, Africana humanity continues to face racial-based exclusion, just as blacks have been excluded from the onset of modernity.
3. In the Quest for New Humanity
In the last chapter of The Wretched of the Earth, Fanon sends out a rallying call for the search of “new humanity.” In his own words, “Come, then, comrades. . . . Let us waste no time in sterile litanies and nauseating mimicry. Leave this Europe where they are never done talking of Man, yet murder men everywhere they find them, at the comer of every one of their own streets, in all the corners of the globe.” This call is his response to modernity’s violence and dehumanization, which claimed European humanity and superiority in order to assume greater wealth and power at the expense of colonized peoples denied their own humanism. Fanon wisely reminds us, however, that “[t]his new humanity cannot do otherwise than define a new humanism both for itself and for others.”(55) Veering away from Western ideals of humanism, this “new humanity” must be an inclusive one, founded not on race, but on other forms of social organization.
Because of Western modernity’s history of colonialism and slavery, emancipation propels the Africana quest for “new humanity.” Indeed, in Existentia Africana: Understanding Africana Existential Thought (2000), Gordon situates the African diaspora language about existence in the tradition of “[e]xistential philosophy” (56) as it “addresses problems of freedom, anguish, dread, responsibility, embodied agency, sociality, and liberation. . . through a focus on the human condition.”(57) Gordon points out to such precursors of Africana thought as Du Bois, Fanon, Alain Locke, C.L.R. James, among many others, who responding to the consequences of colonialism and slavery have always engaged identity issues about in tandem with teleological questions of liberation of Africana people(58). Also, in Africana Critical Theory: Reconstructing the Black Radical Tradition, from W. E. B. Du Bois and C. L. R. James to Frantz Fanon and Amilcar Cabral (2009), Reiland Rabaka sees this “study of race in the interest of ‘emancipating the oppressed’”(59) blacks as Africana critical theory(60) as redefined by Angela Davis(61). According to Davis, founded and formulated by the Frankfurt School, critical theory envisions philosophy as a productive engagement with other disciplines for “social transformation. . . reduction and elimination of human misery,” in general, and black wretchedness, in particular(62). This interdisciplinary engagement between philosophy and Africana existence for the sake of “emancipation of the oppressed” Africans and people of African descent is what I call Africana quest for “new humanity” or humanism of liberation.
With its legitimate enunciation starting with Abolition, the Africana quest for “new humanity” has from the onset been interlocked with modernity, Western humanistic fundamentalism, and the Eurocentric realization of power through domination of Africana people. As such, this “new humanity” for which Africana people search is propelled by a quest for liberation.(63) Mutinies in slave ships,(64) the Underground Railroad, narratives of enslaved people, rebellions of the enslaved, maroon societies, the Haitian Revolution—with its reiteration of French ideals of liberal humanism in “equality,” “liberty”, and “fraternity” founded in the first black republic in the New World—are all Africana historical, political, and epistemic practices in the quest for “new humanity.” Other events and discourses of liberation include Africana anticolonial movements, resistance against the Scramble for Africa, pan-Africanism, black nationalisms, national liberation, decolonization, and anti-Apartheid movements. All these Africana epistemic practices expand ideals of humanism by critiquing Eurocentric epistemic and ontological claims of humanity by dehumanizing the other. As Fanon proposes, the “new humanity” must be pursued through new notions about “being human” or “human being,” deserting Western discourse and practices’ hypocritical and self-serving celebration of the “human” and legitimization of [chattel] slavery,(65) colonialism, discrimination and violence against black people.
This Africana quest for “new humanity” should not, however, be taken as one monolithic practice among Africans and the African diaspora even if there is a shared experience of slavery and colonialism among blacks around the world. In the African diaspora, due to the history of chattel slavery and the resulting erasure of the African-American memory of homeland, this “new humanity” generally encompasses a selective assimilation of useful Western discourses, institutions, and technologies within cultural and political practices of the African diaspora, creating a relatively autonomous humanism distinct from the Eurocentric. Michael Hanchard calls this— as proposed by Du Bois in The Souls of Black Folk—Afro-modernity.(66) In addition to recognizing the colonial cultural legacy, the African “new humanity” or Afro-modernity undertakes, as Fanon and Cabral propose in The Wretched of the Earth and Return to the Source an archeology and genealogy of its indigenous knowledges and systems of knowing. And so, the Africana quest for “new humanity” is a “struggle for liberation. . . for humanization. . . structurally similar to therapy”(67) towards a creation of “a value system that places priority on the “welfare, worth, and dignity of human beings” under Western humanistic fundamentalism and domination even if interlocked within it.
For Du Bois, this “new humanity” is founded on “double consciousness.”(68) That is, a “sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his twoness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”(69) Developed in The Souls of Black Folk’s first chapter “Of Our Spiritual Strivings,” Du Boisean “double-consciousness” critical theory examines the black unsettled humanism in the United States, the system that disconcerts their humanism, and the everyday language that speaks of this disruption in the “welfare, worth, and dignity of human beings.” As such, Dubois proposes “new humanity” “through race (identity), policy (emancipation), and a humanistic sociology. . . a way of studying oppressed people without denying their humanity.”(70) Examining “questions of problematic existence and suffering animate” as well as “inaugurate Africana liberation thought and Africana critical race theory”(71) through unveiling the system under which they are in domination. Du Bois reveals the ironies of American liberal humanism, which declares “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness,”(72) while sanctioning popular and systemic racism, excluding the “black American from the mainstream of. . . society.” The “double-consciousness” is then an epistemic strategy that recognizes “the psychic and spatial tension [and partition] that White supremacy engenders,”(73) while seeing a possibility of liberating the self as an “American.” The “sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others” implies a mind conscious that it is colonized, as such, decolonization is its corollary.
In “Of Our Spiritual Strivings” one hears Du Bois critically voicing the epistemic trauma that blacks experience particularly in the United States resulting from slavery and a systemically racialized humanism, while struggling for emancipation. Joy Degruy describes this multigenerational trauma as “post traumatic slave syndrome,” resulting from undiagnosed and/or untreated post-traumatic stress disorder inherited from the enormous suffering of enslaved and oppressed ancestors, including the racism and discrimination endured through generations both before and since the Emancipation Proclamation.(74) Du Bois experiences this trauma through a “double-consciousness,” a split of the black humanistic experience in “twoness” or a “twice-told tale”(75) that reproduces the black human being as “an American” and “a Negro” with “two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body.” Many have engaged the Du Boisean concept of “double consciousness.” Dickson D. Bruce Jr. points to three meanings inferred by “double consciousness.” The first is linked to “the real power of white stereotypes in black life and thought.” (76) As Patricia J. Williams describes it, popular racism is often articulated through paternalistic responses towards both political movements and personal attempts to provide equal access to education, housing, and employment to African-Americans: "They're not intellectual,” “They can't,” "They're lazy,” “They don't want to.”(77) The second meaning of “American/Negro” is “created by the practical racism that excluded every black American from the mainstream of the society.”(78) This takes a form of systemic racism which operates ideologically through bureaucracy: It can be overt and concrete or discreet and abstract, as in legal and/or practical segregation in public and private spheres; limited access to higher education; denial of bank loans; exclusion from housing and/or employment; suppression of voting rights; disproportionate disciplinary actions or prison sentences or traffic stops or extrajudicial killings. As Williams asserts, in America, “there is still within the national psyche a deep, self-replicating strain of denial” (79) of equality to blacks. Because both systemic and popular racism control such humanistic needs as access and denial to education, housing, and employment, [f]or blacks, the prospect of attaining full rights under law has been a fiercely motivational, almost religious, source of hope ever since arrival on these shores.”(80) The aspirational quest for “attaining full rights under the law” is seen as the means to the ends of black “welfare, worth, and dignity.” In fact, Du Bois’s critique of humanism through “color line” and “double-consciousness” is an epistemic “study of race in the interest of ‘emancipating the oppressed’.”(81)The last meaning of Du Boisean “double-consciousness,” as Bruce Jr. notes, has to do with the conflicted existential experience of blacks “being both an American and not an American.” In fact, for Reinald Rabaka, Du Bois’s “double-consciousness” is “the psychological condition and social state where blacks incessantly and uncritically engage and judge their life-worlds and life-struggles exclusively utilizing the white world’s anti-black racist culture and conceptions of civilization.”(82) The internalization of Eurocentric views, values, and other othering practices create “an internal conflict in the African American individual,”(83) which constantly displaces the individual from the sense of “welfare, worth, and dignity,” resulting in what I have been calling, here, epistemic trauma and Degruy calls “post traumatic slave syndrome.”
Du Bois’s “double-consciousness” critiques this epistemic trauma resulting from the internalized conflict as “a Negro,” “outcast and stranger”(84) projected by Eurocentrism. He responds by enunciating an authoritative “new humanity” of “an American” shaped by modern historical predicaments—colonialism, slavery, emancipation, Reconstruction, Jim Crow, etc. The struggling “double-consciousness” questions while refusing to give in to Eurocentric racialized humanism, for “He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world.”(85) Du Bois asserts “[t]he history of the American Negro. . . longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost.” Thus, the Du Boisean “double-consciousness” affirms “Negro” identity, which is also culture, polity, and history, in short, an epistemic and cosmological tradition. Beyond racial identity, the concept “Negro” here also has value-system connotations. The “metaphor of darkness” to which the “Negro” or “dark body” has been reproduced also means a darkness of that value system that prioritized the “welfare, worth, and dignity” of black human beings, which were presumed contradictory to the Western value system. By reclaiming the “Negro,” Dubois not only “simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American,”(86) but he also reclaims black views and values as part of American ideals of humanism. As Bruce Jr. observes, “[f]or Du Bois the essence of a distinctive African consciousness was its spirituality, a spirituality based in Africa but revealed among African Americans in their folklore.”(87) Because the “Negro” carries in his “double-consciousness” the Transatlantic history of captivity, in order to be a liberated American, he must bring along with him the history of slavery and its traumatic consequences—the propellers of emancipation. Dubois’s search for an emancipated “new humanity” is evident in his “ideological transformations from an integrationist of sorts to an emergent mode of African American, first, and then Pan-Africanist cultural nationalism, through socialism, landing squarely in the embrace of the communist party,”(88) including his journey to Africa, death, and burial on the continent. All these are efforts to decolonize the African-American mind in search of “new humanity.”
Another Africana critical theorist whose growing consciousness for liberation involves abandoning his Martinican-French citizenship, returning to Africa, avidly theorizing about African emancipation, while fighting for Algerian independence is Frantz Fanon. Like Du Bois, Fanon’s new humanism is concerned with ethics, particularly the “emancipation of the oppressed.” His “new humanity” is thoroughly developed in The Wretched of the Earth, a psychoanalysis of the “colonial world,” its dehumanizing effects— through the economy, polity, knowledge, and identity— while providing a revolutionary prescription for decolonization. In “Concerning violence,” the chapter selection here, Fanon argues that the “colonial world,” is founded and maintained through “violence” both physical and metaphysical, which dehumanizes the colonized beyond economic exploitation. As Rabaka observes, Fanon’s critique of colonialism “moved beyond a purely economic or Marxist analysis and placed greater emphasis on the psycho-socio-political pitfalls and ideological implications of the distinct dimensions of. . . racial colonialism.”(89) While producing whites as human beings, “racial colonialism” reproduces the colonized natives as “sub-humans”(90) and non-humans. As Fanon puts it, in the colonial world there is no margin for “mutual recognition” from a Hegelian sense of human relations between the master and the slave.(91) For the Hegelian master and slave, relations of power are rooted in European history (Greek and Roman), in which masters and slaves were both white, belonging more or less to the same cultural system, which makes them “recognize themselves as mutually recognizing each other.”(92) In the Fanonian colonial world of whites and natives (black and brown), because of racism the “White Master without conflict, recognized the Negro slave”(93) as a “non-human”(94) or “non-dialectical being,” abolishing any possibility of “mutual recognition.”(95) Also, the “colonial master does not want recognition from the slave but work. . . the slave cannot achieve his freedom through labor upon the object. Rather he focuses his attention on the (impossible) project like becoming like the Master—that is, becoming white.”(96) Because [t]here is not an open conflict between white and black,”(97) “slave wants to make himself recognized”(98) or liberated as a human through “violence” and/or “decolonization.” As Nigel C. Gibson puts it, “Fanon can be considered a Marxist-humanist, in the sense that he is not championing a static notion of human nature, but a human ‘potential’ which can be ‘created by revolutionary beginnings,’ and where social relationships give meaning to life.”(99) Liberation—political, historical, and epistemic—is also the foundation of the Fanonian “new humanity.”
For Fanon, “violence” and/or “decolonization” are the only languages with which the colonized must stake true recognition and or liberation before the colonizer, because the colonial world came into being through “violence” and the colonized “cannot achieve his freedom through labor.” I see the Fanonian liberation project through “violence” ironic because it critiques the Manicheanism of the colonial world while advocating for a Manichean resolution for “decoloniazation.” As Jean-Paul Sartre puts it in the preface to The Wretched of the Earth, “[t]he child of violence, at every moment he draws from it his humanity.”(100) As Fanon puts it, “[d]ecolonization. . . introduced by new man, and with it a new language and a new humanity. . . is the veritable creation of new man. . . the ‘thing’ which has been colonized becomes man during the same process by which it frees itself.”(101) This “new man/humanity” through “violence” and/or “political decolonization” starts from a political reclamation of one of the most fundamental human assets in the hands of the master/colonizer: “the land,” which provides “[f]or the colonized people the most essential value. . . the most concrete. . . which will bring them bread and, above all, dignity.”(102) Reclaiming the land, for Fanon, is the first step for the racially colonized/enslaved to rebuild that very same “welfare, worth, and dignity” that were disordered and endured epistemic trauma through European conquest, slavery, and colonialism. “Violence” or “political decolonization” will “put an end to the history of colonization—the history of pillage—and to bring into existence the history of the nation.”(103) The land becomes the used canvas (already inscribed with pre-colonial and colonial history) on which “the history of the nation” will be inscribed.
Beyond armed “violence” against the colonizer/master, Fanon, secondly, advocates for an epistemic “decolonization” through an archeology and genealogy of the praxis of the colonized. While struggling for liberation, “Fanon recognizes the crucial importance, for subordinate peoples, of asserting their indigenous cultural traditions and retrieving their repressed histories.”(104) Through coloniality and “racial colonialism” there is also a “racialization of thought”(105) that diminishes the knowledge and systems of knowing of the colonized natives as “[n]on-existent. . . in any relevant or comprehensible way of being,” therefore “radically excluded because it lies beyond the realm of what the accepted conception of inclusion considers to be its other.”(106) Epistemic decolonization asserts the knowledge and systems of knowing of the colonized, which have not been rationalized and attributed any reason by the colonizer.(107) The assertion of the knowledge of the colonized native, however does not mean going back to how things used to be. Because of the history of colonialism—its institutions, languages, and values—the new knowledge and systems of knowing of the colonized integrate European discourses and Western languages and philosophies within the cultural and political praxis of the colonized, creating a relatively autonomous knowledge and system of knowing distinct from the Eurocentric. The Fanonian search for “new humanity”(108) is a fusion of revolutionary tactic (such as the forceful end of colonialism) and epistemic strategy (archeology and genealogy of the past values as to understand the future). These historical, political, and epistemic practices give birth to “a new man,”(109) whose “humanity cannot do otherwise than define a new humanism both for itself and for others.”(110)
One African critical theorist whose humanism of liberation resembles Fanon is Amílcar Cabral. Like Fanon, Cabral lead the African Revolution against Portuguese colonialism/imperialism in Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde. In Concepts of Cabralism: Amílcar Cabral and Africana Critical Theory (2014), Reinald Rabaka situates Cabral in the tradition of Africana critical theory, particularly his interest in emancipating oppressed Africans through asserting their indigenous traditions(111). Cabral’s critical theory and humanism of liberation are articulated in Return to the Source, particularly in “National Liberation and Culture,” the selected chapter here, in which he calls the Bissau-Guinean colonized leadership specifically, and Africans generally, to “return to the source,” that is to reclaim African “indigenous views and values”(112) as the path towards liberation from European colonialism, imperialism, and neocolonialism:
[P]eople who free themselves from foreign domination will be free culturally only if, without complexes and without underestimating the importance of positive accretions from the oppressor and other cultures, they return to the upward paths of their own culture, which is nourished by the living reality of its environment, and which negates both harmful influences and any kind of subjection to foreign culture. Thus, it may be seen that if imperialist domination has the vital need to practice cultural oppression, national liberation is necessarily an act of culture(113).
Cabral speaks in a time when Africa—particularly those territories colonized by Portugal—was still under colonialism, as such dominated by “coloniality” since its establishment in the dawn of modernity and throughout the Scramble for Africa. Indeed, Portugal—whose presence in Africa can be traced as far back as the fifteenth century when Pope Nicholas V sanctioned the Doctrine of Discovery—with the Scramble for Africa, the myth of “assimilation,”(114) and the civilizing mission also codified differences between the colonizer and the colonized using race as the organizing principle. This race-based difference established the superiority of Europeans and inferiority of Africans as race organized the economy, polity, knowledge and identity. Economically, Africans were reduced to forced labor, excluding their political participation within the Portuguese ideals of humanism. African knowledge and systems of knowing were also racialized, rationalized as primitivism, excluded, and presumed virtually non-existent as “Salazar [the twentieth century Portuguese fascist president] affirmed Africa does not exist,”(115) echoing Hegel’s Philosophy of History.
Cabral’s call for cultural freedom and plea for decolonization resembles that of many African critical theorists such as Fanon, Ngugi Wa Thiongo’s Decolonizing the Mind (1986), and Ibekwe Chinweizu’s Decolonizing the African Mind (1987). ‘Like Fanon, Cabral “negates both harmful influences and any kind of subjection to foreign culture” the founders of the “colonial world.” Throughout his struggle, Cabral also politically liberated land, established “liberated zones”— popular democratic structures, focused on agriculture and education, where women played both political and military leadership roles—founding a new “value system that place[d] priority on the welfare, worth, and dignity of human beings.” The liberated zones became spaces within which Cabral rationalized indigenous praxis, attributing it reason, “discover[ing] at the grassroots the richness of their cultural values (philosophic, political, artistic, social and moral) acquir[ing] a clear understanding of the economic realities of the country, of the problems, sufferings and hopes of the popular masses.”(116) Also, Wa Thiogo calls for reclamation of African indigenous languages as carriers of “the entire body of values by which we come to perceive ourselves and our place in the world.”(117) Like Wa Thiongo, Cabral asserts indigenous languages in articulation of African humanism because “[l]anguage as culture is the collective memory bank of people’s experience in history. . . . Language carries culture and culture carries . . . the entire body of values by which we come to perceive ourselves and our place in the world.”(118) Language is fundamental in shaping one’s cultural reality, including humanism, for “culture is highly dependent and reciprocal nature of its linkages with the social and economic reality of the environment, with the level of productive forces and mode of production of the society which created it. . . . [C]ulture, the fruit of history, reflects at every moment the material and spiritual reality of society.”(119) In addition, Chinweizu calls for the need to “overthrow the authority that alien traditions exercise over the African. . . dismantling. . . white supremacist beliefs, and the structures that uphold them, in every area of African life.”(120). Cabral’s rationalization of African knowledge and systems of knowing decolonizes the African mind. Like Chinweizu, Cabral’s critical theory of recognizes the need to dismantle Portuguese racist values towards “every area of African life” as an act of liberation. As shown above, “racial colonialism” has represented Africa, Africans, and African knowledge and systems of knowing as primitive, inferior, and non-existent. It has removed Africa and Africans from their own terms of humanism, the root cause of epistemic trauma. In reclaiming African cultures, Cabral is engaging with this systemic racial disruption of African “welfare, worth, and dignity” in search of “new humanity.’
Therfore, in “National Liberation and Culture,” Cabral envisions an engagement of culture, history, and African liberation. In his own words, “culture is an essential element of the history of a people. Culture is, perhaps, the product of this history just as a flower is the product of a plant. Like history, or because it is history, culture has as its material base the level of the productive forces and the mode of production.”(121) As an everyday practice of social, economic, political relations, culture plays an essential role in the historical process as it nurtures “a value system that places priority on the welfare, worth, and dignity of human beings” in the course of their history. Cultural domination, for Cabral, is therefore a historical subjugation, a “negation of the historical process.”(122) As such, asserting African indigenous traditions is reclaiming a repressed history, which is in and for itself an African liberation.
Dubois, Fanon, and Cabral no longer claim inclusion and/or recognition within Western ideals of humanism. They have learned from history and experience that inclusion and/or recognition of blackness within Western humanism is a myth. Eurocentrism—“epistemicide,” “epistemic violence,” and “epistemic fundamentalism”—has divided humanism by racial lines, placing whiteness as the practice of “welfare, worth, and dignity of African human beings.” Dubois, Fanon, and Cabral, instead, propose a new alternative humanity founded on Africana experience. Du Bois finds this “new humanity” in the irony of “double consciousness,” a critical theory that interrogates the black constant dehumanization through looking for the self through Eurocentric racialized ideals of humanism resulting in epistemic trauma, while reclaiming the “soul of the black folk” as the proper “value system that places priority on the welfare, worth, and dignity of [Africana] human beings.” In his search for ‘new concepts” for “new humanity,” Fanon realizes that Eurocentric ideals of humanism, as long as they maintain a “colonial world” will forever displace black humanism through “racial colonialism.” So, Fanon proposes “violence,” which he considers “a cleansing force. It rids the colonized of their inferiority complex, of their passive and despairing attitude . . . . Violence hoists the people up to the level of the leader.”(123) Because overthrowing the colonial system is not enough to restore the colonized black humanism, Fanon also proposes epistemic “decolonization,” or an archeology and genealogy of knowledge and systems of knowing of the colonized not only to serve as a rehabilitation and “justification for the hope of a future,” but also to create a “psycho-affective equilibrium . . . responsible for an important change in the”(124) mind of the colonized. Finally, Cabral’s “new humanity,” following Fanon’s epistemic prescription traces African cultural traditions by proposing the “return to the source,” as a forward and upward path towards liberation. In Cabral’s own words, “with a strong indigenous cultural life, foreign domination cannot be sure of its perpetuation”(125) as liberation is secured.
Dubois, Fanon, and Cabral engage in critical theory for the liberation of the oppressed. As Angela Davis puts it, “critical theory envisions philosophy not so much as an abstract or general engagement with questions of human existence; rather, it envisions a productive relationship between philosophy and other disciplines. . . and the use of this knowledge in projects to radically transform society. . . thus the reduction and elimination of human misery.”(126) By searching for “new humanity” focusing on “oppressed humanity” or “humanism of the oppressed,” Cabral’s, Fanon’s, and Du Bois’ critical theories indeed visualize philosophy beyond abstractions of human existence,” towards a concrete engagement with history, sociology, psychiatry, and cultural studies for “social transformation and “reeducation and elimination of human misery.” Despite their cultural and contextual differences and the different problems that they confront, these Africana critical theorists share a perspective that provides restorative “new humanity” founded on African and “black liberation” as an alternative to the exclusive Eurocentric racialized ideals of humanity.
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- Although Frantz Fanon is one of the first Africana critical thinkers to overtly call for “new humanity” and abandonment of European ironic ideals of humanism, which liberate Man while enslaving him; use race to split the Human between human vs non-human (The Wretched of the Earth 36, 246, 311-316), many who came before and after him such as W. E. B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Malcolm X, Kwame Nkrumah, Julius Nyerere, and Amílcar Cabral have, in other words, called for liberation from Western humanism through rethinking a different humanity.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (New York: Grove Press, 1963) 316.
- Lewis R. Gordon, An Introduction to Africana Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 186.
- Vincent Leitch, edt., The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism (New York: W.W.Norton and Compony: 2004), 2193.
- “Decolonizing knowledge - Norms, methods, and disciplinary decadence,” Youtube Video 24:10-13, Université Paris-Est, March 25, 2015, https://youtu.be/-fsJnqdIFTE; Ramón Grosfoguel, "The Structure of Knowledge in Westernized Universities: Epistemic Racism/Sexism and the Four Genocides/Epistemicides of the Long 16th Century," Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Vol. 11: Iss. 1, Article 8, (2013): 84.
- Dorothy E. Roberts, Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (New York: Vintage Books, A Division of Random House, LLC, 2016), 31.
- Linda Garnets, Douglas Kimmel, edts; Psychological Perspectives on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Experiences (New York: Columbia University Press, 2003) 277; Henry Abelove, Michèle Aina Barale, David M. Halperin, Edts; The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader (New York: Routledge, 1993), 62-90.
- Quijano, “Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America”; Dussel, “Eurocentrism and Modernity”; “Mignolo, The Darker Side of Modernity, 8; Mignolo and Escobar, Globalization and the Decolonial Option.
- See W. E. B Du Bois, W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (Cambridge, USA: University Press, John Wilson and Son, 1903) 1.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 35-106.
- See Amílcar Cabral’s Return to the Source: Selected Speeches of Amílcar Cabral. New York and London: Monthly Review Press, 1973.
- Gordon, “Through the Zone of Non-Being: A Reading of Black Skin, White Masks in Celebration of Fanon’s Eightieth Birthday,” The C.L.R. James Journal 11, no. 1 (Summer 2005): 1-43.
- Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, 1.
- Quijano, “Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America”; Dussel, “Eurocentrism and Modernity”; “Mignolo, The Darker Side of Modernity, 8; Mignolo and Escobar, Globalization and the Decolonial Option.
- Enrique Dussel, “Eurocentrism and Modernity (Introduction to Frankfurt Lectures),” Boundary 2, Vol. 20, No. 3, The Postmodernism Debate in Latin America, Duke University Press, (Autumn, 1993): 65-76; Boaventura de Sousa Santos, “Beyond Abyssal Thinking: From global lines to ecologies of knowledges,” Revista Crítica de Ciências Sociais, Portugal, Eurozine, (29 June 2007): 1-42; Walter D. Mignolo. The Darker Side of Western Modernity: Global Futures, Decolonial Options. Durham: Duke University Press, 2011.
- Santos, “Beyond Abyssal Thinking,” 1.
- Boaventura de Sousa Santos, Epistemologies of the South (New York: Routledge, 2016) 93.
- Ramón Grosfoguel, "The Structure of Knowledge in Westernized Universities: Epistemic Racism/Sexism and the Four Genocides/Epistemicides of the Long 16th Century," Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Vol. 11: Iss. 1, Article 8, (2013): 73-90.
- Aimé Césaire, Discourse on Colonialism. New York: Monthly Review Press, 1972.
- Ramon Grosfoguel, “Epistemic Islamophobia and Colonial Social Sciences,” Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self- Knowledge, Vol. 8: Iss. 2, Article 5, (2010): 29-38.
- Enrique Dussel, “Eurocentrism and Modernity (Introduction to the Frankfurt Lectures),” Boundary 2, Vol. 20, No. 3, The Postmodernism Debate in Latin America, Duke University Press, (Autumn, 1993) 65.
- C. Raymond Beazley, ‘Prince Henry of Portugal and the African Crusade of the Fifteenth Century”; The American Historical Review, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Oct., 1910), pp. 11-23; Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Historical Association; January 2018, www.jstor.org.
- See Pope Nicholas V, “Romanus Pontifex,” in Francis Gardiner Davenport, edt.; European Treaties Bearing on the History of the United States and Its Dependencies to 1648 (Washington, DC: Carnegie Institution of Washington, Publication No. 254; 1917) 23; V.Y. Mudimbe, The Invention of Africa (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1988), 58.
- Achille Mbembé, “On the Power of the False.” Duke University Press: Public Culture, Volume 14, Number 3, (Fall 2002): 629-641.
- Jacques Derrida, Dissemination (London: The Anthlone Press, 1981), viii.
- Derrida, Dissemination.
- Derrida, Dissemination.
- See V. Y. Mudimbe, The Invention of Africa: Gnosis, Philosophy, and the Order of Knowledge (Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1988) 58 online version www.libcom.org.
- Davenport 23.
- Paul Gilroy. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness. New York: Verso, 1993; Dussel, “Eurocentrism and Modernity”; Anibal Quijano, “Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America,” Nepantla: Views from South 1.3 Duke University Press (2000): 533-536; Mignolo, The Darker Side of Modernity; Mignolo and Arturo Escobar, Globalization and the Decolonial Option. New York: Routledge, 2010.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 37-43.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 41.
- Quijano, “Coloniality of Power, Eurocentrism, and Latin America” 533.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 38-39.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 40.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 41.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 41.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 39-40.
- Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze, edt., Race and the Enlightenment: A Reader (Malden: Blackwell Publishing, 1997) 4; Mudimbe, The Invention of Africa; 25, 30, 82, and 85.
- David Hume, Essays and Treatises on Several Subjects (London, 1758), vol. 1, 12511.
- Immanuel Kant, Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime and Other Writings (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 58-59.
- Kant, Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime, 310-311.
- Georg W. F. Hegel, The Philosophy of History (New York: Cosimo Classics, 2007), 91.
- Eze, Race and the Enlightenment, 5.
- Eze, Race and the Enlightenment.
- Eze, Race and the Enlightenment, 4.
- Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, 14.
- Gordon, edt., Existentia Africana: Understanding Africana Existential Thought (London & New York: Routledge, 2000 ) 63.
- Gordon, Existentia Africana.
- Gordon, Existentia Africana.
- Gordon, Existentia Africana.
- See Grosfoguel, “Decolonizing Post-Colonial Studies and Paradigms of Political-Economy: Transmodernity, Decolonial Thinking, and Global Coloniality.” Journal of Peripheral Cultural Production of the Luso-Hispanic World, School of Social Sciences, Humanities, and Arts, UC Merced, (2011): 6.
- See Fernando Ortiz, Cuban Counterpoint: Tobacco and Sugar (Durham: Duke University Press, 1995) 97-104.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 246.
- Gordon, Existentia Africana, 7
- Gordon, Existentia Africana.
- Gordon, Existentia Africana, 4
- Railand Rabaka, The Negritude Movement: W.E.B. Du Bois, Leon Damas, Aimé Césaire, Leopold Senghor, Frantz Fanon, and the Evolution of an Insurgent Idea (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2015), 13.
- See Rabaka, Africana Critical Theory: Reconstructing the Black Radical Tradition, from W. E. B. Du Bois and C. L. R. James to Frantz Fanon and Amilcar Cabral (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2009) 1-36.
- George Yancy, edt., African-American Philosophers: 17 Conversations (London & New York: Routledge, 1998), 22.
- Yancy, edt., African-American Philosophers.
- Gordon, Existentia Africana, 7; Rabaka, Africana Critical Theory, 5.
- Lorenzo J. Greene. Mutiny of the Slave Ships. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1944.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 311.
- In “Afro-Modernity: Temporality, Politics, and the African Diaspora,” Michael Hanchard has talked about Africana humanism as Afro-modernity. See Dilip Parameshwar Gaonkar Alternative Modernities (Durham: Duke University Press, 2001) 272-298.
- Gordon, Existentia Africana, 34.
- Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, 3.
- Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, 3.
- Gordon, Existentia Africana, 4.
- Gordon, Existentia Africana, 8
- Thomas Jefferson et al. “The Declaration of Independence” www.archives.org
- Charles F. Peterson; Dubois, Fanon, Cabral: The Margins of Elite Anti-Colonial Leadership (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2007) 15.
- Joy Degruy, Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome: America's Legacy of Enduring Injury and Healing. Joy Degruy Leary. Uptone Press, 2005.
- Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, 4.
- Bruce Dickinson, “W. E. B. Dubois and the Idea of Double Consciousness.” American Literature, 64, 2, (1992) 301.
- Patricia J. Williams, The Alchemy of Race and Rights (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1991) 151.
- Dickinson Jr., “W. E. B. Dubois and the Idea of Double Consciousness,” 301.
- Williams, The Alchemy of Race and Rights.
- Williams, The Alchemy of Race and Rights, 154.
- Rabaka, The Negritude Movement: W.E.B. Du Bois, Leon Damas, Aimé Césaire, Leopold Senghor, Frantz Fanon, and the Evolution of an Insurgent Idea (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2015) 13.
- Rabaka, The Negritude Movement, 9.
- Dickinson, “W. E. B. Dubois and the Idea of Double Consciousness,” 301.
- Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, 3.
- Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk.
- Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk.
- Dickinson Jr., “W. E. B. Dubois and the Idea of Double Consciousness,” 301.
- Rabaka, The Negritude Movement, 290.
- Rabaka, The Negritude Movement, 291-292.
- Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2018) 109-116; Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks (London: Pluto Press, 1986) 216-222; Nigel C. Gibson, Fanon: The Postcolonial Imagination (Oxford, Cambridge: Polity Press, 2003), 30; Phillip Honenberger, “Le Nègre et Hegel”: Fanon on Hegel, Colonialism, and the Dialectics of Recognition," Human Architecture: Journal of the Sociology of Self-Knowledge: Vol. 5: Iss. 3, Article 15 (2007): 153.
- Hegel, The Phenomenology of Spirit, 110; Fanon; Black Skin, White Masks; 217.
- Fanon; Black Skin, White Masks; 217.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 42.
- Honenberger, “Le Nègre et Hegel,” 154.
- Honenberger, “Le Nègre et Hegel,” 154-155.
- Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks, 217.
- Fanon, Black Skin, White Masks.
- Gibson, Rethinking Fanon: The Continuing Dialogue (Michigan: Humanity Books, 1999) 117.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 24.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 36-37.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 44.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth 51.
- Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture (New York: Routledge, 1994) 9.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 210; Rabaka, Africana Critical Theory (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2009) 169.
- Sousa Santos, “Beyond Abyssal Thinking,” 1.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 149.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth 246, 311-316.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth 316.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth 246.
- Rabaka, Concepts of Cabralism: Amílcar Cabral and Africana Critical Theory. Lanham, MD: 2014.
- Rabaka, Concepts of Cabralism, 158.
- Cabral, Return to the Source, 43.
- Cabral, Return to the Source, 40.
- Cabral, Return to the Source, 40.
- Cabral, Return to the Source, 54.
- Ngugi Wa Thiong, Decolonizing the Mind: The Politics of Language in African Literature (London: James Currey, 1986) 5-16.
- Wa Thiong’o Decolonizing the Mind, 15-16.
- Cabral, Return to the Source, 50.
- Chinweizu, Decolonizing the African Mind (Lagos, Nigeria: Pero Press, 1987) 6.
- Cabral, Return to the Source, 42.
- Rabaka, Africana Critical Theory, 233.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth (New York: Grove Press, 2004) 51.
- Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth, 210.
- Cabral 39-40.
- Yancy, African-American Philosophers, 22.