Although the American Philosophical Association has more than 11,000 members, there are still fewer than 125 Black philosophers in the United States, including fewer than thirty Black women holding a PhD in philosophy and working in a philosophy department in the academy.1The following is a “musing” about how I became one of them and how I have sought to create a positive philosophical space for all of us.
While acknowledging Hannah Arendt's keen philosophical and political insights, Kathryn T. Gines claims that there are some problematic assertions and oversights regarding Arendt’s treatment of the "Negro question." Gines focuses on Arendt's reaction to the desegregation of Little Rock schools, to laws making mixed marriages illegal, and to the growing civil rights movement in the south. Reading them alongside Arendt's writings on revolution, the human condition, violence, and responses to the Eichmann war crimes trial, Gines provides a systematic analysis of (...) anti-black racism in Arendt’s work. (shrink)
In this chapter I problematize Beauvoir's analogical analyses in The Second Sex, arguing that her utilization of the race/gender analogy omits the experiences and oppressions of Black women. Furthermore, taking into account select secondary literature that emphasizes these issues, I argue that several of Beauvoir's white feminist defenders and critics share in common their non‐engagement with Black feminist literature on Beauvoir. Put another way, Black feminists who explicitly take up Beauvoir in their writings have remained largely unacknowledged in the secondary (...) literature on Beauvoir by white feminists. As a corrective to this erasure, I highlight the scholarly contributions of Black feminists including Loraine Hansberry, Chikwenye Ogunyemi, Deborah King, Oyeronke Oyewumi, and bell hooks. (shrink)
This critical commentary is presented in two parts. The first section, “Intersecting Contracts: Conceptual Interventions and Aims,” provides an overview of Mills's analysis of the racia-sexual contract and the divergent positions of white men, white women, nonwhite men, and nonwhite women. The second section, “Privilege and Patriarchy: Does ‘Race Generally Trump Gender’?,” shows how Mills offers an uneven representation of critiques presented by women of color theorists. For example, he focuses on the critiques of white women, emphasizing the asymmetry between (...) white women and nonwhite men as well as the tensions between white women and nonwhite women. This article also problematizes Mills's claim that “race generally trumps gender” and argues for a more nuanced analysis of nonwhite men's participation in patriarchy and privilege. (shrink)
The legacy and future of continental philosophy with regard to the critical philosophy of race can be seen in prominent canonical philosophical figures, the scholarship of contemporary philosophers, and recent edited collections and book series. The following reflections highlight some (though certainly not all) of the contacts and overlaps between a select number of continental philosophers and the critical philosophy of race. In particular, I consider how the continental tradition has contributed to the development of the critical philosophy of race (...) by offering tools from existentialism, phenomenology, and genealogy to emphasize questions of existence, facticity, lived experience, and historicity as they relate to analyses of race, racism, slavery, and colonialism.1 I argue that these tools have been used both implicitly and explicitly in the writings of contemporary continental philosophers who theorize about race and that the critical philosophy of race has impacted and expanded continental philosophy in significant ways. (shrink)
A range of themes—race and gender, sexuality, otherness, sisterhood, and agency—run throughout this collection, and the chapters constitute a collective discourse at the intersection of Black feminist thought and continental philosophy, converging on a similar set of questions and concerns. These convergences are not random or forced, but are in many ways natural and necessary: the same issues of agency, identity, alienation, and power inevitably are addressed by both camps. Never before has a group of scholars worked together to examine (...) the resources these two traditions can offer one another. By bringing the relationship between these two critical fields of thought to the forefront, the book will encourage scholars to engage in new dialogues about how each can inform the other. If contemporary philosophy is troubled by the fact that it can be too limited, too closed, too white, too male, then this groundbreaking book confronts and challenges these problems. -/- Table of Contents -/- Foreword Beverly Guy-Sheftall Acknowledgments Introduction: Black Feminism and Continental Philosophy Maria del Guadalupe Davidson, Kathryn T. Gines, and Donna-Dale L. Marcano -/- 1. Black Feminism, Poststructuralism, and the Contested Character of Experience Diane Perpich -/- 2. Sartre, Beauvoir, and the Race/Gender Analogy: A Case for Black Feminist Philosophy Kathryn T. Gines -/- 3. The Difference That Difference Makes: Black Feminism and Philosophy Donna-Dale L. Marcano -/- 4. Antigone’s Other Legacy: Slavery and Colonialism in Tègònni: An African Antigone Tina Chanter -/- 5. L Is for . . . : Longing and Becoming in The L-Word’s Racialized Erotic Aimee Carrillo Rowe -/- 6. Race and Feminist Standpoint Theory Anika Maaza Mann -/- 7. Rethinking Black Feminist Subjectivity: Ann duCille and Gilles Deleuze Maria del Guadalupe Davidson -/- 8. From Receptivity to Transformation: On the Intersection of Race, Gender, and the Aesthetic in Contemporary Continental Philosophy Robin M. James -/- 9. Extending Black Feminist Sisterhood in the Face of Violence: Fanon, White Women, and Veiled Muslim Women Traci C. West -/- 10. Madness and Judiciousness: A Phenomenological Reading of a Black Woman’s Encounter with a Saleschild Emily S. Lee -/- 11. Black American Sexuality and the Repressive Hypothesis: Reading Patricia Hill Collins with Michel Foucault Camisha Russell -/- 12. Calling All Sisters: Continental Philosophy and Black Feminist Thinkers Kathy Glass -/- Afterword: Philosophy and the Other of the Second Sex George Yancy Contributor Notes Index. (shrink)
Is Jean-Paul Sartre to be credited for Richard Wright's existentialist leanings? This essay argues that while there have been noteworthy philosophical exchanges between Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Richard Wright, we can find evidence of Wright's philosophical and existential leanings before his interactions with Sartre and Beauvoir. In particular, Wright's short story "The Man Who Lived Underground" is analyzed as an existential, or Black existential, project that is published before Wright met Sartre and/or read his scholarship. Existentialist themes that (...) emerge from Wright's short story include flight, guilt, life, death, dread, and freedom. Additionally, it is argued that "The Man Who Lived Underground" offers a reversal of the prototypical allegory of the cave that we find in the Western (ancient Greek) philosophical tradition. The essay takes seriously the significance of the intellectual exchanges between Sartre, Beauvoir, and Wright while also highlighting Wright's own philosophical legacy. (shrink)