African-American Humanism: An Anthology / Edition 1

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Overview

This collection demonstrates the strong influence that humanism and freethought had in developing the history and ideals of black intellectualism.

Most people are quick to note the profound influence that religion has played in African-American history: consoling the downtrodden slave or inspiring the abolitionists, the underground railroad, and the civil rights movement. But few are aware of the role humanism played in shaping the black experience: developing the thought and motivating the actions of powerful African-American intellectuals.

Section One of this book offers biographical sketches of such prominent black humanists as Frederick Douglass, Cheikh Anta Diop, W.E.B. DuBois, Hubert H. Harrison, and Richard Wright.

Section Two features essays by black humanists: Douglass, DuBois, Charles W. Faulkner, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Ishmael Jaffree, Claude McKay, Melvin B. Tolson, and Bruce Wright.

Section Three offers the views of contemporary black African humanists: Freda Amakye Ansah, Emmanuel Kofi Mensah, Nkeonye Otakpor, Franz Vanderpuye, and Kwasi Wiredu.

Section Four contains interviews conducted by Allen on the subjects of black humanist activism, the Afroasiatic roots of classical civilization, and the Harlem Renaissance with: Martin G. Bernal, Charles Faulkner, Leonard Harris, Norman Hill, and Alaine Locke.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
YA-- A timely, scholarly collection that focuses on the important and often overlooked role humanism has played in shaping the lives of African Americans. In his introduction, Allen challenges readers to acknowledge the humanistic, nontheistic beliefs of blacks who have made history in addition to their more well-known religious beliefs. The book features 21 individuals, offering biographical essays, writings by black American and African humanists, and transcripted interviews conducted by the editor. Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, W. E. B. DuBois, and Norman Hill are among those included. Because the selections vary in degree of difficulty, with many requiring a strong background in philosophy, religion, and political and literary theory, the anthology is for sophisticated readers. The views presented often challenge or question established religious positions or practices. An important addition to collections on African-American culture and thought. --Virgil R. Davala, Thomas Jefferson Sci-Tech, Fairfax County, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879756581
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 8/28/1991
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.36 (h) x 0.63 (d)

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