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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.