Quest for Community and Identity: Critical Essays in Africana Social Philosophy

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This collection of essays engages two of the most fundamental social and political issues of our time: community and identity. Wrestling with the perplexities of these two issues within the Africana world, the contributors delve into the influences of a postmodern world of globalization with outdated, crumbling forms of identity and sociality. In the wake of such an order, new forms of identity and community must be established. Birt has collected an informed group of contributors here, who lay the foundation for a new approach to finding community and identity in the Africana world.

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Editorial Reviews

Recommended for mid- to upper-level courses on African American social and political thought.
Robert Bernasconi
The Quest for Community and Identity is a testimony to the vibrancy of Africana philosophy and the seriousness of the philosophical issues that Africana philosophy raises.
Recommended for mid- to upper-level courses on African American social and political thought.
Lucius T. Outlaw
A significant contribution to social and political philosophy, critical race theory, and African American or Africana Philosophy. . . . The Quest for Community and Identity is an important resource for a number of disciplines and interdisciplinary endeavors.
Although the majority of the 14 essays included here focus on African American thought, the facts that some writers are not African American and some concerns relate to the Black world outside of North America are reflected in the title of this work, edited by Birt (philosophy, Morgan State U.). There is no unified project among these essays, except for a concern with the problems and perplexities of community and identity, especially as they pertain to the modern day situations of Black people. The essays grapple with concrete historical and economic problems, as well as more rarefied philosophical issues. As is to be expected from a work trying to find meaning in the Black experience, the political ramifications of philosophy is never far from view. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780742512917
  • Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/15/2001
  • Series: New Critical Theory Series
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.06 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 0.86 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert E. Birt is assistant professor of philosophy at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland.

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Table of Contents

Part 1 Part 1: Exploring Perplexities of Identity Chapter 2 1. Racism, Historical Ruins, and the Task of Identity Formation Chapter 3 2. To Be or Not to Be Black: Problematics of Racial Identity Chapter 4 3. Postmodernism, Narrative, and the Question of Black Identity Chapter 5 4. Du Bois and Appiah: The Politics of Race and Racial Identity Part 6 Part 2: In Quest of Community: Sociality and Situated Freedom Chapter 7 5. Of the Quest for Freedom As Community Chapter 8 6. Sociality and Community in Black: A Phenomenological Essay Part 9 Part 3: Historical Crises of Identity and Community Chapter 10 7. Visions of Transcendent Community in the Works of Toni Morrison Chapter 11 8. Paulette Nardal, Race Consciousness, and Antillean Letters Chapter 12 9. The Revival of Black Nationalism and the Crisis of Liberal Universalism Chapter 13 10. Commodification and Existence in African American Communities Part 14 Part 4: Liberalism, Postmodernism, and the Quest for Community Chapter 15 11. Black Philosophy As a Challenge to Liberalism Chapter 16 12. Democracy, Transitional Justice, and Postcolonial African Communities Chapter 17 13. Community: What Type of Entity and What Type of Moral Commitment? Chapter 18 14 Theorizing Black Community

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2010

    Highly Recommended

    Insightful and enlightening. :)

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