What is "race"? What role, if any, should race play in our moral obligations to others and to ourselves? Ethics along the Color Line addresses the question of whether black Americans should think of each other as members of an extended racial family and base their treatment of each other on this consideration, or eschew racial identity and envision the day when people do not think in terms of race. Anna Stubblefield suggests furthermore that white Americans should consider the same issues. She argues, finally, that for both black and white Americans, thinking of races as families is crucial in helping to combat anti-black oppression.
Stubblefield is concerned that the philosophical debateargued notably between Kwame Anthony Appiah and Lucius Outlawover whether or not we should strongly identify in terms of race, and whether or not we should take race into account when we decide how to treat each other, has stalled. Drawing on black feminist scholarship about the moral importance of thinking and acting in terms of community and extended family, the author finds that strong racial identification, if based on appropriate ideals, is morally sound and even necessary to end white supremacy.
About the Author
Anna Stubblefield is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Rutgers University, Newark.
What People are Saying About This
"Anna Stubblefield has written a wonderfully lucid text on an important, often overlooked question of racial oppressionnamely, What should we do in a world in which it continues to be a lived reality? A contribution to analytical and pragmatist Africana philosophy, this important book will be useful in discussions and debates on the relationship of questions of identity to those of social transformation and social justice."
"Anna Stubblefield has a very clear sense of the problems surrounding the issue of the ethical significance of race. In Ethics along the Color Line, she picks up on a famous statement made by W. E. B. Du Bois, who wrote, 'The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.' At the dawn of the twenty-first century, the problem seems to be whether or not to grant ethical significance to race."
"Anna Stubblefield presents her provocative recommendations about what race is with animation and authority. Members of a race should relate to each other as family members ideally do. On her prescription, family relations can be a prophylactic against racism. This intriguing idea has both philosophical weight and practical worth."
"Ethics along the Color Line is a fluidly written, well-constructed, and tightly argued book in the analytic tradition that intervenes in one of the central debates in recent critical race theory: the question of if and how races exist, how they should be thought of, and what prescriptive policies are morally justified and likely to be efficacious in addressing and ending black oppression."
"Anna Stubblefield's fresh, highly original book belongs on the shelf of everyone interested in contemporary moral philosophy."