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Philosophy Books Written by Black Philosophers

Jan 14, 2023 02:00PM ● By Anand Subramanian

African American philosophers have made significant contributions to the field of philosophy, despite facing substantial barriers and discrimination. Their perspectives have expanded the scope of traditional philosophy and have highlighted the importance of considering the experiences and perspectives of marginalized groups.

One of the most influential African American philosophers is W.E.B. Du Bois. Du Bois, a sociologist and historian, wrote extensively on the experiences of Black Americans and the concept of "double consciousness" – the idea that Black Americans must navigate both their sense of self and how they are perceived by White society. His most famous work, "The Souls of Black Folk," is a collection of essays exploring these themes and has been widely studied in African American studies.


Another essential philosopher is Angela Davis. Davis, a feminist and critical theorist, has written extensively on issues of race, gender, and class. Her book "Women, Race, and Class" explores the intersectionality of these identities and how they shape the experiences of marginalized groups. She also wrote "Are Prisons Obsolete?" which argues for abolishing the prison-industrial complex as it perpetuates racism and social inequality.

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Cornel West is another prominent African American philosopher. He is known for his work on critical theory, race, and American culture. His book "Race Matters" is a seminal work that explores the ongoing racial issues in America and the need for a new civil rights movement. He also wrote "Democracy Matters: Winning the Fight Against Imperialism", which critically examines American foreign policy and its impact on democracy and freedom worldwide.


Finally, Lewis Gordon is an African American philosopher who has significantly contributed to Africana philosophy. His book "Bad Faith and Antiblack Racism" is a classic work that explores how racism is perpetuated and maintained in society. He also wrote "Existence in Black: An Anthology of Black Existential Philosophy", a collection of works by Black philosophers exploring how existentialism can be used to understand the experiences of Black people.

The works of W.E.B. Du Bois, Angela Davis, Cornel West, and Lewis Gordon are just a few of the many significant contributions that African American philosophers have made to the field.

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 Anand Subramanian is a freelance photographer and content writer based out of Tamil Nadu, India. Having a background in Engineering always made him curious about life on the other side of the spectrum. He leapt forward towards the Photography life and never looked back. Specializing in Documentary and  Portrait photography gave him an up-close and personal view into the complexities of human beings and those experiences helped him branch out from visual to words. Today he is mentoring passionate photographers and writing about the different dimensions of the art world.

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