Lucius T. Outlaw is a Professor of Philosophy at Vanderbult University. This book is a collection of Outlaw's essays written over a period of 25 years.
In the (often autobiographical) Preface, Outlaw states, "In writing each essay I was concerned, in various ways, with matters that involve raciality and the collection of endeavors and traditions of thought that in Western academic institutions, in particular, are called 'philosophy.' The persistence of these concerns across the essays provides the thematic focus for the collection."
The introductory essay begins by stating, "Raciality and ethnicity are two of the most pervasive aspects of life in America."
Other essays include "Black Folk and the Struggle in 'Philosophy'"; "African 'Philosophy'?: Deconstructive and Rreconstructive Challenges"; "The Future of 'Philosophy' In America," and others. In his chapter on "Africana Philosophy," Outlaw provides a fascinating history information about the APA's Committee Blacks in Philosophy, the Society for the Study of Africana Philosophy, and many other Black/Africana philosophers.
Outlaw's comments are often incisive: e.g., George G.M. James has made "ground-breaking but poorly presented arguments"; Martin Bernal's Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization (The Fabrication of Ancient Greece 1785-1985, Volume 1) "has become a significant addition to arguments long advanced (and long ignored or rejected) by several generations of scholars of African descent," and "It remains to be seen whether professional philosophers will study this provocative text, which seriously disrupts longstanding genealogies of Western philosophy, and revise their understandings, their intellectual genealogies, and thereby their identities."
For anyone interested in Black/Africana philosophy, this book is essential reading.
On Race and Philosophy is a collection of essays written and published across the last twenty years, which focus on matters of race, philosophy, and social and political life in the West, in particular in the US. These important writings trace the author's continuing efforts not only to confront racism, especially within philosophy, but, more importantly, to work out viable conceptions of raciality and ethnicity that are empirically sound while avoiding chauvinism and invidious ethnocentrism. The hope is that such conceptions will assist efforts to fashion a nation-state in which racial and ethnic cultures and identities are recognized and nurtured contributions to a more just and stable democracy.