Through a reflection on contemporary African writers, artists, intellectuals, and musicians, philosopher Felwine Sarr elaborates Africa’s unique philosophies and notions of communal value and economy deeply rooted in its ancient traditions and landscape. Sarr takes the reader on a philosophical journey that is as much inward as outward, demanding an elevation of the collective consciousness.
On the Postcolony
This thought-provoking and groundbreaking collection of essays—his first book to be published in English—develops and extends debates first ignited by his well-known 1992 article “Provisional Notes on the Postcolony,” in which he developed his notion of the “banality of power” in contemporary Africa. Mbembe reinterprets the meanings of death, utopia, and the divine libido as part of the new theoretical perspectives he offers on the constitution of power. He works with the complex registers of bodily subjectivity — violence, wonder, and laughter — to profoundly contest categories of oppression and resistance, autonomy and subjection, and state and civil society that marked the social theory of the late twentieth century.
The Wretched of the Earth
First published in 1961, Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth is a masterful and timeless interrogation of race, colonialism, psychological trauma, and revolutionary struggle. Bearing singular insight into the rage and frustration of colonized peoples, and the role of violence in spurring historical change, the book incisively attacks the twin perils of post-independence colonial politics: the disenfranchisement of the masses by the elites on the one hand, and intertribal and interfaith animosities on the other. A landmark text for revolutionaries and activists, The Wretched of the Earth is an eternal touchstone for civil rights, anti-colonialism, psychiatric studies, and Black consciousness movements around the world.
Black Skin, White Masks
A major influence on civil rights, anti-colonial, and black consciousness movements around the world, Black Skin, White Masks is the unsurpassed study of the black psyche in a white world. Hailed for its scientific analysis and poetic grace when it was first published in 1952, the book remains a vital force today from one of the most important theorists of revolutionary struggle, colonialism, and racial difference in history.
Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches is a collection of essential essays and speeches written by Audre Lorde, a writer who focuses on the particulars of her identity: Black woman, lesbian, poet, activist, cancer survivor, mother, and feminist. This collection, now considered a classic volume of Lorde’s most influential works of non-fiction prose, has had a groundbreaking impact in the development of contemporary feminist theories.
Out of the Dark Night
In Out of the Dark Night, Achille Mbembe offers a rich analysis of the paradoxes of the postcolonial moment that points toward new liberatory models of community and humanity. In a nuanced consideration of the African experience, Mbembe makes sweeping interventions into debates about citizenship, identity, democracy, and modernity. He eruditely ranges across European and African thought to provide a powerful assessment of common ways of writing and thinking about Africa.
Things Fall Apart
Things Fall Apart is the debut novel by Nigerian author Chinua Achebe, first published in 1958. It depicts pre-colonial life in the southeastern part of Nigeria and the invasion by Europeans during the late 19th century. It is seen as the archetypal modern African novel in English, and one of the first to receive global critical acclaim. The premise of this novel revolves around a man’s battle to protect his community against the forces of change. Okonkwo is the greatest wrestler and warrior alive, and his fame spreads throughout West Africa like a bushfire in the harmattan. But when he accidentally kills a clansman, things begin to fall apart. Then Okonkwo returns from exile to find missionaries and colonial governors have arrived in the village. With his world thrown radically off-balance he can only hurtle towards tragedy.
All about Love: New Visions
A New York Times bestseller and enduring classic, All About Love is the acclaimed first volume in feminist icon bell hooks’ “Love Song to the Nation” trilogy. All About Love reveals what causes a polarized society, and how to heal the divisions that cause suffering. Here is the truth about love, and inspiration to help us instill caring, compassion, and strength in our homes, schools, and workplaces. “The word ‘love’ is most often defined as a noun, yet we would all love better if we used it as a verb,” writes bell hooks as she comes out fighting and on fire in All About Love.