Identity in Africa: A Philosophical Perspective

  • Fouad MAMI The African University of Adrar

Abstract

Tradition and modernity has been almost always treated as two diametrically-opposed components of African identity. This study illustrates that contrary to this widely disseminated belief, tradition and modernity are two cronies that are simultaneously counterproductive and coercive for African communities. For when closely examined, tradition and modernity cannot foster any viable notion of self and identity. Through our discussion of the role of tradition and the interplay of negative tradition with deplete cultures, it becomes fairly evident that the poor performance of African communities in matters related to development can be answerable when shedding light on the interconnection between European modernity and African archaic traditions. The colonial legacy, the context within which European modernity and African traditions met, according to this study, should not be overlooked for any forward-looking perspective.

Author Biography

Fouad MAMI, The African University of Adrar

Department of English,

The University of Adrar

Algeria

Maitre de Conference / Senior Lecturer

References

Abraham, W. E. (1962), The Mind of Africa. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.

Anderson, Benedict. (1983) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism. Verso, London

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. (1996) “African Identities” in: Social Postmodernism: Beyond Identity Politics. eds, Linda J. Nicholas, StevenSeidman, JeffreyC.Alexander. Cambridge University Press.

Bhabha, Homi. (1994) The Location of Culture. Routledge.

Csaire, Aim (1977) “The Essential and the Fundamental”. Interview by E. J. Maunick, AfricaDevelopment: A Quarterly Journal. Vol. II, N° 4.

Eze, Emmanuel Chukwudi. (1997)"Toward a Critical Theory of Postcolonial African Identities", in: Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze,(ed.) Post Colonial African Philosophy, a Critical Reader. Blackwell Publishers.

Fanon, Frantz. (1961). Les Damn s de la terre. Paris, Gallimard.

Fanon, Frantz. (1969) Pour la r volution africaine, Librairie Fran ois Maspero.


Foucault, Michel. (1972) The Archeology of Knowledge. Trans. A. M. Sheridan Smith. London: Tavostock

Gramsci, Antonio. (1971) Selections from the Prison Notebooks. ed., & trans., Quintin Hoare & Goffery Nowell Smith. London & New York. Lawrence and Wishart, and International Publishers.

Harper, Douglas. (2001) On Lin e Etymology Di c tionary.

Kanneh, Kadiatu. (1998) African Identities, Race, Nation and Culture in Ethnography, Pan-Africanism and Black Literatures. Routledge, London and New York

Makang, Jean-Marie. (1997) "Of the Good Use of Tradition: Keeping the Critical Perspective in African Philosophy" in: Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze,(ed.) Post Colonial African Philosophy, a Critical Reader. Blackwell Publishers.

Masolo, D. A. (1997), "African Philosophy and the Postcolonial: Some Misleading Abstractions about 'Identity'", in: Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze,(ed.) Post Colonial African Philosophy, a Critical Reader. Blackwell Publishers.

Memmi, Albert. (1969) “Culture and Tradition”, African Culture, Algiers Symposium.

Memmi, Albert. (2006) Decolonization and the Decolonized. Trans. Robert Bononno. University of Minnesota Press

Memmi, Albert. (1957) The Colonizer and the Colonized, (2003) Trans. Howard Greenfeld. Earthscan Publications, London.

Redpath, Peter A. (1997) Cartesian Nightmare. Value Inquiry Book Series, Amsterdam – Atlanta, GA.

Said, Edward. (1994) Culture and Imperialism. Vintage Books.

Serequeberhan, Tsenay. (1997), "The Critique of Eurocentrism and the Practice of African Philosophy", in: Emmanuel Chukwudi Eze,(ed.) Post Colonial African Philosophy, a Critical Reader. Blackwell Publishers.

Shils, Edward. (1981) Tradition. The University of Chicago Press.

Tsikata, M. Yvonne. (2001) "Successful Reformers". Economic and Social Research Foundation, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Williams, Raymond. (1976) Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. Fontana.
Published
2011-06-17
How to Cite
MAMI, Fouad. Identity in Africa: A Philosophical Perspective. IBSU Scientific Journal, [S.l.], v. 5, n. 1, p. 65-82, june 2011. ISSN 2233-3002. Available at: <https://journal.ibsu.edu.ge/index.php/ibsusj/article/view/186>. Date accessed: 14 aug. 2020.
Section
Linguistics and Literature

Keywords

Africa; modernity; tradition; colonial