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Cover for New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition

New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition

Keisha N. Blain (Editor), Christopher Cameron (Editor), Ashley D. Farmer (Editor), Michael O. West (Contributions by), Celeste Day Moore (Contributions by), Reena Goldthree (Contributions by), Brandon R. Byrd (Contributions by), Judith Weisenfeld (Contributions by), David Weinfeld (Contributions by), LeRhonda S. Manigault-Bryant (Contributions by), Pero Gaglo Dagbovie (Contributions by), Guy Emerson Mount (Contributions by), Ibram X. Kendi (Contributions by), Robin D. G. Kelley (Contributions by), Gregory Childs (Contributions by), Russell Rickford (Contributions by), Christopher Bonner (Contributions by)


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Hardcover (11/15/2018)


From well-known intellectuals such as Frederick Douglass and Nella Larsen to often-obscured thinkers such as Amina Baraka and Bernardo Ruiz Suárez, black theorists across the globe have engaged in sustained efforts to create insurgent and resilient forms of thought. New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition is a collection of twelve essays that explores these and other theorists and their contributions to diverse strains of political, social, and cultural thought. 

The book examines four central themes within the black intellectual tradition: black internationalism, religion and spirituality, racial politics and struggles for social justice, and black radicalism. The essays identify the emergence of black thought within multiple communities internationally, analyze how black thinkers shaped and were shaped by the historical moment in which they lived, interrogate the ways in which activists and intellectuals connected their theoretical frameworks across time and space, and assess how these strains of thought bolstered black consciousness and resistance worldwide. 

Defying traditional temporal and geographical boundaries, New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition illuminates the origins of and conduits for black ideas, redefines the relationship between black thought and social action, and challenges long-held assumptions about black perspectives on religion, race, and radicalism. The intellectuals profiled in the volume reshape and redefine the contours and boundaries of black thought, further illuminating the depth and diversity of the black intellectual tradition.

Praise For New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition

“This is a marvelously insightful collection featuring contributions by a diverse array of rising stars in our field.  In these pages you will learn not only where Africana Studies is headed, but about Intellectual History more generally.” —Gerald Horne, author of The Apocalypse of Settler Colonialism:  The Roots of Slavery, White Supremacy and Capitalism in 17th Century North America and the Caribbean

“This volume brings together exciting, cutting edge essays that showcase key intellectual trends and directions in African American history. These historians push beyond the boundaries of knowledge in dynamic and challenging ways.” —Martha Biondi, author of The Black Revolution on Campus

". . . New Perspectives makes an important contribution to the field of intellectual history. Adding African Americans into the larger narrative, using non-traditional sources, and expanding focus beyond well-known black men pushes readers to expand their ideas about the definition of intellectual history and the place of the black intellectual tradition within it . . . It could be used in either upper-level undergraduate or graduate classes about African American history or intellectual history." —Michael Blum, The Journal of African American History

Northwestern University Press, 9780810138124, 272pp.

Publication Date: November 15, 2018

About the Author

KEISHA N. BLAIN teaches history at the University of Pittsburgh. She is author of Set the World on Fire: Black Nationalist Women and the Global Struggle for Freedom and coeditor of Charleston Syllabus: Readings on Race, Racism, and Racial Violence.

CHRISTOPHER CAMERON is an associate professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is author of To Plead Our Own Cause: African Americans in Massachusetts and the Making of the Antislavery Movement.

ASHLEY D. FARMER is an assistant professor of history and African and African diaspora studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She is author of Remaking Black Power: How Black Women Transformed an Era, the first comprehensive study of black women’s intellectual production and activism in the Black Power era.