What Does it Mean to be African?


What Does it Mean to be African?



Africa has always been regarded two-dimensionally by Europe and the U.S. It’s been called “the dark continent” falsely described as primitive, consisting only of small villages without technology. It’s people are said to be unable to care from themselves, portrayed only as the recipients of charity. Its countries are always called “developing.” It’s time to get past all of this. On this episode of Why? we explore Africa’s philosophy of liberation and ask whether there is a pan-African perspective. We move past the geography lessons and try to figure out how Africa and Africans can create their own unique identities while, at the same time, resisting the legacy of colonialism.

Firoze Manji is a Kenyan activist with more than 40 years of experience in international development, health, human rights and political organizing. He has published widely on these topics and on politics. He is the recipient of the 2021 Nicolás Batista Lifetime Achievement Award from the Caribbean Philosophical Association. He is Adjunct Professor at the Institute for African Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, and a member of the international advisory board of the journal Philosophy and Global Affairs. He is the publisher of Daraja Press.


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What Does it Mean to be African?