2011 International Year for people of African Descent

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Excerpt from the Final Conference Report by Prof. Leonard Harris

The conference brought together philosophers from throughout Africa, its diasporas, and the Americas to address contemporary challenges. It was organized in the framework of the celebration of the International Year for People of African Descent (2011) proclaimed by the UN General Assembly at its 64th session and has benefited from ISESCO’s financial support.

Official UNESCO Conference Website

The dialogue between philosophers from Africa and the Americas – North America, and Latin America and the Caribbean – around the theme “Africa and its Diaspora” is founded on a strong conviction: the very rich intercultural exchanges between the regions have given birth to a quintessence of intellectual wealth. Such wealth is embodied by the very valuable and insightful philosophical and theoretical debates on the meaning of “African Philosophy”, “African-American Philosophy” and “Caribbean/Latin Philosophy”.

As the famous African American philosopher Alain Locke put it, an authentic dialogue requires “fluid and functional unity rather than a fixed an irrevocable one”, having as “its vital norms…equivalence and reciprocity rather than identity or complete agreement”. This conference was intended as a contribution to a fluid dialogue between individuals and groups as well as an addition to the corpus of works that help form Africana networks.

UNESCO Conference Report Cover
Get the full report [pdf 1.2 mb]