Week 3, African Identities, Kwame Anthony Appiah, (Castle)

October 15, 2007

Appiah addresses how identities are formed, and seeks to bring to light the fact that their origins can be rooted in myth and bereft of reason. He suggests that for an African identity to be empowering, it need not rid itself in totality of any falsehood, but rather it should be understood that “race, history, and metaphysics do not enforce identity” and that Africans can determine for themselves what it “means to be African in the coming years” (226). I appreciated Appiah’s closing comments about the importance of being cautious of overlooking the complexity of Africa’s many languages while “dreaming of a single African state” (229).

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