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Indigenous Philosophies and Critical Education

A Reader- Foreword by Akwasi Asabere-Ameyaw


Edited By George J. Sefa Dei

An important academic goal is to understand ongoing contestations in knowledge in the search to engage everyday social practice and experiences, as well as the social barriers and approaches to peaceful human coexistence. This reader pulls together ideas concerning Indigenous epistemologies (e.g., worldviews, paradigms, standpoints, and philosophies) as they manifest themselves in the mental lives of persons both from and outside the orbit of the usual Euro-American culture. The book engages Indigenous knowledges as far more than a «contest of the marginals», thereby challenging the way oppositional knowledges are positioned, particularly in the Western academy. Subsequently, this book is a call to recognize and acknowledge Indigenous knowledges as legitimate knowings in their own right, and not necessarily in competition with other sources or forms of knowledge. The project offers an opportunity for the critical thinker to continue on a de-colonial/anti-colonial intellectual journey in ways informed by Indigenous theorizing.


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2. (Re) Conceptualizing ‘Indigenous’ from Anti-Colonial and Black Feminist Theoretical Perspectives: Living and Imagining Indigeneity Differently Temitope Adefarakan 34


This chapter is anchored in two theoretical frameworks: anti-colonial theory and Black/Africanfeminisms. I draw from and build on these theoretical models of analysis to critically contex- tualize the experiences of Yoruba peoples in diasporic and Euro-dominant contexts. Both anti-colo- nial and African/Black feminist frameworks allow for a more critical and nuanced reading of how issues of race, class, spirituality, gender, language, religion, and especially notions of Indigeneity interlock in the lives and experiences of Yoruba peoples in the diaspora. Within the anti-colonial discursive framework, there is a particular focus on the term “Indigenous” as a vitally significant concept in anti-colonial thought. I ar gue that this concept needs to be revisited and extended beyond existing ideas, where it is critically interrogated where diasporic Africans are concerned. I maintain that Indigeneity (or Indigenous identities) need to be imagined differently so that the unique positionings, especially, of diasporic Africans can be accord- ed a space to theorize the particularities of their experiences. In other words, there is a need for a shift in how notions of Indigeneity are taken up so that they are not imagined as singular, in the way that those who often work from exclusively Eurocentric or postmodern perspectives do. Hence, more flexible approaches with Indigeneity need to be engaged because this concept is often taken up to exclude diasporic African identities. Instead, I argue that this intellectual shift in notions of Indigeneity needs to include a variety of Indigenous peoples’ experiences so that Indigeneity or “Indigenous” is engaged...

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