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African Philosophy in Pursuit of an African Renaissance for the True Liberation of African Women

Journal of Black Studies

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The African liberation struggle fought against two intertwined forces, colonization and colonialism. The former implied physical occupation and dispossession of Africans’ land, while the latter implied destruction of their culture. While "political independence" succeeded in an artificial and superficial sense in granting space for African cultural reclamation, this success presented little or no joy in restoring the dignified space that African women enjoyed in pre-colonial Africa. African women — in spite of the granting of "independence" and "freedom"— continue to be denied their freedom in African communities, and relegated to a second-class citizen status. I argue that if freedom is to have any significant meaning for Africans, it must prioritize the African cultural reclamation that puts African women in the center. This can and will be possible when Africans interrogate African philosophical assumptions about women’s "place" in traditional Africa. A thorough exercise in this regard will assist in giving meaning to an African renaissance that will secure liberation not only for African men but also for women.