While there is no proof that there are distinct races among humans, racial divisions remain alive and relevant. Discrimination feeds into racism and sponsors beliefs in differences among races. Race as a social issue and a topic of analysis is generally treated as if it were a concept that could be understood on its own terms and independently of some other issues. One of the most promising attempts at understanding race is its relation to perceptible differences between and among races. These differences have played out in numerous ways, including how philosophy has been used as a tool of exclusion. This exclusion necessitated the rise of African philosophy as an extension of the combat against racism. Yet racists and racist attitudes remain prevalent. While African philosophy’s emergence can be articulated in terms of race and racism, what is more difficult to articulate is why racist attitudes persist. In tracing the pervasiveness of race and racism in African philosophy’s emergence as a counter to Western views, I demonstrate how African philosophy could not avoid being implicated in the struggle against racism. As a representative of African thought systems, African philosophy had to define itself in contrast to Western philosophy to show the viability of the African thought processes. However, African philosophy neither ended racism nor caused African thought systems to be treated as equals to their Western rivals. On the contrary, racist thinking and practices remain rife. Hence, I attempt to show that the sponsors of these attitudes are insistent on making prominent, perceptible differences between humans.

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