This article explores several challenges African-American political thinkers pose to the continental tradition of European political philosophy as represented by two eminent theorists, Jacques Rancière and Axel Honneth. It focuses on the three sharpest points of disagreement between them—over (1) the nature of the political subject (actor) and her motivations for becoming political; (2) the need for normative grounds as a basis of political critique; (3) the quality of political temporality—and shows how a range of African-American political thinkers have developed rigorous accounts of all three of these matters. These accounts not only expose the limitations of Rancière's and Honneth's views but also provide a capacious theoretical framework able to hold their disagreements in productive tension with each other.

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