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The Rise of Black Intellectual History

By Chidike Okeem

Book Review

While the physical prowess of African people is much lauded in the Western world, many still deem the idea of black thought as patently oxymoronic. The concept of black people thinking in private and public—and doing so in ways that are meaningful enough to be documented—is often considered a fantastical thought of puerile racial optimism. New Perspectives on the Black Intellectual Tradition, edited by Keisha N. Blain, Christopher Cameron, and Ashley D. Farmer, scotches this mendacious narrative with an applause-worthy collection of essays that meticulously examine varied aspects of the vast black intellectual tradition across the globe. The authors of the essays show that black thought is not a utopian figment of the feverish Afrocentric imagination; it is a verifiable reality with which sober-minded people must reckon.