Hi ER, I'm jumping in here rather late as I don't visit this area that often. I've been trying to track down an introductory book on African philosophy for absolute beginners... before I even contemplate that rich list kresge provided. (and learn French to boot dammit)
Living in Australia, I've found it very difficult to find any books on African philosophy - there is more emphasis on Eastern as an alternative to Western philosophy. I managed to track down one book - sitting gathering dust on a shelf here since 2002 (they were glad to see me obviously LOL! And, as usual, books find
) because the other books on Amazon were very exy.
I'll let you know what it's like, but here are the details: A Short History of African Philosophy by Barry Hallen. Here's a brief summary, but what encouraged me to buy it was the word accessible.
Remember I'm a novice and - shock, horror - I don't have any experience in studying philosophy.
Basically, in lieu of being able to fly to the USA and study African American studies, I am doing a home study, loosely based on what University text reading lists I can find online. Persistent if nothing else.
Book blurb: "...discusses major ideas, figures, and schools of thought in philosophy in the African context. While drawing out critical issues in the formation of African philosophy, Barry Hallen focuses on recent (?) scholarship and relevant debates that have made African philosophy essential to understand the rich and complex culutral heritage of the continent. Among the figures discussed are Ptah-htep, Zar'a a Ya'aqob, Anton Wilhelm Amon, Paulin Hountaondji, V. Y. Mudimbe, Oyeronke Oyewumi, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Kwasi Wiredu, Lucious Outlaw, and Lewis Gordon. Hallen also examines critical African challenges to Western conceptions of philosophy by taking on questions such as whether philosophy can exist in cultures that are significantly based on oral tradition and what may or may not constitute philosophical texts.
Hallen is Professor of Philosophy etc.... at Morehouse College and Fellow of the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research at Harvard University."
Any feedback about this book or offers of help translating such would be appreciated when the need arises.