"I Believe in Nothing If Not in Action": African American Humanism and (Embodied) Agency

Alexandra Hartmann


This article explores African American humanism and reflects on its relationship with Enlightenment humanism, anti-, and posthumanism. It regards African American humanism as an alternative to these philosophies based on an analysis of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man and explores how the novel conceptualizes agency. It does so in focusing on three elements: (1) the rejection of authorities, (2) (dis)embodiment, and (3) relationality and concrete action. 


African American humanism, Black humanism, Posthumanism, Agency, Body, Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man

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