Epistemic Injustice, Disability, and Queerness in African Cultures

Living reference work entry
Part of the Handbooks in Philosophy book series (HP)


Perception, representations, and knowledge claims about disability and queerness vary across societies and cultures. In African cultures negative knowledge claims and representations of disability and queerness create a perception of the disabled and queer that are not only detrimental to such persons in African societies but arguably undermine the work of understanding difference and tolerance in general. These negative claims raise some epistemological questions, such as: how do Africans come to know about disability and how are such knowledge claims validated within African communities? Against this backdrop, this chapter critically examines the epistemology of disability and queerness in African traditions. It shows that the epistemic authoritarianism found in African epistemology leads to an epistemic injustice that contributes immensely to the discrimination against disabled and queer beings as reflected in many cultural practices across the continent of Africa. The chapter argues that knowledge claims about disability and queerness in Africa emerge mainly from neglect, superstition, myth, and, above all, ignorance.


Disability Queerness African culture African epistemology Epistemic injustice 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Faculty of ArtsAmbrose Alli University EkpomaNigeria

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