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Mistaken Identities: Colour

Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah discusses skin colour and its role in ideas of identity.

We live in a world where the language of identity pervades both our public and our private lives. We have religious identities, national identities, gender identities and racial identities. There is much contention about the boundaries of all of these. And you can claim to be of no religion or gender or race or nation.

Philosopher Kwame Anthony Appiah looks at the story of Anton Wilhelm Amo Afer, who was brought from the Gold Coast to Germany in 1707 at the age of five and was educated at a royal court, becoming an eminent philosopher. Kwame argues against racial essentialism and says there is far more variation among people of the same skin colour than between the races.

(Photo: The Cape Coast in Ghana)

50 minutes

Last on

Sat 5 Nov 2016 23:06GMT


  • Tue 1 Nov 2016 09:06GMT
  • Tue 1 Nov 2016 12:06GMT
  • Sat 5 Nov 2016 23:06GMT

The Reith Lectures on Radio 4

The Reith Lectures on Radio 4

Archive recordings from the BBC's flagship annual lecture series going back to 1948