We argue that Menkiti and Gyekye – the forerunners in Afro-communitarianism,
to different extents both trivialise the notion of
human rights. While Menkiti prioritises community and denies human
rights, Gyekye who upholds human rights subsumes these to the community.
We contend that both are however mistaken in their trivial conceptions
of human rights. To clarify the confusion, we propose that the
notion of rights in Afro-communitarianism can have two possible senses
namely, rights as participatory and rights as entitlements and that the
failure to recognise these senses was what led Menkiti to a fringed position
and Gyekye to a difficult position. We then conclude that Afro-communitarianism,
in both Menkiti and Gyekye harbours a certain
notion of rights contrary to Menkiti’s assumption but it is not one that
accommodates the idea of inalienability contrary to Gyekye’s suggestion.