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CLAIMING HUMAN DIGNITY

  • Lawrence D. Bobo (a1)

Extract

In the concluding line of his opening note to Black Reconstruction in America, W. E. B. Du Bois, wrote “I am going to tell this story as though Negroes were ordinary human beings, realizing that this attitude will from the first seriously curtail my audience” (1934[2007], p. xliii). Doing so was an intellectually courageous step at the time Du Bois wrote. Jim Crow strictures, after all, were almost fully institutionalized across the South by that time and larger cultural motifs stressing redemption and reconciliation were steadily undoing the meager steps toward uplift and equality for African Americans of the Reconstruction era. Enormous progress notwithstanding, we know that great challenges of enduring inequality and persistent cultural racism remain in our time. The spirit of this declaration and the a priori intellectual posture it embraces have, quite fittingly then, animated this journal from our inception.

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References

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Cohen, Cathy (1999). The Boundaries of Blackness: AIDS and the Breakdown of Black Politics. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Dawson, Michael C. (1994). Behind the Mule: Race, Class, and African American Politics. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Du Bois, W. E. B. (1934[2007]). Black Reconstruction in America. New York: Oxford University Press.
Gurin, Patricia, Hatchett, Shirley, and Jackson, James S. (1989). Hope and Independence: Blacks' Response to Electoral and Party Politics. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Oliver, Melvin L. and Shapiro, Thomas M. (1995). Black Wealth/White Wealth: A New Perspective on Racial Inequality. New York: Routledge.
Shelby, Tommie (2005). We Who Are Dark: The Philosophical Foundation of Black Solidarity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Tate, Kathrine (1994). From Protest to Politics: The New Black Voters in American Elections. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
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Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race
  • ISSN: 1742-058X
  • EISSN: 1742-0598
  • URL: /core/journals/du-bois-review-social-science-research-on-race
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