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Du Bois delivered “To the World” as an address at the Second Pan-African Congress in London in August 1921, and the conference delegates approved its resolutions, as well as those of a separate manifesto addressed specifically to the League of Nations. Both were published in The Crisis in November 1921. “To the World” declares racial equality to be the “founding stone of world peace and human advancement and insists on the world’s duty to assist in the advancement of the “backward.” It projects a vision of “interracial contact” based on democratic political institutions and mutual respect and argues that poverty and class conflict in developed countries (“culture lands”) can be truly solved only when white nations stop perpetrating even greater poverty and injustice among “darker peoples.” The manifesto to the League makes three key demands: that the International Bureau of Labor establish a section to deal with Negro labor in Africa and the “Islands of the Sea”; that a man of Negro descent be appointed to the League’s Mandates Commission; and that the League attend to legal and cultural bias against “civilized persons of Negro descent.”
Chapter 2 explains why middling people were so vulnerable to imprisonment through analysis of structures of credit and wealth. Drawing on debtors’ schedules, or inventories of wealth generated by the imprisonment process, the credit networks and patterns of wealth-holding of middling households are reconstructed. I argue that the portions of middle ranking wealth bound up in credit, changing structures of credit and middling people’s positions within credit networks rendered them vulnerable to failure. Analysis of how middling people held their wealth suggests that they did not lack assets, but rather faced problems of liquidity. Incarceration was the consequence of endemic structural insecurities.