Reaction Paper #4 9_16.docx - Isabel Gouse Introduction to...

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Isabel Gouse Introduction to Africana Studies Reaction Paper #4 9/16/19 Lange: W.E.B. DuBois and the First Scientific Study of Afro-America Summary The primary purpose of this article is to assert that W.E.B. DuBois is both a pioneer of African American studies, as well as the founder of American Social Sciences. The author explains how DuBois led the struggle against racism in many social sciences, and particularly anthropology, all of which either ignored or misrepresented the experiences of African Americans in the United States. Importantly, DuBois’ studies of African Americans from 1894 to 1915 provide a comprehensive ethnography of Afro- America to correct the misinformation spread by previous scholars. Lange also draws attention to the time-period that DuBois was conducting research, during which African Americans faced extreme racism, from voter disenfranchisement and oppressive Jim Crow legislation to riots and lynching. As a result of extreme racism, it was impossible to achieve neutrality while studying Afro-America. Importantly, the author explained how DuBois’ goal was not to achieve neutrality, but instead tell the truth, and he arguably succeeded in doing so. Furthermore, Lange draws attention to the importance of social activism in DuBois’ life by naming some of the social activist organizations DuBois has participated with over the years. The next part of the article elaborates on DuBois’ research in greater detail by describing some of his case studies. Additionally, Lange highlights DuBois’ interdisciplinary approach to studying African Americans as a social group, which included historical study, statistical investigation, anthropological measurement, and sociological interpretation. The author then explains that although DuBois was an

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