A Challenge to White Supremacy

A Challenge to White Supremacy - sociology A Challenge to...

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sociology A Challenge to White Supremacy, 100 Years Later; Scholars Revisit W. E. B. DuBois, Who Found a New Way to Think About Race in America ''It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.'' So wrote W. E. B. DuBois in the opening essay of ''The Souls of Black Folk.'' When it was published 100 years ago this month, the book was something entirely different in American letters. In 14 essays that swooped from music to history to politics, it was both a depiction of black life in America and a meditation on the meaning of blackness. It was also a groundbreaking challenge to white supremacy. In 1903, an era of lynchings and widespread belief in innate black inferiority, ''Souls'' was both embraced and reviled. Today it is widely viewed as having recast the black struggle as a quest for constitutional rights and social equality, rather than the accommodation advocated by Booker T. Washington at the turn of the century. In ''Souls'' DuBois famously predicted that ''the problem of the 20th century is the problem of the color line.'' He interpreted Negro spirituals. More personally, he wondered aloud if death from diphtheria had spared his 2-year-old son, Burghardt, from a life of indignities. Now in this centennial year, ''The Souls of Black Folk'' is being celebrated in a host of events intended to introduce DuBois's most famous book to a new generation. On college and university campuses nationwide, conferences will examine what ''Souls'' means in the 21st century. At the National Black Arts Festival in Atlanta this July, the focus will be on the music, drama and other arts inspired by the book. A staged adaptation of readings from the book had its premiere in New York last week. At least three new books of essays analyzing ''Souls'' are out. Some scholars and artists say the centennial celebrations offer a chance to rethink how
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This note was uploaded on 02/10/2012 for the course SCIE SYG2000 taught by Professor Bernhardt during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.

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A Challenge to White Supremacy - sociology A Challenge to...

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