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Adolph L. Reed Jr. : W.E.B. Du Bois and American Politics

Extrait du livre d’Adolph L. Reed Jr., W.E.B. Du Bois and American Politics: Fabianism and the Color Line, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1997, p. 71-89

(L-R) Delegates Pablo Picasso and Juan Marinello sitting with American author Dr. William E. B. Du Bois at the communist-inspired Paris Peace Congress. (Photo by Nat Farbman/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images)

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Three Confusions about Du Bois
Interracialism, Pan-Africanism, Socialism

DU BOIS’S PROMINENCE in this century’s Afro-American political life is widely recognized. Yet attempts to categorize him with respect to the various strategic and ideological programs constitutive of black political debate have yielded an uncommonly confusing picture. The confusion about locating Du Bois programmatically has two sources. The first is quite simple: Du Bois lived and acted through several discrete social and political situations that seemed to him to require different strategic responses for the race. Sometimes, especially when sundered from the situations to which they were responses, the strategies that he proposed appear to contradict one another. Analysts, then, have chosen and defended one or another set of strategies or one or another period as authentically Du Boisian. This is a problem of temporal or contextual focus.

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Adolph L. Reed, Jr. : The Jesse Jackson Phenomenon

Extrait du livre d’Adolph L. Reed, Jr., The Jesse Jackson Phenomenon: The Crisis of Purpose in Afro-American Politics, New Haven, Yale University Press, 1986, p. 41-60

Reverend Jesse Jackson (left) at the Palais de l’Elysee, at the invitation French President Francois Mitterrand. A translator sits between them. (Photo by THIERRY ORBAN/Sygma via Getty Images)

4
Mythology of the Church in Contemporary Afro-American Politics

Exceptionalist approaches to black politics typically are fed by the mystique of black churchliness and religiosity, which postulates a peculiarly racial basis of participation and representation. According to this view, which assumes the organic leadership model, the church is the elemental unit of political mobilization in the black community. Because its structures are decentralized and operate at the “grass roots,” the black church can be construed as an authentically popular institution. Moreover, because this view also assumes a pandemic black religiosity, the church can be understood to be prior and superior to electoral or otherwise procedural institutions as a source of popular legitimations.