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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)

6
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.