W.E.B. Du Bois and the Radicalization of 21st Century Black Studies By Dr. Anthony Monteiro

4 March 2015 — Black Agenda Report

“His approach was not just Black, or Black centered, but a philosophy and social science of Black liberation.”

February 23 was W.E.B Du Bois’ 147th birthday. He was a man of the Enlightenment, reason and Black resistance. He believed in scientific inquiry, poetry and art as methods for acquiring knowledge. Most of all he believed that knowledge had to be practical and purposeful and must be connected to the struggles for freedom of the oppressed. In the last sentence of the Forward to The Souls of Black Folk he insists: “…and need I say, I who write am flesh of the flesh and bone of the bone of those within the Veil.” In that brief statement he rejected the idea that Black social science and art should be separated from Black folk, especially the poor. What gives astounding originality and creative force to all of his work is this connection, this practice of linking knowledge and research to art and the struggles of ordinary Black folk.

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