This book uses the seminal work of W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folks (1903) to outline Du Bois’ dominant influence in defining the boundaries of black politics. Du Bois’ statement about the color line, still quoted more than a century after its publication, is just one example of the enduring impact of Souls and other works on the ways in which black politics scholars conceptualize, measure, and make prescriptions for black political progress. However, his import as a dominant voice in black political thought belies the fact that there was ideological and fervent opposition to his view concerning how blacks could overcome racial oppression. Unlike Du Bois, however, many of those opponents are less known or simply ignored by contemporary black scholars.
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