Introduction

Shamoon Zamir

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

    Abstract

    W. E. B. Du Bois has occupied a pre-eminent place in African American literary, social, and political thought for a very long time, and, in recent years, he has been recognized as a figure central to the history of American thought in the twentieth century. His critique of the educational and political policies of Booker T. Washington set the agenda for debates about populism, leadership, and the relative merits of a humanistic education within the black community for much of the century. His role in the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) placed him at the forefront of the African American civil rights movement. As a key interpreter and disseminator of Pan-Africanism, he became a central figure in postcolonial discourse. As the author of a number of landmark works in black historiography and sociology, he brought a scholarly rigor to an understanding of the social and historical dimensions of race in the United States which is impressive even today. As a mentor to and supporter of many of the writers of the Harlem Renaissance, he helped shape the literary movement which continues to attract the greatest attention within African American literary studies. Perhaps most importantly of all, in The Souls of Black Folk (1903) he produced a work of exceptional literary achievement, among the most widely read and most often quoted works in African American literary history. It is the work by which most readers know Du Bois; it is also the work in which he most thoroughly explores the implications of his famous proposal, made at the first Pan-African conference in London in 1900 and then repeated throughout his career, that "the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line." No other writer has made us understand as clearly and fully as Du Bois that race and modernity are indissolubly linked: to think one is necessarily to think the other.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Companion to W. E. B. Du Bois
    PublisherCambridge University Press
    Pages1-6
    Number of pages6
    ISBN (Electronic)9781139001939
    ISBN (Print)9780521871518
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2008

    Fingerprint

    African Americans
    Writer
    Education
    Supporters
    Agenda
    Folk
    Reader
    Historiography
    Founding
    W. E. B. Du Bois
    Thought
    Africa
    Merit
    History
    Civil Rights Movement
    Mentor
    Interpreter
    Sociology
    Modernity
    Social Thought

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Arts and Humanities(all)

    Cite this

    Zamir, S. (2008). Introduction. In The Cambridge Companion to W. E. B. Du Bois (pp. 1-6). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521871518.001

    Introduction. / Zamir, Shamoon.

    The Cambridge Companion to W. E. B. Du Bois. Cambridge University Press, 2008. p. 1-6.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript

    Zamir, S 2008, Introduction. in The Cambridge Companion to W. E. B. Du Bois. Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521871518.001
    Zamir S. Introduction. In The Cambridge Companion to W. E. B. Du Bois. Cambridge University Press. 2008. p. 1-6 https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521871518.001
    Zamir, Shamoon. / Introduction. The Cambridge Companion to W. E. B. Du Bois. Cambridge University Press, 2008. pp. 1-6
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