Land, the Color Line and the Quest of the Silver Fleece

Land, the Color Line and the Quest of the Silver Fleece: An Introduction to W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folkand The Quest of the Silver Fleece (selections),” (coauthored with Brett Clark, Clark listed first) Organization and Environment, vol. 16, no. 4 (December 2003), 459-69. DOI10.1177/1086026603259095

Manning Marable (1999) writes that William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868-1963) “was without question the most influential black intellectual in American history” (p.v). Even more, he was a citizen of the world, gaining and international stature rarely achieved (Gates, 1903/1989, p. xii). This year is the centennial of The Souls of Black Folk (Du Bois, 1903/1989), in which Du Bois famously declared, “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line” (p. xxxi). The color line divides people within the countryside, cities, and the globe. People of color are denied the same opportunities, privileges, and rights as Whites. During a life snapping 95 years, Du Bois’s scholarly work and commitment to activism were unsurpassed. He engaged in critical examinations of social and racial relations within the United States, as well as on the global level, always incorporating a rich historical context for situating his studies.

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