On the 27th August, 1963, the day before Martin Luther King electrified the world from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial with the immortal words, 'I Have a Dream', the life of another giant of the Civil Rights movement quietly drew to a close in Accra, Ghana: W.E.B. DuBois. In this new biography, Bill V. Mullen interprets the seismic political developments of the Twentieth Century through Du Bois's revolutionary life.
Du Bois was born in Massachusetts in 1868, just three years after formal emancipation of America's slaves. In his extraordinarily long and active political life, he would emerge as the first black man to earn a PhD from Harvard; surpass Booker T. Washington as the leading advocate for African American rights; co-found the NAACP, and involve himself in anti-imperialist and anti-colonial struggles across Asia and Africa. Beyond his Civil Rights work, Mullen also examines Du Bois's attitudes towards socialism, the USSR, China's Communist Revolution, and the intersectional relationship between capitalism, poverty and racism.
An accessible introduction to a towering figure of American Civil Rights, perfect for anyone wanting to engage with Du Bois's life and work.
Bill V. Mullen is Professor of English and American Studies at Purdue University. He is the author of Popular Fronts: Chicago and African American Cultural Politics, 1935-1946 (University of Illinois Press, 1999) and Afro-Orientalism (University of Minnesota Press, 2004). He is co-editor with Fred Ho of Afro-Asia: Revolutionary Political and Cultural Connections Between African-Americans and Asian-Americans (Duke University Press, 2008). He is a member of the United States Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel.
Preface: Revolutionary Lives Matter: Reclaiming W.E.B. Du Bois For Our Time Part I: Racial Uplift and the Reform Era 1. Childhood, Youth and Education in an Age of Reform 2. Becoming a Scholar and Activist 3. Socialism, Activism and World War I Part II: From Moscow to Manchester: 1917-1945 4. Du Bois and the Russian Revolution 5. The Depression, Black Reconstruction, and Du Bois's Asia Turn 6. Pan-Africanism or Communism? Part III: Revolution and the Cold War 1945-1963 7. Wrestling with the Cold War, Stalinism, and the Blacklist 8. The East is Red: Supporting Revolutions in Asia 9. Final Years, Exile, Death and Legacy Notes Bibliography Index