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W. E. B. Du Bois’ Ambiguous Politics of Liberation: Race, Marxism and Pan Africanism

Adam Gearey

Title:
W. E. B. Du Bois’ Ambiguous Politics of Liberation: Race, Marxism and Pan Africanism
Author(s):
Gearey, Adam
Date:
Type:
Articles
Department:
Law
Volume:
1
Persistent URL:
Book/Journal Title:
Columbia Journal of Race and Law
Abstract:
W. E. B. Du Bois summons the restless and provocative spirit of a Pan Africanism that, despite its association with the collapse of Kwamah Nkumah's Ghanaian revolution, has not failed as an idea. Commentators have realised, to some extent, the ambiguities of Du Bois' Pan Africanism. However, they have not shown how Du Bois' deployment of the concept opens up a more radical political thinking. This Essay will trace the various twists and turns of Du Bois' Pan Africanism as narrated in the text Dusk of Dawn. Pan Africanism demands a social, economic, and political revolution that goes beyond the civil liberties struggle and its focus on constitutional recognition. In leaving America for Ghana, Du Bois committed himself to a very specific understanding of the African revolution. Using the ideas of Etienne Balibar and Jacques Rancière, this Essay will argue that Du Bois' Pan Africanism evoked energies of revolution that point at an unfinished, rather than failed, radical project.
Subject(s):
African American studies
Race discrimination--Law and legislation
Race relations--Law and legislation
Liberty
Socialism
Marxism and culture
Pan-Africanism
Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963
Item views
241
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Suggested Citation:
Adam Gearey, 2012, W. E. B. Du Bois’ Ambiguous Politics of Liberation: Race, Marxism and Pan Africanism, Columbia University Academic Commons, http://hdl.handle.net/10022/AC:P:15005.

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