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A Political Companion to W. E. B. Du Bois$
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Nick Bromell

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813174907

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813174907.001.0001

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On Democratic Leadership and Social Change

On Democratic Leadership and Social Change

Positioning Du Bois in the Shadow of a Gray To-come

Chapter:
(p.241) 9 On Democratic Leadership and Social Change
Source:
A Political Companion to W. E. B. Du Bois
Author(s):

Arash Davari

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813174907.003.0010

Arash Davari’s essay examines the representation of contemporary social movements in popular culture and media, tracing the recent global shift from centralized models of self-governance to more collective forms that better align with modern democratic ideals. Black political culture is undergoing the same shift, rejecting the old form of male charismatic leadership. Davari questions whether this is the most effective strategy of achieving a democratic future oriented toward racial justice and radical democracy, and turns to the early writings of W. E. B. Du Bois as a model for better representation and articulation of social change. Du Bois’s early writings are reflections on social change for racial justice, and they affirm the idea that power cannot be eliminated, only reconstituted in ways that are compatible with democratic values.

Keywords:   W. E. B.Du Bois, leadership, politics, bildungsroman, charisma, democracy, neoliberalism, The Souls of Black Folk

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