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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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W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois

Black Radical Liberal

(p.19) 1 W. E. B. Du Bois
A Political Companion to W. E. B. Du Bois

Charles W. Mills

University Press of Kentucky

In this essay, Charles W. Mills seeks to catalyze a comparable recognition of Du Bois’s theoretical achievements in political philosophy. Since Du Bois engaged critically with many different forms of political thought, his beliefs do not neatly align with any one political philosophy, challenging scholarly orthodoxies to the point of exclusion by mainstream scholarship. However, recent work in slavery, American capitalism, and global economy has aligned with Du Bois’s theories, and his influence is increasingly acknowledged in shaping discussions of race. Mills argues that Western political philosophy, especially in its modern form, is heavily dependent on racial categorization and subjugation, despite its supposed commitment to free and equal citizenship for all. Du Bois recognized the need to reframe Western philosophical concepts in order to establish black political equality and critiqued this framework, providing a starting point for the black political thinkers to come after him.

Keywords:   racism, race, W. E. B.Du Bois, political theory, political philosophy

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