Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
A Political Companion to Frederick Douglass$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Neil Roberts

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780813175621

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813175621.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Douglass’s Declarations of Independence and Practices of Politics

Douglass’s Declarations of Independence and Practices of Politics

(p.135) 5 Douglass’s Declarations of Independence and Practices of Politics
A Political Companion to Frederick Douglass

Robert Gooding-Williams

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter takes Frederick Douglass’s work My Bondage and My Freedom and brings it into conversation with W. E. B. Du Bois’s essay collection The Souls of Black Folk. This comparison is intended to complicate the traditional understanding of African American political thought by looking at Du Bois’s reliance on the authority of Douglass in his critique of other black leaders, such as Booker T. Washington. This reliance has caused the two to be lumped together as assimilationists despite the fact that Douglass shows himself to be more a reconstructionist than an assimilationist. Also contrasting the two, this chapter takes a critical look at Du Bois’s defense of the politics of expressive self-realization, which is predicated on the anomaly theory of white supremacy, and shows how Souls argues against this expressivist viewpoint and reveals white supremacy as a nonanomalous form of domination. Furthermore, the chapter describes plantation politics and the ramifications of it for unfreedom and struggles to achieve the free life.

Keywords:   Frederick Douglass, W. E. B. Du Bois, African American, politics, The Souls of Black Folk, My Bondage and My Freedom, plantation politics, rule, nondomination, race consciousness

Kentucky Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .