Lines of Descent: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Emergence of Identity

by Kwame Anthony Appiah,
The Florida Courier, February 21, 2014

For much of his long life, W.E.B. Du Bois gave voice to his anger at racism in America. Nonetheless, the distinguished scholar, co-founder of the NAACP, and convert to Marxism was deeply ambivalent about the nation to which he had been born. Although he had recently become a citizen of Ghana, Du Bois sent a telegram of support to the 1963 March on Washington on the day he died. And in a posthumously published memoir, he invoked the dichotomy that characterized his thought: "how far can love for my oppressed race accord with love for the oppressing country?"

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