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The Postcolonial ContemporaryPolitical Imaginaries for the Global Present$
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Jini Kim Watson and Gary Wilder

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823280063

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823280063.001.0001

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Reading Du Bois’s Revelation: Radical Humanism and Black Atlantic Criticism

Reading Du Bois’s Revelation: Radical Humanism and Black Atlantic Criticism

(p.95) Four: Reading Du Bois’s Revelation: Radical Humanism and Black Atlantic Criticism
The Postcolonial Contemporary

Gary Wilder

Fordham University Press

This essay analyzes W.E.B. Du Bois’s Depression-era program for black self-management through economic cooperatives. I suggest that this plan started from his belief that racial emancipation would never be possible under capitalist arrangements and socialism could never be realized as long as a color bar existed. I demonstrate how Du Bois hoped through this experiment in black mutualism to enact and contribute to the creation of a multi-racial democratic and socialist society that would promote dis-alienated forms of life in and beyond America. I argue that Du Bois’s radical humanism and non-liberal universalism has become illegible to critical and postcolonial theory today, just when it may speak directly to current intellectual dilemmas and political imperatives – primarily by displacing the false opposition between abstract universality and concrete particularity.

Keywords:   Anti-racism, Black studies, Humanism, Postcolonial theory, Socialism

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