Claiming Human Dignity

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Claiming Human Dignity

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Title: Claiming Human Dignity
Author: Bobo, Lawrence D.
Citation: Bobo, Lawrence D. 2010. Claiming human dignity. Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race 7(2): 253-255.
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Abstract: In the concluding line of his opening note to Black Reconstruction in America, W. E. B. Du Bois, wrote “I am going to tell this story as though Negroes were ordinary human beings, realizing that this attitude will from the first seriously curtail my audience” (1934[2007], p. xliii). Doing so was an intellectually courageous step at the time Du Bois wrote. Jim Crow strictures, after all, were almost fully institutionalized across the South by that time and larger cultural motifs stressing redemption and reconciliation were steadily undoing the meager steps toward uplift and equality for African Americans of the Reconstruction era. Enormous progress notwithstanding, we know that great challenges of enduring inequality and persistent cultural racism remain in our time. The spirit of this declaration and the a priori intellectual posture it embraces have, quite fittingly then, animated this journal from our inception.
Published Version: doi:10.1017/S1742058X10000317
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