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Troy
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Posted on Thursday, February 26, 2009 - 11:48 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Editors Note: I'm sure your find something you'll like. It is rare to get 4 (well maybe 3.5) rave reviews from Thumper is one shot!
__________________

Red Light Special by Risqué
http://reviews.aalbc.com/red_light_special.htm

One day, I was in the mood for a Noire novel, but I had read all of them. I looked around my office and saw Red Light Special by Risqué. I picked it up. Red Light Special is the first book I’ve read by Risqué and it definitely will not be the last. I liked the novel a lot. I have a major issue with the book concerning the sex scenes, but other than that the book is good. I was hooked and did not put it down until I was finished.


Beulah Hill by William Heffernan
http://reviews.aalbc.com/beulah_hill.htm

I am sounding the alert that I just read a novel that has a strong black male character in it. Let’s imagine that I’m waving a big neon sign with “Black Male Hero found HERE!” There is no shortage in black male character in our literature today, but there are not many black male characters in today’s fiction that embodies that pioneering, wise, strong, will-beat-you-down-I-don’t-care-who-you-are black male character--the realistic black hero. When I come across one, I feel like trumpeting; there’s a strong black man in this book, there’s a strong black man in this book! In Beulah Hill by William Heffernan, did not only give me a strong black male character name Jehiel Flood, Heffernan placed him in a fabulously, complex murder mystery. Beulah Hill, which takes place in 1933 Vermont, is a solid mystery and examination of racial history and self identity. I loved it! The novel is an ass wiper of the nth degree.


Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey by Colin Grant
http://reviews.aalbc.com/negro_with_a_hat.htm

I appreciate the time and details Grant put into this wonderful biography, but I have to admit that the portion of the biography that had me glued to my seat was the constant bickering and snipping between Garvey and his nemesis W. E. B. DuBois. *big smile* You all know I love drama. The battle that Garvey and DuBois engaged in is the stuff movies should be made of. I loved it! Not only did the two see their differences from an ideological point of view, which in my opinion Garvey and DuBois were closer than apart, but it got ugly. DuBois taking Garvey to task over Garvey’s perceived uncouthness and his black skin and Garvey attacking DuBois on his preference for light skin, and his Talented Tenth approach to race, the barbs the two traded is amusing and sad. I cannot help but to think that if the two had set both of their egos aside and worked together, the civil rights movement would have taken place and succeeded 40 years before.


The Middle Sister by Bonnie J. Glover
http://reviews.aalbc.com/the_middle_sister.htm

I’m still finding my footing. Being away from reading books for three years, obtaining another degree, has dulled my reading senses. Now that the fire in my belly for books is growing larger and hotter, I decided to play a little catch up, read the books that I did not read while in pursuit of higher education again. Boy, did I strike gold when I picked up The Middle Sister by Bonnie J. Glover. I became familiar with Glover when I read her current novel, Going Down South. Going Down South is a simply MARVELOUS novel! Pick it up and read it, if you haven’t already.
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Steve_s
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 08:20 am:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

There's also a new biography of Booker T. Washington that rescues him from Uncle Tom-dom. Looks like there's quite a bit about William Monroe Trotter in it too.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/15/AR2009011503539. html
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Carey
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 03:05 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello

It's a shame that W.E.B. Du Bois has been relegated to a position of only being mentioned when compared to Garvey.

I know Thump is not going to like what I am to say because we've been here before. Thump has voiced his dislike of Du Bois (here's where we might have a difference)but I think his disdain of the man is rooted in ignorance ...ouch.

Garvey and DuBois were miles apart. It would be very hard for anyone to produce papers or writings of Garvey that had any similarity to those of Du Bois. Garvey played on the emotions and desperations of blacks in that time period. His direction and purpose were flimsy at best. Some would call them selfserving. Dubois's writing on the other hand can still be used today, as a tool for the betterment of the black race. His many writings such as, Of Our Spiritual Striving, The Negro Problem and Our Being Ashamed of Oneself: An Essay on Race Pride, dwarfs anything Garvey attempted to say or write. Most of DuBois's writings still hold weight and merit. Some of the fondations that he was instumental in starting, still exist today. His writings on personal loyalties, women's rights, social science and civil rights are all true gems. He has hundreds of papers that could easily be a course study. Garvey's boats and military uniforms are still at the bottom of the ocean.

If you haven't read Du Bois's 1903 classic, The Souls of Black Folks, I would suggest you do. While you are at it, his Dusk of Dawn is also an insightful read.

Thump may not agree but sometimes I have to take the boy to school.

The podium awaits the big Thumper *lol*
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Cynique
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 03:38 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Seemed to me that in his review, Thumper was fairly impartial in regard to the ongoing debate between DuBois and Garvey, even going so far as to say that they were more alike than similar and that had they both overcome their egos, they could have worked together to speed up progress toward the achievement of civil rights.
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Carey
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 03:53 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

You are correct, Cynique, in your observations of Thumps latest post. Therein lies my complaint. They were not more alike than similar, not even close. Futhermore, I don't know what debate he/they are refering to. Also, I don't know the substance of "that" debate.

I said I believe I've heard Thump's take on DuBois and it was not in my opinion, favorable. That's what I said.
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Thumper
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 07:13 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello All,

My Ol' Grayhead, God bless him, when he goes wrong, he goes strong.

I was not picking on DuBois. I did have an extremely negative opinion of DuBois stemming from his Talented Tenth theory, but that was before I read The Souls of Black Folks. Obviously, you, Carey, aren't recalling correctly because I had to admit that I was wrong. After reading The Souls, I now know that DuBois did not mention skin color in the text in reference to The Talented Tenth Theory. So, I had to take it down a notch. But, I still don't agree with it. I'm still offended by it because it still reeks of elitism.

Back to the Negro with a Hat, the author Grant referenced the articles and directly quoted from many in which DuBois or other NAACP officials made negative remarks about Garvey's complexion. Hey, it is what it is. Frankly, although I did not say it in the review, I have no problem believing DuBois said what he did, or that he felt exactly what he expressed.

The similarities between the two men is that they each sought equality, financial prosperity and independence for African Americans. True each believed that there were different paths to reaching that goal, DuBois believed he could rage the war by appealing to the intellect of white folks-fighting within the boundaries of the laws; Garvey's thing was that black folks needed to be self sufficient, pretty much like his mentor Booker T. Washington and since white folks could not play well with others, there's no need fighting about it we can go back to Africa and do our own thing and not have to deal with America's hypocrisy and racism. But where DuBois had the intellect, the education and the pedigree that would have been essential in matching the mental prowess of any Congressman, President, etc. Garvey had the ability to invoke passion, convince, preach, inspire. DuBois couldn't emotionally move a crowd by his public speaking. Garvey did not have a dedication to detail, business sense. But imagine if DuBois and Garvey could, like I said, set aside their egos, and have actually been able to work together. The organization of the NAACP is still in existence, the UNIA is not. In a short time Garvey was able to start a movement from scratch to boast hundreds of thousands of members. During the Great Depression that man was able to convince black folks to send in hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars; he started a newspaper, and a black shipping line-something that had never been accomplished by a black man before. Now I know that you don't mean to tell me that if those two had been able to do it together instead of fighting...shit, man, they would have ruled this country. Can you imagine how dangerous those two together would have been? Naw my Ol' Grayhead, I think you need to think about this for a couple of minutes and get back with me.
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Carey
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 07:42 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello

You did well my son. I have to give it to you, when your number is called you come to the plate taking a full swing.

Your debate is strong and I can not argue against many of your point. In fact I am going to ride with you. When I think about them two men riding together I think of Malcolm and Dr. King. Although Dr.Kings message is the championed one, it was Malcolms presence and those like him that really made the earth move. You are correct, they would have been a formidable foe.

I like what you said about Garvey's ability to inspire and motivate the mases. It's my belief that that skill alone is what moved many to vote for Obama. Not that he didn't bring many to the table on issues alone. His speaking skills were the belly of the beast. If there's any doubt about that suggestion/opinion, just put his words in the mouth of any other man of today and see if they still ring true. Also, his words ringed with passion and truth. I believe Garvey had this same quality.

I have to say that you did come back and adjust your position on DuBois. There's also some truth in the opinion that his Talent Tenth concept had hints of elitism, I wouldn't say it reeked of it. I was largely ignorant of the whole concept. I found myself with my finger up my but when discussions moved in that direction. Ultimately I had to find out for myself what it was really all about. I would suggest that anyone who has simply "heard" about the theory to check it out and see for themselves. Hey, sometimes you gotta get down and dirty to fight some things as powerful as ignorance and racial injustice.

I don't think I took Thump to school, I met him in the hallway. He's an underclassman but he's cool with me :-).
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Steve_s
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 09:56 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thumper and Cynique,

I disagree about "Of Our Spiritual Strivings" (Chapt. 1 of "The Souls of Black Folk") which I just happen to have re-read a few days ago because the Du Boisian trope of double-consciousness appears to be a central conceit of Colson Whitehead's new novel and I can't believe how superficially he seems to use it!

Anyway, if I remember correctly (or maybe I just dreamed it!) Du Bois spent his twenty-fifth birthday in Berlin where he was invited to a concert performance of Schubert's "Unfinished" Symphony, a soulful piece in a minor key which may have reminded him of the "sorrow songs" he wrote so eloquently about in Chapt. 14. Apparently his thoughts kept returning to Josie in the one-room schoolhouse in Tennessee (Chapt. 4) and he was full of regrets that such beautiful music was so inaccessible to someone like her.

So upon returning to his room he may have first conceived the idea of double-consciousness in music, which, although noble in sentiment, is at best lacking in clarity, and at worst doesn't really stand the test of time.

Here's what he wrote:

"The innate love of harmony and beauty that set the ruder souls of his people a-dancing and a-singing raised but confusion and doubt in the soul of the black artist; for the beauty revealed to him was the soul-beauty of a race which his larger audience despised, and he could not articulate the message of another people."

Starting at the end, the idea that black artists "could not express the message of another people" wasn't even true back then when you had opera performers like Sissieretta Jones, Shakesperian actor Ira Aldridge, classical musicians and composers like Will Marion Cook and Harry Burleigh, and on and on. Then in the decades that followed, Roland Hayes, Jules Bledsoe, and Marian Anderson, culminating in the opera singer from Laurel, Mississippi about whom Time music critic Michael Walsh said:

...for my money, the lady you want to hear in the big Italian (read: Verdi and Puccini) repertoire when the money is on the table. The finest Aïda of our time, the best Leonora (in Forza), the quintessential Tosca...Well, you get the idea.


Also performing by the date of publication of "Souls" were musicians as diverse as James Bland, Buddy Bolden, James Reese Europe, Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton, and you name it...and not a one of them gave a damn what anybody thought!
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Thumper
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 09:58 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello,

Carey: Thank you. I'm glad you liked your lesson today. The only thing missing was "Good Morning Mr. Thumper" and my apple. And its good to see that you were being a good student today. All it took was for me to turn your desk around to where you were facing the front of the classroom instead of coat closet.
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Carey
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Posted on Friday, February 27, 2009 - 11:44 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Funny Mr. Thumper ...funny. Don't turn your back, I might hit you with a spit ball.

Btw, you didn't respond to my advise about vaseline and Velvet cake. Are you hip to velvet cake? You can still buy lard in some neighborhood meat markets. You might have to melt it down to fit in all your grooves :-).
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Nom_de_plume
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Posted on Saturday, February 28, 2009 - 06:26 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

The Book of Night Women by Marlon James is making some SERIOUS noise in the industry. Has anyone read it yet? I can't wait to!
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Thumper
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Posted on Sunday, March 01, 2009 - 12:31 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello All,

Steve S: I had to reread the Chapter 1 in The Souls of Black Folks because it had been so long since I read it. I did not agree with Du Bois's position. His "double consciousness" theory I disagree with. It's not so much that we, African-Americans, can not reconcile our "black" side and our American side. We are not composed of two halves of two different pies: one half apple, the other half peach. We are Americans, period. Second, the tone Du Bois uses irks the hell out of me. He is trying to appeal to the intelligent side of white folks to plead his case. But Du Bois could not apply the basis of his argument that black folks are just as good as you despite the hair and the skin color and lack of social graces; he employed that same racism against his own people due to skin hue and personal presentation. Now the artist you mentioned in your posts, Leontyne Price, Roland Hayes and others Du Bois would have held them up as examples of what the black race can accomplish. I'm sure his fancy was tickled. But, if you had mentioned Bessie Smith or Alberta Hunter, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong or others, Du Bois would have looked down on them as "common". Remember, it was the NAACP that raked Hattie McDaniel over the coals for being the first AA to win an Oscar because she won it playing a slave/maid. Black folks doing all that "a-singing and a-dancing" and not striving for culture. But, Du Bois attitude still lingers on. I think that line that I absolutely detest sums up most of Du Bois philosophy; "why then THEY will think that WE are like that".

Nom de plume: I have A Book of Night Women. I'm going to start it in a few days. I have waited YEARS for Marlon James to publish a new novel. I so loved his first novel, John Crow's Devil. I'm glad folks are beginning to sit up and take notice of him.
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Carey
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Posted on Sunday, March 01, 2009 - 02:22 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thumper, I know you wish it would rain because you are still crying the same old blues. What amazes me about your more moderate view of Du Bois is ...it's not. It reeks of your gut prejudice against the man.

Since Ol'stevo didn't invite me to this party. You and mister charley can dance around the maple pole :-).
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Thumper
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Posted on Sunday, March 01, 2009 - 05:06 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello All,

Carey: For somebody that supposedly isn't invited to the party, I see that did not stop you from commenting. *eyebrow raised* Now if Steve did not want your input, he could have emailed me and you wouldn't have known nothing about it. So, say what you have to say and stop looking like the kid with his face pressed against the window downhearted cause you wasn't invited to the birthday party and you want some cake. *eyebrow still raised*

I know I keep hearing YOU sing the same ol' song concerning me and your boy Du Bois. What I don't hear from you is how I am wrong. Now, I'm not taking anything away from the man, but there are some things about his thinking that aint right. I've already pointed them out so I'm not going to repeat myself. Let's hear it.

Now, I'm going to go watch the Hitchcock mini marathon on TCM. I might catch the end of Vertigo.
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Ferociouskitty
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Posted on Sunday, March 01, 2009 - 07:33 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

His "double consciousness" theory I disagree with. It's not so much that we, African-Americans, can not reconcile our "black" side and our American side.

Thumper, let me first say that it's been a while and I might need to go back and re-read Chapter One of "The Souls..." myself. But just going from memory--or maybe, over the years I've put my own spin on DuBois's words?--what I took away from his "double consciousness" position is not that we (blacks) struggle (but fail) to reconcile these consciousness-es because they are so different, but rather that we are forced to live with the contradiction: We are American and as such are told this tale about freedom/equality, and yet there are those who seek to keep us from full measure of that freedom/equaltiy.

So we are aware, as Americans, of the promises of this country, but as blacks (collectively speaking) that promise is not fully/easily/automatically realized as it is/has been for whites.

The American "promise", then, is essentially a broken promise if you're black, and that's the struggle in which our consciousness is engaged, struggling to live/succeed/not snap in the face of this broken promise.

Now...again, this may just be my interpretation, and I defer to you on the point.

My understanding of DuBois's double consciousness position always reminded me of this portion of Dr. King's "I Have a Dream Speech":

In a sense we have come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men would be guaranteed the inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."


Maybe my understanding of DuBois was influenced by Dr. King's words because I read them first???
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Carey
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Posted on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 12:34 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello Mr. Thumper, it's me, Carey. I am sitting way back here in the back of your class. You might not be able to see me and that may be part of the problem. Well, I have my book open and I am trying to see what page you are on. I am having a hard time because of what you are, I can't hear what you say.

You appear to be drunk or under some distress. Pick up your fat lip and listen to your ol'grayhead.

I ve learned to listen to what others say with a very discerning ear. If a person shows me what they are or tells me who they are, I can do nothing but believe them.

Look, in every life there comes a moment when the man stands revealed for what he really is. It may be a great and climactic instant when he encounters a sudden awareness of the purpose and direction of his life. It may be a moment of final and irrevocable decision. Face it, you ARE a DuBois hater *lol*.

You talk that thang, but you seldom talk that thang about the good of Du Bois. You sprinkle a little good here and there but your main ingedient is salt. You drop salt on the man in every mix.

I love Kitty. She's a courageous women, and smart too :-). I loved her take on "the double consciousness theory".

My dear friend Thump, we've been in this car for a long time. I am proud to call you a friend. You've held me down through my times of trouble and my return back. I am going to turn up the radio and just let you listen. Be well my son.

"In its almost fabulous transcendence of place, time, and, ultimately, even race, Du Bois's life holds large and enduring meaning. It bears the imprint of Afro-American's dilemas from the post-reconstruction Era of the early 1870's to the Civil Rights revolution of the early 1960's. He was among the first of thoses American intellectuals who asserted that hyphenated Americans were not a cultural contratiction, as Theodore Roosevelt once said, but the embodiment of enriching DIVERSITY. And in order to give his cultural and aesthetic claims a strong foundation, Du Bois led the way, in recoving the major lost civilizations".

Carey

Carey
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Thumper
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Posted on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 01:10 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello All,

FK: Hey, you made me go back to the book to boost up my side. *big smile* I miss this type of debate where we had to back up our views. So, here it goes, quoting the from the book,


"After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil and gifted with second-sight in this American world,-a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's should by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his twoness,-an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn assunder."

Du Bois then goes on to discuss how the merging of the double-consciousness would render a uniquely American man.

Carey: Hey, it is what it is. I'm not taking anything away from DuBois, but you are right, and I proudly state that I do not like Du Bois' theories.
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Carey
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Posted on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 01:48 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Yes Thump, it is what it is!

I am going to give the floor to Kitty. I am going to pass the remainder of my time with you to her. BUT .....

But I will be back because of what you said. You said that you missed "this type of debate where we had to back up our views. I try to listen to opinions to see if they are support by facts.

You wrote: "It's not so much that we, African-Americans, can not reconcile our "black" side and our American side. We are not composed of two halves of two different pies: one half apple, the other half peach. We are Americans, period. Second, the tone Du Bois uses irks the hell out of me. He is trying to appeal to the intelligent side of white folks to plead his case. But Du Bois could not apply the basis of his argument that black folks are just as good as you despite the hair and the skin color and lack of social graces; he employed that same racism against his own people due to skin hue and personal presentation".

Where is the facts in those words???

You also Wrote: "Remember, it was the NAACP that raked Hattie McDaniel over the coals for being the first AA to win an Oscar because she won it playing a slave/maid. Black folks doing all that "a-singing and a-dancing" and not striving for culture".

Again, what are you saying? And, did "he" actually rake "Hattie McDaniel" over the coals?

We all know that he was deep into the NAACP, a very strong and influential organization. However, I am waiting for you to support your statements via direct quotes from him! Moreso, was the NAACP attacking Ms. McDaniel or the role? You do know that he had struggles with with Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey and the NAACP...sure you do. I can assume that you are also aware that their difference are documented in letters and words from their own mouths - hundreds. I will not raise my eyebrow on you but ...am just saying, look around and see what battle ground you are standing on. I believe your ammunition might run dry.

The ego is a mean thang. It sometimes gets in the way of right. Who likes being made to feel that they are wrong.
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Thumper
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Posted on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 03:58 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello All,

Carey: My Ol' Grayhead, yeah, thanks for giving the floor to Kitty. *eyebrow raised*

I did not find where Du Bois explicitly stated his motivation for his writing The Souls of Black Folks. It is my impression from the subjects and tone that this was his purpose for the book. After recently reading the Garvey biography, Du Bois went for the juggular which included Garvey's skin color, as I said before. Shouldn't he, better than anyone, have known better? If it wasn't in his heart, in wouldn't have been on his tongue or at the end of his pen.

Now, why you decided to challenge me on the Hattie McDaniel question is beyond me, but anyway, it is well documented that Walter White, then the head of the NAACP very publicly criticized McDaniel for her role in Gone With The Wind and hated that she won the Oscar. He then championed Lena Horne and asked why Lena Horne wasn't in all of the movies that McDaniel was, etc. Look at McDaniel and Lena Horne. Because all McDaniel was doing was perpetrating the same negative black stereotypes, etc. He dogged her! But then this isn't the first time the NAACP pulled this, remember the controversy over The Color Purple. So, instead of congratulating McDaniel for accomplishing a feat that even Hollywood stars such as Barbara Stanwyck, Cary Grant, or even Alfred Hitchcock did not pull off, the NAACP took a bite out of McDaniel's hide. As you told me, on another post, use the internet and look it up.

BTW, please read my statements, especially the ones you cut and pasted to make your point. I did not say that Du Bois raked McDaniel over the coals, I said the NAACP. I should have stated Walter White, then president of the NAACP.
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Ferociouskitty
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Posted on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 04:39 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Thumper:

Thanks for posting that. I *definitely* was putting my own spin on DuBois's position!
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Carey
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Posted on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 05:41 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Hello

Dang, it looks like I just missed Ms. Kitty. She must have just poked her head in the door.

I just heard the bell ring and class is over. I thank you Mr. Thumper, it was a great speech. Well, not great but I learned a little something.

I was wonder if next time ...well, if it would be alright if I sat in the front row. I sometimes have a hard time hearing what you are saying. See, I brought you a velvet cake but you took some long getting to your point that I ate it up. I want to come right in, sit in the front row and bask in all your glory. What do you think :-)?

Who knows, I may bring you something to sweeten you up. Lawd knows you could use a little sweetening ...you old sourpuss *lol*.
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Steve_s
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Posted on Monday, March 02, 2009 - 11:58 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

Steve S: I had to reread the Chapter 1 in The Souls of Black Folks because it had been so long since I read it. I did not agree with Du Bois's position. His "double consciousness" theory I disagree with. It's not so much that we, African-Americans, can not reconcile our "black" side and our American side. We are not composed of two halves of two different pies: one half apple, the other half peach. We are Americans, period. Second, the tone Du Bois uses irks the hell out of me. He is trying to appeal to the intelligent side of white folks to plead his case. But Du Bois could not apply the basis of his argument that black folks are just as good as you despite the hair and the skin color and lack of social graces; he employed that same racism against his own people due to skin hue and personal presentation. Now the artist you mentioned in your posts, Leontyne Price, Roland Hayes and others Du Bois would have held them up as examples of what the black race can accomplish. I'm sure his fancy was tickled. But, if you had mentioned Bessie Smith or Alberta Hunter, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong or others, Du Bois would have looked down on them as "common". Remember, it was the NAACP that raked Hattie McDaniel over the coals for being the first AA to win an Oscar because she won it playing a slave/maid. Black folks doing all that "a-singing and a-dancing" and not striving for culture. But, Du Bois attitude still lingers on. I think that line that I absolutely detest sums up most of Du Bois philosophy; "why then THEY will think that WE are like that".

Thumper, Thanks. "Of Our Spiritual Strivings," the first chapter of The Souls of Black Folk (1903), was previously published in slightly different form in the Atlantic magazine in August 1897. It's true that he was trying to appeal to an educated readership that was probably located in the Northeast, was affluent enough to afford a subscription to Harpers and open-minded enough to consider what he had to say, and it's true that most of them would have been white. One thing I think he was trying to do in that book was to re-engage northern whites with the plight of African Americans in this horrible period which saw overturning of the gains of Reconstruction -- and he had his work cut out for him, I will say that!

The year before, in 1896, Plessy v. Ferguson ushered in Jim Crow segregation and the Supreme Court cases of 1883 had overturned the Civil Rights Act of 1875 which was supposed to protect the 14th and 15th Amendments, while the 13th was made moot by grandfather clauses and all the rest.

Du Bois could not apply the basis of his argument that black folks are just as good as you..

Just for the record, I identify as a third-generation bebop descendant of Charles Sumner, and he didn't ever compromise that I know of, in fact, he even lost his chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when, unlike Frederick Douglass, he didn't agree to Ulysses S. Grant's 1870 plan to annex the Dominican Republic. And he was physically beaten in Congress!

I would say that if W.E.B. Du Bois never did anything else (which, of course, he did), his 1935 (?) book on Reconstruction which turned around the thinking of historians about that era, was an enormous contribution. Although I haven't read it, the reading group I was part of read Eric Foner's history of Reconstruction and a member of our group named James Ferguson who read both books wrote the Amazon.com "Spotlight Review" for Du Bois's "Black Reconstruction in America."

His audience for the Atlantic piece and later for "Souls," knew that we had fought a bloody war and that Reconstruction was over (or had failed), but they were being given inaccurate information about the reasons why.

Here's the Atlantic piece:

http://www.theatlantic.com/doc/189708/dubois-strivings

In the 1903 version, he adds the hackneyed phrase, "having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face" at the end of the third paragraph instead of "losing the opportunity of self-development," and of course, he adds all the African mysticism about the "shadow of a mighty Negro past [that] flits through the tale of Ethiopia the Shadowy and of Egypt the Sphinx," but otherwise, it seems to stay pretty close.

Another interesting piece that touches on some of the same themes as "Of Our Spiritual Striving" is "The Conservation of Races," a lecture delivered five months earlier (March, 1897) to a newly-formed African American intellectual association which included William Monroe Trotter and Alexander Crummell. Here's how it describes "double-consciousness" (without labeling it that):

Here, then, is the dilemma, and it is a puzzling one, I admit. No Negro who has given earnest thought to the situation of his people in America has failed, at some time in life, to find himself at these cross-roads; has failed to ask himself at some time: What, after all, am I? Am I an American or am I a Negro? Can I be both? Or is it my duty to cease to be a Negro as soon as possible and be an American? If I strive as a Negro, am I not perpetuating the very cleft that threatens and separates Black and White America? Is not my only possible practical aim the subduction of all that is Negro in me to the American? Does my black blood place upon me any more obligation to assert my nationality than German, or Irish or Italian blood would?


http://www.webdubois.org/dbConsrvOfRaces.html

Interesting for a couple of reasons, one is that those three nationalities he names represent my grandparent's ethnicities: one German (which he calls the Teutonic race), one Irish (which he calls the English race), and two Italians (which he calls the Romance race). That's me, half Romance! Without finance.

Other than that, the racial content of the lecture -- for example, that history is made by races, not by nations -- is pretty remarkable. For one reason, this was nearing the height of European immigration when new arrivals were being urged by the "Americanizers" like Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Justice Louis Brandeis, and others, to drop the "hyphenation" (as in Italian-American) and become just Americans. And at the same time, black leaders like Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, and R.R. Moton, argued that a heightened sense of racial identity was beneficial to African Americans. That was a political decision for that time in history that I'm not second-guessing, I'm mostly trying to learn more about it.
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Chrishayden
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Posted on Wednesday, March 04, 2009 - 01:50 pm:   Delete Post View Post/Check IP Print Post    Ban Poster IP (Moderator/Admin only)

This is good. You should do more of these reviews and expand your writing. You should put together a book of these and other works.

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