Divine Discontent: The Religious Imagination of W.E.B. Du Bois

By Jonathon S. Kahn | Go to book overview

Notes

INTRODUCTION

1. W.E.B. Du Bois, “Careers Open to College-bred Negroes,” in Writings by W.E.B. Du Bois in Non-periodical Literature Edited by Others, ed. Herbert Aptheker (Millwood, N.Y.: Kraus-Thomson, 1982), 9, emphasis mine. Reprinted from Two Addresses Delivered by Alumni of Fisk University, in Connection with the Anniversary Exercises of Their Alma Mater, June 1898 (Nashville: Fisk University, 1898).

2. W.E.B. Du Bois, “The Future of Wilberforce University,” Journal of Negro Education 9(4) (October 1940): 554.

3. Ibid., 564-565.

4. Barbara Savage’s essay “W.E.B. Du Bois and ‘the Negro Church’ “ represents the most nuanced account of Du Bois’s relationship to the black church. Savage notes that, while Du Bois readily acknowledged the central role that religion and its institutions played in the creation of black political and social life, “Du Bois’s overall stance toward black Christianity and the black church remained far from celebratory. Even when he acknowledged the centrality of the church to black life, including black political life, his greatest ideological consistency was seeing that fact not as a strength but as an impediment to be overcome or managed.” See Barbara Savage, “W.E.B. Du Bois and ‘The Negro Church,’ “Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science 568(1) (2000)1 236. Du Bois did not hesitate to call the black church leaders “pretentious” and “dishonest and immoral” (quoted in Savage, 237).

5. W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk in W.E.B. Du Bois, Writings, ed. Nathan Huggins (New York: Library of America, 1986), 366. Hereafter cited as SBF.

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