In a ground-breaking collaboration, and taking the great W.E.B. Du Bois as their model, two of our foremost African-American intellectual address the dreams, fears, aspirations, and responsibilities of the black community--especially the black elite--on the eve of the twenty-first century. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Two preeminent black American scholar/ authors, both affiliated with the department of Afro-American studies at Harvard, offer contemporary responses?reflections rather than policy recommendations?to W.E.B. Du Bois's famous challenge to "the Talented Tenth" about service to the black community. Given the ambitiousness of the title, the essays are brief?not much longer than Du Bois's 1903 essay plus his own later self-critique (both published in an appendix here)?and somewhat derivative of the author's previous writings. Gates recalls his passage to the Ivy League 25 years ago and the subsequent American political retrenchment and black middle-class's sense of guilt. The two black men he admired the most at Yale died young and unfulfilled; Gates suggests that his generation may find the quest for identity within their community more daunting than the struggle against white America. West, more directly critiquing Du Bois, argues that the patriarch disdained all but elite culture, and that black "cultural hybridity" (Coltrane, Wright, Morrison, etc.) best engages the challenge of America's "twilight civilization." Thus the Talented Tenth faces an identity crisis: it must decide whether to retreat into cultural rootlessness and hedonism or to strive, as West has argued often, for "radical democracy."
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I have said it before but for give me, I am a West Reader. This was the first West/Gates piece I read when I was in high school. It started my love for social science learning. Read morePublished on December 27, 2006 by Rodney Henry
The essays here are fairly good, although anyone familiar with the authors will have heard a lot of the patter before. And the piece by W.E.B. Du Bois--why is that in here? Read morePublished on December 24, 1999