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Saving the Race: Conversations on Du Bois from a Collective Memoir of Souls Paperback – June 8, 2004

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In his landmark book on race, The Souls of Black Folks, W.E.B. DuBois detailed the schizophrenic lifestyle black Americans had to live in order to find their place in post-slavery America. Carroll’s latest work since the well-received Sugar In The Raw: Voices of Young Black Girls in America revisits DuBois’s classic more than 100 years after its debut to examine the current relevance of its original content. Carroll interviewed 18 well-known black scholars, journalists, artists, politicians and activists for her project, asking them to reflect on selected DuBois passages and to offer new interpretations of them. The result is a handbook of personal reflections and cultural insights from the likes of Derrick Bell, Patricia Smith, Julian Bond and Elizabeth Alexander on the issues of black authenticity, inequality, fitting in, being the "different" black person and on DuBois himself. Personal anecdotes at the beginning of each chapter give readers a front-row view of Carroll’s own struggles as a biracial woman trying desperately to discover how to be black—with only white parents, a few black friends and a large dose of race consciousness as her guides. All together, the short-chapter format weaves together the personal history and the variant commentary nicely, but somehow the book remains disjointed and unfocused, perhaps because it never focuses on a central theme.
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From Booklist

Carroll, a former W. E. B. DuBois Fellow at Harvard University, explores contemporary reflections of DuBois' seminal work, The Souls of Black Folk. Using a series of interviews with a variety of commentators--journalists, artists, authors, politicians--Carroll focuses on the issues DuBois brought to the surface in his work, namely the color line, identity, and double consciousness. Reflecting on DuBois' famous prediction that "the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line," commentators from the civil rights generation and the hip-hop generation offer their personal perspectives and new twists on the old black-white racial dynamic. Among the 20 interview subjects are DuBois' stepson, David Graham DuBois; A'Lelia Bundles; Julian Bond; Kathleen Cleaver; Lalita Tademy; Thelma Golden; Vernon Jordan; Derrick Bell; Patricia Smith; and Clarence Major. Carroll, a biracial woman raised by white parents who identifies herself as black, intersperses her own complex perspectives on race. Vernon Ford
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Harlem Moon; 1 edition (June 8, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767916190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767916196
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,036,602 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois is perhaps one of the most influential African-Americans in history. Before there was a Martin Luther King, Jr. or Malcolm X, Du Bois was a voice and conscience of a people. An intellectual, scholar and activist, Du Bois' fight for equality spanned from the era of Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Movement. His philosophy and insight into the plight of African-Americans still reigns true and valuable today. In SAVING THE RACE: CONVERSATIONS ON DU BOIS FROM A COLLECTIVE MEMOIR OF SOULS author Rebecca Carroll gathers eighteen well-known and influential African-Americans such as: Julian Bond, A'Leila Bundles, Lalita Tademy, Toure, and Jewell Jackson McCabe to discuss their perspective on Du Bois and his most famous and studied work The Souls of Black Folk.

In candid essays, each of the eighteen people, whose accomplishments range from writer to politicians, discuss their thoughts on Du Bois's work, ideology and accomplishments. They revisit issues raised in The Souls of Black Folk such as race, classism, injustices and hope. Each person reveals how the concerns raised by Du Bois nearly a century ago are still relevant today to African-Americans as a community and within their own personal lives. Rebecca Carroll also peppers the book with her personal struggles of coming to terms with being Black in America, for she was a bi-racial child raised by a White family in rural New Hampshire. At times isolated and unsure of her identity, Du Bois was one of Carroll's first and most influential personal testament to the trials and tribulations of African-Americans.

I thoroughly enjoyed the testimony by the many well known African-Americans. Looking at The Souls of Black Folks from a modern perspective was refreshing and inspiring.
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