Edward J. Blum. W.E.B. Du Bois: American Prophet. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007. ISBN 978-0-8122-4010-8. Reviewed by Reiland Rabaka, for the Journal of Southern Religion.

While W.E.B. Du Bois's pioneering work as an historian, sociologist, political scientist, and race theorist has been heavily lauded and heatedly debated over the ensuing decades since his death, few scholars have sought to connect his wide-ranging anti-racism with his unrepentant criticisms of religion. In W.E.B. Du Bois: American Prophet, religious historian Edward Blum takes up the gauntlet and delivers a work of extraordinary depth and exceptional insight, especially with regard to issues involving Europe's supposed white superiority and Africa's alleged black inferiority; the intersections of race and religion; the interconnections between white supremacy and white Christianity; black radical religious self-determination and black radical religious decolonization; the nature of revolutionary religious nationalism and its interconnections with revolutionary humanism; and, Du Bois as a prime architect and prophet of black liberation and womanist theology. According to Blum, Du Bois had a life-long, critical, and often contradictory relationship with religion, and particularly religion as it has historically been used or, rather, abused for imperial purposes. Du Bois's writings reveal a distinct Africana (i.e., continental and diasporan African) history, culture, and philosophy informed perspective on religion that simultaneously accents the advances it has inspired, and highlights the hurt and harm it has caused throughout human history. Du Bois's approach to religion was rarely one that could be quickly or easily quarantined to traditional religious studies because of his interdisciplinarity and consistent emphasis on race, gender and class issues within the realm of religion. The emphasis on secular issues within the sacred world of religion led Du Bois to develop a distinct style of critical religious thought that paid more attention to the earthly deeds than the ethereal words of a religious tradition, institution, or adherent. This unique shift of focus, along with his disaffection for any specific religious denomination, gave Du Bois enormous insight into the ways in which religion has been and continues to be used/ abused in the interest of domination and discrimination.

Often Du Bois's writings on religion reveal as much about racism as they do about the tenets of the religious tradition in question. He was apparently more preoccupied with, to use his words, "the problem of race and religion" than the problem of religion in any pure or narrow-minded sense.(1) This is a point that Blum's book drives home again and again and, owing to his eloquence and careful attention to argument, seems to only deepen and further develop with each successive chapter. In fact, as many of Du Bois's major religious studies demonstrate, religion and racism have long been inextricable in the modern moment and, as Blum eloquently argues, some of Du Bois's work in this vein supports a similar claim with regard to religion and sexism (117-118, 140, 158-162). Blum does not shy away from Du Bois's emphasis on the political economy of religion in a white supremacist capitalist society and, however subtly, provides much-needed insight into the ways in which Du Bois's synthesis of Christian ethics and democratic socialism prefigures what the black existentialist Lewis Gordon calls the "unacknowledged fourth tradition" of Cornel West's prophet pragmatism (45, 58, 110-118).(2) Curiously, Blum does not critically engage Gordon's, among many others', brilliant work in Africana philosophy of religion and, therefore, an important opportunity to not simply document but develop Du Bois's—and even more Africana—history of religion, philosophy of religion, sociology of religion, and contributions to black liberation and womanist theology was sorely missed.(3)

Throughout his long life Du Bois drew from his strict religious rearing, peppering his writings with religious themes, religious metaphors, and references to God. Though he was extremely critical of Christianity, he did not hesitate to use it to combat an unjust issue, provocatively explain a point, or ethically ground an argument. He had a peculiar predilection for religion, as the religiosity and profound spirituality of even his earliest writings reveal and, as Blum's research ably illuminates, it was a constant source of both personal and professional inspiration and frustration (20-60). Many of his religious writings harbor an autobiographical element, and are marked by a deep personal commitment to aligning the gentle words of Jesus with the deeds of those who claim to follow in his faithful footsteps. Moreover, Du Bois's religious writings are not immune to moral outrage and often display the critical dialectical questioning that ultimately became the cornerstone of his corpus.

"Blum's work goes far to reveal that what really bothered Du Bois most was religious hypocrisy or, in Du Bois's own words, 'religious lies.'"  


Blum's work goes far to reveal that what really bothered Du Bois most was religious hypocrisy or, in Du Bois's own words, "religious lies."(4) He quite simply had no tolerance for the abuse of religion, or for those who used religion as a tool to oppress or pacify. Therefore, when he found fault with a religious tradition (mostly Christianity, since it was the dominant religion of the United States during his lifetime, though, it should be duly noted, he was critical of Islam, especially its imperial legacy in Africa, as well), Du Bois was merely demanding an honesty and level of integrity from it, its leaders, and its adherents that he himself doggedly attempted to live by, enduring sacrifices and suffering setbacks as with any other "prophet." In his colorful narrative, Blum demonstrates that Du Bois's deepest desire was to radically reform not repudiate religion, particularly Christianity in the United States. Why? Because Du Bois, as the prophet of problems, saw himself as bearing witness to suffering, to injustice, to war, to inhumanity and hypocrisy. He consistently contended that religion was being used systematically to deceive, particularly the poor, women and children, thus socializing them to accept the lies and larceny of those in (white and male supremacist) authority.(5)

If whites were using religion to systematically indoctrinate, exploit and oppress, then Du Bois, dancing with the dialectic throughout the pages of Blum's book, advanced that the oppressed and colonized could use religion to liberate and bring a better world into being. From Du Bois's point of view, through sacrifice and struggle, not simply suffering, the oppressed, Fanon's famous "wretched of the earth," could bring a little of their long-hoped for heaven to earth. Though Blum does not emphasize it as deeply as other issues, Du Bois's sociological treatment of Africana religion fundamentally centers on syncretism, that is, on how enslaved and/or colonized Africans, as the African American religious historian Albert Raboteau observed in Slave Religion, fused their traditional religious thought and practices with the Christian theology of their white oppressors.(6) It is in the explanation of this protracted socio-cultural and historical process that Du Bois distinguished himself not simply as a sociologist of religion and philosopher of religion, but also an historian of religion and radical political theologian. Without a doubt, argued Du Bois, there were white and black Christians, but they were bound together not by religion as much as by theology. In other words, I am hinting here at what the womanist theologian Jacquelyn Grant eloquently argued in White Women's Christ and Black Women's Jesus, that is, that blacks and whites may be employing the same religious language and drawing from the same sacred text (the Bible), but their lived-experiences, their histories, cultural contexts, and social situations inspire them to draw comparably different conclusions as to the nature and power of God.(7) What Du Bois's work demonstrates, and what Blum's book seems to subtly erase or render invisible, is that holocaust, colonization and enslavement changed Africana people's theology, but it did not in every instance, and certainly it did not completely, destroy their religious thought and practices. This is an insight Du Bois culled from his lived-experiences, sociological observations and data collection at Fisk, in Philadelphia's African American community (under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania), and at Atlanta University, among other sites, where black Christians practiced, literally lived, a wide variety of Africanized versions of Christianity and where, in their daily lives, conscious and unconscious African retentions reigned.(8) Here I am making a critical distinction between theology and religion—a distinction that many black liberation and womanist theologians make. Theology has more to do with a theory (or theories) of God, where religion entails tenets, precepts, and practices involved in acknowledging and honoring, or worshipping, if you will, God. In addition, religion centers on the ways in which God, or God's spirit (e.g., the "Holy Ghost," angels, or miracles) informs and inspires human life, human thought, and human behavior on earth. Blum's work is weakest when and where critical distinctions could have and, to my mind, should have been made between theology and religion, especially where continental and diasporan Africans are concerned. Of course, to make these kinds of distinctions he would have to go beyond the subdisciplines of history of religion and sociology of religion and dive head first into philosophy of religion and—and this I should like to strongly stress—Africana Studies, and specifically Africana religious studies. Allow me to explain.

Clearly Blum has a good grasp of African American history and African American religious studies. However, his work suffers from its inattention to African Studies and African religious studies, areas of intellectual inquiry to which Du Bois consistently contributed, and also areas that Du Bois, among others, emphasized should be critically considered in any analysis that involves studies of the African diaspora.(9) This weakness in Blum's work could be remedied by developing a critical dialogue with Africana Studies (i.e., African, African American, Afro-Asian, Afro-European, Afro-Latino, Afro-Native American, Caribbean, Pan-African, and Black Studies) because Africana Studies is a transdisciplinary discipline, that is, a discipline that transgresses, transverses, and transcends the academic boundaries and intellectual borders, the color-lines and racial chasms, and the jingoism and gender injustice of traditional single phenomenon-focused disciplines, owing to the fact that at its best it poses problems and seeks solutions on behalf of Africana (and other struggling) people employing the theoretic innovations of both the social sciences and humanities, as well as the political breakthroughs of grassroots radical and revolutionary social movements.(10)

Had he have complemented his employment of the historical and sociological methods with Africana Studies theories and research methods, Blum's book would have placed a greater emphasis on, not simply the role of religion in pre-colonial Africa, but the myriad ways in which African Americans retained and, most importantly, recreated and reconstructed pre-colonial African religious traditions and practices. What is more, and with the humble intention of offering a concrete constructive criticism, had he have utilized Africana Studies theories and research methods, Blum would have also been able to call into question Du Bois's promotion of white male religious figures as "prophets" who provide the "Path" that African Americans should follow (120-131). No matter how deeply I identify with Blum's thesis that Du Bois is an African American prophet who provides contemporary religious communities with extraordinary insights into the dialectics of religion as an instrument of domination and/or a tool for liberation, my conscience calls me to take issue with his narrative when and where he reveals that at specific instances Du Bois advocated that African Americans should take religious white men such as Saint Francis, Martin Luther, John Brown, and Leo Tolstoy as models without wondering or, rather, without critically theorizing why Du Bois would leave the lives and legacies of radical and religious African Americans such as Robert Alexander Young, David Walker, Maria Stewart, Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and Alexander Crummell in the lurch (45-46, 104, 120).

Africana Studies theories and research methods enable the researcher to simultaneously appreciate and critique Du Bois and, in all intellectual honesty and solemn sincerity, ask his text(s): Why are Saint Francis, Martin Luther, John Brown, and Leo Tolstoy better models for the "Path" that African Americans should follow than Robert Alexander Young, David Walker, Maria Stewart, Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth, and Alexander Crummell? What do the former offer that the latter do not, especially considering what Du Bois's own texts teach us about the importance of the "shared" and "common" experiences, histories, and struggles of black folk in a white supremacist world?(11) Is this an instance where we witness Du Bois succumbing to Eurocentricism, or is this Du Boisian universalism? Considering his intellectual history-making corpus, how can we reconcile Du Bois's teeter-tottering between Eurocentricism and Pan-Africanism? How can we reconcile his black religious nationalism and his alleged atheistic or, at the very least, agnostic Marxist-socialism? Are there aspects of Du Bois's discourse that are irreconcilable from the vantage point of contemporary Africana Studies and, what is more, contemporary Africana struggles? Is it necessary for Du Bois scholars to salvage every element of Du Bois's discourse? What new discursive discoveries can we make by bringing the theoretical breakthroughs of Africana Studies to bear on the thought and texts of arguably one of the most imaginative and innovative, perceptive and prolific intellectual ancestors and architects of Africana Studies?(12)

I should state outright that Blum's book is first-rate intellectual history, history of religion, historical sociology and, in some senses, sociology of religion, but it does not exhibit that kind of deep transdisciplinary accent on continental and diasporan Africa that distinguishes an authentic Africana Studies text from a more general interdisciplinary text on a specific figure or phenomenon in the Africana experience. Questions of theoretical thrusts and research methods are increasingly more important as new and/or (re)emerging interdisciplinary disciplines challenge and break with traditional single phenomenon-focused monodisciplinary methods and theories. Recent theoretical debates in Africana Studies have made us painfully aware of the fact that theories are discipline-specific constructs and products, created in particular intellectual contexts, for particular intellectual purposes.(13) Contemporary Africana thought has also enabled us see that theories are always grounded in and grow out of specific social discourses, political practices, and national and international institutions. In The Hermeneutics of African Philosophy, the Eritrean philosopher, Tsenay Serequeberhan, correctly contends that "political 'neutrality' in philosophy, as in most other things, is at best a 'harmless' naïveté, and at worst a pernicious subterfuge for hidden agendas."(14) Each discipline has an academic agenda. Therefore, the theories and methodologies of a discipline promote the development of that particular discipline. Theories emerging from traditional disciplines that claim to provide an eternal philosophical foundation or universal and neutral knowledge transcendent of historical horizons, cultural conditions and social struggles, or a metatheory (i.e., a theory about theorizing) that purports absolute truth that transcends the interests of specific theorists and their theories, have been and are being vigorously rejected by Africana Studies scholars and students. Theory, then, as Serequeberhan says of philosophy, is a "critical and explorative engagement of one's own cultural specificity and lived historicalness. It is a critically aware explorative appropriation of our cultural, political, and historical existence."(15)

Theoretic discourse does not simply fall from the sky like wind-blown rain, leaving no traces of the direction from which it came and its initial point of departure. On the contrary, it registers as, and often radically represents, critical concerns interior to epistemologies and experiences arising out of a specific cultural condition and historical horizon within which it is located and discursively situated. In other words, similar to a finely crafted woodcarving or hand-woven garment, theories retain the intellectual and cultural markings of their makers, and though they can and do "travel" and "cross borders," they are optimal in their original settings and when applied to the original phenomena that inspired their creation.(16) By overlooking many of the major works in African religious studies and Africana philosophy of religion, neither of which are the same as black liberation theology; by only referring to Africa but failing to really use it as a resource to expatiate the myriad ways in which Du Bois critically historicized and (re)connected the spiritual traditions and religious practices of classical and modern, continental and diasporan Africans; and by downplaying the deeply African "creolized" and syncretized dimensions of African Americans' religious traditions and practices, Blum's book leaves a lot to be desired from an Africana Studies perspective. He seems to side-step Du Bois's own distinct transdisciplinary proto-Africana Studies research method(s) in favor of traditional monodisciplinary research methods, or, at the least, traditional monodisciplinary modes of analysis and interpretation.

Admittedly, it may not have been Blum's intention for his text to dialogue with Africana Studies, but such a premise seems highly improbable considering the fact that Du Bois has long been acknowledged as one of its major architects and intellectual ancestors. Think for a moment. Would not a book on Karl Marx, for example, that neglected to seriously consider the Marxist tradition(s) he inspired be insufficiently "Marxist" to most Marxists or neo-Marxists? Would not the author of a book on Karl Marx be expected to employ, at the least, some of the Marxian method, or disprove the Marxian method and demonstrate the superiority, or the rationale for the use of another method for the critical interrogation and (re)interpretation of Marx and Marxism? Is it, therefore, bewildering that Africana Studies scholars earnestly ask that work on Du Bois take into serious consideration the transdisciplinary discipline and the distinct research methods and modes of analysis that he inaugurated and continues to inspire?

In conclusion, once again I earnestly ask: What new discursive discoveries can we make by bringing the theoretical breakthroughs of contemporary Africana Studies to bear on the classical thought and texts of arguably one of the most imaginative and innovative, perceptive and prolific intellectual ancestors and architects of Africana Studies? This is the recurring question that I was left wondering after reading W.E.B. Du Bois: American Prophet. There are other questions, many others, this brilliant book answers. It distinguishes itself in so many ways that one hardly wants to ruin a good read. Indeed, "good read" it remains, even in light of my above critical comments and hopefully helpful constructive criticisms, because W.E.B. Du Bois: American Prophet does what few texts on Du Bois have dared to do: it has provided Du Bois scholars with a new point of departure, one that enables us to consider critically yet another long-buried dimension of Du Bois's much-mangled intellectual history-making discourse. Edward Blum, a young radical historian on the rise, has done it again. He has researched and written a book that will undoubtedly be a benchmark for many years to come, and for this, it should be sternly stated, interdisciplinary scholars, not just Du Bois scholars or Africana Studies scholars, are eternally indebted to him.  

Reiland Rabaka
Associate Professor of Africana Studies
The University of Colorado at Boulder

1. W.E.B. Du Bois, "The Negro and the Warsaw Ghetto," in Du Bois on Religion, edited by Phil Zuckerman (Walnut Creek: Altamira, 2000), p. 199. 2. Lewis R. Gordon, "The Unacknowledged Fourth Tradition: An Essay on Nihilism, Decadence, and the Black Intellectual Tradition in the Existential Pragmatic Thought of Cornel West," in Cornel West: A Critical Reader, edited by George Yancy (Malden: Blackwell), pp 38-58. And, for a brief overview of Cornel West's prophetic pragmatism, prophetic Christian thought, progressive Marxist theory, and philosophy of race, see his Cornel West Reader (New York: Civitas, 1999). 
3. Lewis R. Gordon, Her Majesty's Other Children: Sketches of Racism from a Neocolonial Age (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield, 1997); "Three Perspectives on Gays in African American Ecclesiology and Religious Thought," in Sexual Orientation and Religion, edited by Martha Nussbaum and Saul Olyan (New York: Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 171-7; "Pan-Africanism and African American Liberation in a Postmodern World: Two Recent Works in African American Religious Thought," Journal of Religious Ethics 27, 2 (1999), pp. 333-360; Existentia Africana: Understanding Africana Existential Thought (New York: Routledge, 2000), and "Introduction: The Call in Africana Religion and Philosophy," Listening: A Journal of Religion and Culture 36, 1 (2001), pp. 3-13, as well as William R. Jones, Is God a White Racist?: A Preamlbe to Black Theology (Boston: Beacon, 1997); Timothy E. Fulop and Albert J. Raboteau (eds.), African American Religion: Interpretive Essays in History and Culture (New York: Routledge, 1997); Osaga Odak, Kemeticism: The World Religion for Black Peoples (Nairobi, Kenya: Madoa Publishers, 1997); Will Coleman, Tribal Talk: Black Theology, Hermeneutics, and African/American Ways of "Telling the Story" (University Park: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000); Francis O.C. Njoku, Essays in African Philosophy, Thought, and Theology (Lagos, Nigeria: Clacom Communications, 2002); Elizabeth A. Isichei, The Religious Traditions of Africa: A History (Westport: Praeger, 2004); Wale Egberongbe, African Traditional Religion: We Are No Pagans (Lagos, Nigeria: Nelson Publishers, 2003); Stephen Ellis, Worlds of Power: Religious Thought and Political Practice in Africa (New York: Oxford University Press, 2004); and the extremely important essays on African philosophy of religion by John Bewaji, Souleyame Diagne, Samuel Imbo, and Olusegun Oladipo gathered in A Companion to African Philosophy, edited by Kwasi Wiredu (Malden: Blackwell, 2004).
4. W.E.B. Du Bois, The Autobiography of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of Its First Century (New York: International Publishers, 1968), p 412.
5. For further discussion, see the following essays by the present author: "The Souls of White Folk: W.E.B. Du Bois's Critique of White Supremacy and Contributions to Critical White Studies," Journal of African American Studies 11, 1 (2007), pp. 1-15; "W.E.B. Du Bois's 'The Comet' and Contributions to Critical Race Theory: An Essay on Black Radical Politics and Anti-Racist Social Ethics," Ethnic Studies Review: Journal of the National Association for Ethnic Studies 29, 1 (2006), pp. 22-48; "The Souls of Black Female Folk: W.E.B. Du Bois and Africana Anti-Sexist Critical Social Theory," Africalogical Perspectives 1, 2 (2004), pp. 100-141; and, "W.E.B. Du Bois and 'The Damnation of Women': An Essay on Africana Anti-Sexist Critical Social Theory," Journal of African American Studies  7, 2 (2003), pp. 37-60.
6. See Albert J. Raboteau, Slave Religion: The "Invisible Institution" in the Antebellum South (New York: Oxford University Press, 1978), as well as his A Fire in the Bones: Reflections on African American Religious History (Boston: Beacon, 1995) and Canaan Land: A Religious History of African Americans (New York: Oxford University Press, 1999). 
7. Jacquelyn Grant, White Women's Christ and Black Women's Jesus: Feminist Christology and Womanist Response (Atlanta: Scholars Press, 1989).
8. For further discussion of African retentions in African American religious thought and practices, please see Roger Bastide, African Civilizations in the New World (New York: Harper & Row, 1971); Leonard E. Barrett, Soul-Force: African Heritage in Afro-American Religion (Garden City, NY: Anchor, 1974); Joseph E. Holloway (ed.), Africanisms in American Culture (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991); Mechel Sobel, Trabelin' On: The Slave Journey to an Afro-Baptist Faith (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1979); Walter F. Pitts, Old Ship of Zion: The Afro-Baptist Ritual in the African Diaspora (New York: Oxford University Press, 1993); Robert E. Hood, Must God Remain Greek?: Afro-Cultures and God-Talk (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1990); Don C. Ohadike, Sacred Drums of Liberation: Religions and Music of Resistance in Africa and the Diaspora (Trenton: Africa World Press, 2007); Craig S. Wilder, In the Company of Black Men: The African Influence on African American Culture in New York City (New York: New York University Press, 2001); Hans A. Baer and Merrill Singer, African American Religion: Varieties of Protest and Accommodation (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 2002); Paul E. Johnson (ed.), African American Christianity: Essays in History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994); and, Milton C. Sernett (ed.), African American Religious History: A Documentary Witness (Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1999).
9. For example, see W.E.B. Du Bois, Black Folk, Then and Now: An Essay in the History and Sociology of the Negro Race (New York: Henry Holt, 1939), Color and Democracy: Colonies and Peace (New York: Hartcourt Brace, 1945), The World and Africa: An inquiry into the part which Africa has played in world history (New York: International Publishers, 1965), The Negro (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970), and The Gift of Black Folk: The Negro in the Making of America (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1970).
10. The literature on Africana Studies—which, to reiterate, encompasses African, African American, Afro-Asian, Afro-European, Afro-Latino, Afro-Native American, Black, Caribbean, and Pan-African Studies — is multicultural, transethnic, transgendered, transgenerational, and extensive. The most noteworthy overviews and analyses are: Delores Aldridge and Carlene Young (eds.), Out of the Revolution: An Africana Studies Anthology (Lanham: Lexington, 2000); Talmadge Anderson (ed.), Black Studies: Theory, Method and Cultural Perspective (Pullman: Washington State University Press, 1990); Molefi Asante and Maulana Karenga (eds.), The Handbook of Black Studies (Thousand Oaks: Sage, 2006); Mario Azevedo (ed.), Africana Studies: A Survey of Africa and the African Diaspora (Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 1993); Nikongo Ba Nikongo (ed.), Leading Issues in African American Studies (Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 1997); Jacqueline Bobo and Claudine Michel (eds.), Black Studies: Current Issues, Enduring Questions (Dubuque: Kendall/Hunt, 2000); Jacqueline Bobo, Cynthia Hudley, and Claudine Michel (eds.), The Black Studies Reader (New York: Routledge, 2004); James L. Conyers (ed.), Africana Studies: A Disciplinary Quest for Both Theory and Method (Jefferson: McFarland, 1997); Lewis Gordon and Jane Anna Gordon (eds.), A Companion to African American Studies (Malden: Blackwell, 2006); Lewis Gordon and Jane Anna Gordon (eds.), Not Only the Master's Tools: African American Studies in Theory and Practice (Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2006); Manning Marable (ed.), Dispatches from the Ebony Towers: Intellectuals Confront the African American Experience (New York: Columbia University Press, 2000); Manning Marable (ed.), The New Black Renaissance: The Souls Anthology of Critical African American Studies (Boulder: Paradigm Publishers, 2005); and, Nathaniel Norment, Jr. (ed.), The African American Studies Reader (Durham: Carolina Academic Press, 2001). 
11.For example, W.E.B. Du Bois, The Negro (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970), The World and Africa: An inquiry into the part which Africa has played in world history (New York: International Publishers, 1965), Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 (New York: Touchstone, 1995), Dusk of Dawn: An Essay Toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept (New York: Schocken, 1968), Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil (New York: Schocken, 1969), and, The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1996).
12. In much of my work I have attempted to address many of these crucial questions. For further discussion, see Reiland Rabaka, W.E.B. Du Bois and the Problems of the Twenty-First Century: An Essay on Africana Critical Theory (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2007) and Du Bois's Dialectics: Black Radical Politics and the Reconstruction of Critical Social Theory (Lanham: Lexington Books, 2008). The fourth chapter of Du Bois's Dialectics, "Du Bois's Radical Religious Thought and Critical Theory of Liberation Theology," directly responds to many of the questions I have raised here and, therefore, may be of express interest.
13. For further discussion, see Delores P. Aldridge and E. Lincoln James (eds.), Africana Studies: Philosophical Perspectives and Theoretical Paradigms (Pullman: Washington State University Press, 2007), James L. Conyers, Africana Studies: A Disciplinary Quest for Both Theory and Method (Jefferson: McFarland, 2005), and Perry A. Hall, In the Vineyard: Working in African American Studies (Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, 1999).
14. Tsenay Serequeberhan, The Hermeneutics of African Philosophy: Horizon and Discourse (New York: Routledge, 1994), p. 4.
15. Serequeberhan, The Hermeneutics of African Philosophy, p. 23.
16. For further discussion, see Edward Said, "Traveling Theory Reconsidered," in Nigel C. Gibson (ed.), Rethinking Fanon (Amherst, NY: Humanity Books, 1999), pp. 197-214, and "Traveling Theory," in Moustafa Bayoumi and Andrew Rubin (eds.), The Edward Said Reader (New York: Vintage), pp. 195-217, as well as Henry Giroux, Border Crossings: Cultural Workers and the Politics of Education (New York: Routledge, 1992).
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