4 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2018
    1. By herculean effort, helped by philanthropy and their own hard work, Negroes built a school system, bought land and cooperated in starting a new economic order in the South.

      Narrative of a human who is "deserving" of full citizenship, and by extension, deserving of human rights

    2. free labor and democracy on the one hand, and slave labor with its huge profits on the other.

      DuBois links democracy (maybe the UN's favorite word) with the Civil War, which I haven't seen before. Interesting/ potentially strategic choice

    3. ; and a great nation, which today ought to be in the forefront of the march toward peace and democracy, finds itself continuously making common cause with race-hate, prejudiced exploitation and oppression of the common man.

      This points to the interesting relationship between the rhetoric of human rights and patriotism. How do we reconcile calling a nation like the one DuBois just described a 'great nation'? The U.S. is not just guilty of segregation, there are a plethora of other aspects of its history that contradict the idea that the country would be "in the forefront of the march towards peace and democracy." Yet at the same time, the promise of a country that doesn't (and will never) exist is a common trope, almost an appeal to a better self. I wonder how much of this was deliberately targeted at the UN, an organization, where the US has exercised hegemonic soft power for decades, and thus a narrative of US excellence might ring true.

    4. the effect of the color caste system on the North American Negro has been both good and bad, its effect on white America has been disastrous.

      This is an interesting inversion of the usual narrative about segregation (which would say that segregation hurt black Americans, and would rarely discuss its impacts on white Americans). It feels both like it grants agency-- in that black Americans are not being presented as a continually downtrodden group-- and that it is an attempt to legitimize the struggle against segregation, because if segregation is disastrous for white America then it is truly bad for America.