wombat_socho (wombat_socho) wrote,

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What's going on

Cobb has a rather extensive post up about the various political/cultural struggles going on in Black America (inasmuch as there is a culturally/politically separate Black America, and I'm dubious about that) but the one that has always fascinated me is the first one: the old, continuous fight between the followers of W.E.B. DuBois and those of Booker Washington. DuBois and his followers in the NAACP won the early rounds, breaking the Tuskegee Machine and then Marcus Garvey's Black Peoples' Improvement Association before moving on to marginalize Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam, but now that the big civil rights have been fought and won the working-class/bourgeois vision of Booker T. Washington and his successors has risen again, reaching out over the Internet to find new adherents. This is a history that hasn't been talked about or discussed much, partially because of its isolation in the ghetto of black studies, but also because it would call into question a lot of things that have been done in the name of civil rights over the last century. Perhaps the reason black Americans couldn't follow the path of the Irish, Italians and other immigrants had as much to do with the poor choices of their "leadership" (or even the existence of such self-anointed leaders to begin with) as with the racism of the society at large.
Tags: culture & politics, history
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