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Toward a Philosophy of Race: W.E.B Du Bois and Critical Race

By Devin Avshalom-Smith

         The writings of Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois are both prolific and voluminous. His contributions to social sciences such as sociology, history, and philosophy are inescapably salient. In particular, the philosophy of race has been cultivated and enriched by the written works of W.E.B. Du Bois. His race theory has been studied and applied within numerous branches of philosophy. The contributions of W.E.B. Du Bois’ philosophy of race to the development of Critical Race Theory is the focus of this discussion. His contributions consist of an existentialist analysis of the race concept as described through the lived experience of blackness, as well as, a forthright challenge to the American political and social system as a white supremacist polity premised upon the subjugation of nonwhite people. First, W.E.B. Du Bois’ theory of race, which evolved throughout his life, is examined. Central to his discussions are the biological concept of race and the sociohistorical concept of race. Du Bois, primarily, argued for the use of the sociohistorical concept of race.

          Second, Critical Race Theory (CRT) is defined and discussed. Critical Race Theory is a burgeoning movement that takes a philosophical approach to challenge traditional legal, social, and cultural establishments in American society. The theory formally arrived in American law schools in the 1980s (Crenshaw, Gotanda, Peller, Thomas, 1995, p. xix). Legal scholar Derrick Bell is seen as the modern progenitor of CRT, however, the theory’s gestation occurred within the writings of 19th and 20th-century thinkers such as W.E.B. Du Bois. Third, selected works from Critical Race Theory are analyzed and used to point out relationships between concepts also found in Du Bois’ writing. Finally, some of W.E.B. Du Bios’ contributions to Critical Race Theory are discussed.

         The concept of race is a central feature of the writings of W.E.B. Du Bois. As exhibited in his work, Du Bois’ theory of race evolved throughout his life. In his autobiography, Dusk of Dawn published in 1940, Du Bois states:

       My discussions of the concept of race, and the white and colored worlds are not to be regarded as digressions from the history of my life; rather my autobiography is a digressive illustration and exemplification of what race has meant in the world of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It is for this reason that I have named and tried to make this book an autobiography of race rather than merely a personal reminiscence. (p. 221)

           Race informed Du Bois’ lived experience in such a way that he viewed his personal narrative as a single stream in the overall existence of the race concept of the 19th and 20th centuries. His assertion is powerful and provides critical insight into his overall philosophy. Race, essentially, informed Du Bois’ relationship with his self and the world. The development of Du Bois’ theory of race is observable through an analysis of his writings. For this discussion, excerpts from The Conservation of Races (1897), The Souls of Black Folk (1903), Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil (1920), Black Reconstruction: An Essay Toward a History of the Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, 1860–1880 (1935), and Dusk of Dawn: An Essay Toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept (1940) are examined.

       First, it is important to note that Du Bois primarily covers two concepts of race in the selected writings. He often discusses the biological concept of race, as well as, the sociohistorical concept of race. The biological concept of race attempts to categorize groups of people based on various physical commonalities. Traditionally, assumptions about mental, cognitive, and psychological capacity were made by way of the concept of biological race. The sociohistorical concept of race accounts for a shared group experience and cumulative social and historical conditions. Philosopher John Shuford boldly comments that “Reconstructed race concepts allowed Du Bois not only to shatter biological essentialism but also to promote African American solidarity, pluralistically resituate white racial identity, and provide trenchant critical perspectives on the intersections between racism and capitalism” (Shuford, 2001, p. 315). Du Bois staunchly advocated the idea that examining race through the social sciences would provide a more insightful and accurate understanding of the concept.  One of the first examples of Du Bois’ race theory is demonstrated in the speech he presented to the American Negro Academy in 1897 entitled, The Conservation of Races. In his speech, Du Bois provides the following definition of race:

          It is a vast family of human beings, generally of common blood and language, always of common history, traditions, and impulses, who are both voluntarily and involuntarily striving together for the accomplishment of certain more or less vividly conceived ideals of life. (Sundquist, 1996, p. 40)

           The definition reveals Du Bois’ race theory in 1897 as an amalgamation of both biological and sociohistorical race concepts. He goes on to speak about the existence of eight distinct races based upon primarily physiological differences (Sundquist, 1996, p.41). Du Bois does not seem to support the suggested inferiority of non-white people. He contends, however, that physical dissimilarities between groups of human beings must be accounted for in the definition of race. The physiological dissimilarities that Du Bois primarily references are “blood, color, and cranial measurements” (Sundquist, 1996, p.41).

            According to Du Bois’ statements in The Conservation of Races, to ignore the physical differences of humans is to disregard the history and development of the race concept. Du Bois’ assertion is particularly poignant in the discussion of the race problem of America. He goes on to say that, “The deeper differences are spiritual, psychical, differences – undoubtedly based on the physical, but infinitely transcending them” (Sundquist, 1996, p. 41). Thus, Du Bois’ theory of race in 1897 depends, in part, upon the inclusion of biological conception. Yet, he asserts that physical traits are not the most significant qualifiers of race. Du Bois explains that the primary qualifiers of race involve “a common history, common laws and religion, similar habits of thought and a conscious striving together for certain ideals of life” (Sundquist, 1996, p.41).

            Essentially, Du Bios proposes that culture is a central component of race.  Professor of philosophy, Chike Jeffers argues in his article, “The Cultural Theory of Race: Yet Another Look at Du Bois’s ‘The Conservation of Races’” that Du Bois’ cultural theory of race directly addresses the issue of racism. Moreover, Jeffers believes that in The Conservation of Races, “Du Bois demands that we pay greater attention to race’s cultural dimension” (2013, p. 404). He proposes, by examining race through a cultural lens, Du Bois unearths the influence of politics in race theory. Jeffers makes the point that, in many ways, politics shape the cultural landscape of America, which directly corresponds to the assignation of people into “dominate and subordinate groups” (2013, p. 409). The argument aligns with Du Bois’ fundamentally sociohistorical concept of race.

           A mere six years after Du Bois gave The Conservation of Races speech, he published The Souls of Black Folks, which is a preeminent work in the philosophy of race. At the outset of the essay, Du Bois makes the resounding claim that “the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line” (Sundquist, 1996, p. 100). Du Bois explicates that one of his primary areas of focus in the work is to elucidate the spiritual aspect of the black experience. The entirety of The Souls of Black Folks provides critical insight into Du Bois’ philosophy of race as a constantly evolving concept which includes the physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional strivings of a group of people. Within the republished essay, “Of Our Spiritual Strivings” DuBois explains the concept of “double consciousness” as “a peculiar sensation …, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity” (Sundquist, 1996, p. 102). His writings on double consciousness have informed the study of the philosophy of race in an unmatched manner. The characterization of two-ness, regarding black racial identification, sparked fruitful debates and discussions which hold long-lasting implications.

           Seventeen years later, in his work entitled Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil. Du Bois argues against the biological concept of race with his proclamation:

           There are no races, in the sense of great, separate, pure breeds of men, differing in attainment, development, and capacity. There are great groups, - now with common history, now with common interests, now with common ancestry; more and more common experience and present interest drive back the common blood and the world today consists, not of races, but of the imperial commercial group of master capitalists, international and predominately white; the national middle classes of the several nations, white, yellow, and brown, with strong blood bonds, common languages, and common history; the international laboring class of all colors; the backward oppressed groups of nature-folk, predominantly yellow, brown, and black. (Sundquist, 1996, p. 532)

           Du Bois seems to move away from any rigid determination of distinct racial categories. He principally contends with the sociohistorical grouping of individuals. At a point, he even denounces the idea that the world consists of races and quantifies human groupings by way of political affiliation and status. The passage reads strongly of Marxist influence and rings of a unifying call to all peoples who are subordinated and oppressed. Du Bois does not, however, abandon the theory of race. Instead, his philosophy took on a form that extends the categorization of race and redirects its emphasis on society, culture, and politics.

          A common thread in the writings examined thus far, identifies the oppressor and oppressed groups by employing racial categorizations. Namely, Du Bois distinguishes between black, brown, yellow, and white people as racial groups. Group distinctions are also used by Du Bois to provide political, economic, and social commentary on the consequences of racism in America. For example, in Black Reconstruction Du Bois posits:

If the Reconstruction of the Southern states, from slavery to free labor, and from aristocracy to industrial democracy, had been conceived as a major national program of America, whose accomplishment at any price was well worth the effort, we should be living today in a different world. (Du Bois, 2007, p. 580)

          Reconstruction, however, was shuttered to appease affluent white male southerners. Du Bois knew that racism was the destroyer of the democratic opportunity provided by Reconstruction. He saw the Reconstruction Era as a unique historical moment for people of all races to participate in the uplift of American society post-slavery.  As the title indicates Black Reconstruction provides an important examination of the role of black people in the reconstruction of American democracy after the Civil War. Du Bois does not abandon race distinction in the work. He does, however, investigate the difference in the class experiences of the working-class black and white person. The failure of Reconstruction, as proposed by Du Bois, was the inability of black and white working-class individuals to come together in order to strip power from the white bourgeoise. Here we find, Du Bois’ philosophy of race manifesting in a sociohistorical form where groups from different races should have been able to unite despite their racial differences.

            Du Bois’ sociohistorical concept of race is further exemplified in his autobiography Dusk of Dawn. Midway through the autobiography he states:

It is easy to see that scientific definition of race is impossible; it is easy to prove that physical characteristics are not so inherited as to make it possible to divide the world into races; that ability is the monopoly of no known aristocracy; that the possibilities of human development cannot be circumscribed by color, nationality, or any conceivable definition of race; all this has nothing to do with the plain fact that throughout the world today organized groups of men by monopoly of economic and physical power, legal enactment, and intellectual training are limiting with determination and unflagging zeal the development of other groups; and that the concentration particularly of economic power today puts the majority of mankind into a slavery to the rest. (Du Bois, p. 137-138)

        The statement exemplifies an evolution in the Du Boisian philosophy of race. Du Bois was seventy-two years old when his autobiography, Dusk of Dawn, was published and his ideas are evidently the result of experience and the acquisition of wisdom. He disregards the scientific definition of race completely and states that it is simple to do so. Du Bois’ philosophy of race, at this point, has become a reflection on the race concept as experienced through economic and political oppression.

          W.E.B. Du Bois’ reflections in Dusk of Dawn provides insight into the struggle he faced with the race concept throughout his life. He acknowledges that the so-called scientific definition of race is unrealistic and ultimately false. Du Bois also recognizes that race distinctions are used as a tool for a specified group of men to oppress and wield power over the majority human population. The sociohistorical philosophy of race expressed by Du Bois is reflective of his personal experiences as a world traveler. Race, therefore, becomes a mechanism by which humans are subjectively grouped together. According to Du Bois, the concept is essentially arbitrary and confused. Thus, we find in Du Bois’ philosophy of race the development of Pan- Africanist ideals intended to unify black people under a banner of liberation through self- definition.

           A brief study of the Du Boisian theory of race reveals an ideology that evolved throughout W.E.B. Du Bois’ mental maturation. His theory begins by grappling with the biological concept of race. For a time, he accepted some of its claims regarding group classification. Du Bois graduated to a sociohistorical concept of race and noted commonalities between groups of people that included, but also transcended the physical traits of individuals. His philosophy of race became an enduring social, historical, economic, and political rallying cry to oppressed people throughout the world. Du Bois’ primary audience remained black people, for whom, he sought ultimate liberation from the oppression of the white ruling minority. The quest for justice and liberation of oppressed groups are themes common in both W.E.B. Du Bois’ philosophy of race and Critical Race Theory (CRT). The proceeding discussion will introduce Critical Race Theory and provide examples of Du Boisian contributions to CRT.

              Critical Race Theory is an exercise in both philosophical and legal thought. It confronts “the historical centrality and complicity of law in upholding white supremacy (and concomitant hierarchies of gender, class, and sexual orientation)” in American society (Crenshaw, Gotanda, Peller, Thomas, 1995, p. xi). CRT draws insight from many prominent philosophical, political, and legal thinkers who focus on issues of inequality, liberation, and stilted representation under the law for people of color. The movement provides analysis of existing systems, as well as, tangible solutions to legal issues and is continuously growing with the addition of new scholarship. According to Dr. Cornel West, “Critical Race Theory is a gasp of emancipatory hope that law can serve liberation rather than domination” (Crenshaw et al., 1995, p. xii). 

              Critical Race Theory, as a movement, forces the conversation of race and inequality into both academic settings and the halls of justice.  CRT existed in the writings of many thinkers before the movement was formalized.  Essentially, the movement was made possible by theorists such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Ida B. Wells, Anna J. Cooper, Judge A. Leon Higganbotham, Jr., and others (Crenshaw et al., 1995). Professor Derrick A. Bell, Jr. is credited as one of the main pioneers of Critical Race Theory. He inserted pointed arguments into the national legal discourse about the racial discrimination of people of color within the American legal system. As mentioned in the New York Times, “Mr. Bell was the first tenured black professor at Harvard Law School and later one of the first black deans of a law school that was not historically black” (Bernstein, 2011). Bell’s writings in the late 1970s and early 1980s helped form the movement that is Critical Race Theory.

              A few of the main concepts found in CRT are institutionalized racism, race consciousness, unconscious racism, and whiteness as property (Crenshaw et al., 1995). These concepts will be examined through the writings of theorists such as Derrick A. Bell, Jr., Cheryl Harris, Gary Peller, and Maria Matsuda. The philosophy of race presented by W.E.B. Du Bois provides informative and necessary insight into the concepts presented by the selected authors. Du Bois’ contributions to CRT are notable and when combined with analysis of recent theory they are reflective of over one hundred years of striving for black liberation and the liberation of various other marginalized groups.

            The article “Brown V. Board of Education and the Interest Convergence Dilemma” by Critical Race Theory scholar, Derrick A. Bell, Jr. deals with institutional racism and provides an example of Critical Race Theory in its formative stages (Crenshaw et al., 1995, p. 20). Professor Bell discusses the reasoning behind the decision to desegregate schools in the United States of America and its subsequent impact. He asserts, towards the beginning of the article, that equal education was not the result of the ruling. Bell contends, “today most black children attend public schools that are both racially isolated and inferior” (Crenshaw et al., 1995, p. 20). The issue, Bell opines, is that any legal change in the United States that reduce the privilege granted to whites will be undermined by the very establishment that supports the legislation.

             Professor Bell argues that de-segregation was agreed to by American policymakers because it would provide “economic and political advances at home and abroad” (Crenshaw et al., 1995, p. 22). He offers three reasons to support his claim. First, Professor Bell says that the decision was used to gain support for democracy from third world countries to dissuade them from communism, with the intent of repairing the image of the United States around the world. Second, the verdict was used to reassure blacks that the claims made during World War II about equality and freedom would be actualized in the U.S. Third, Bell posits that “Segregation was viewed as a barrier to further industrialization in the South” (Crenshaw et al., 1995, p. 23). He provides justification for his claims by explaining that de-segregation, alike in some ways to the abolition of slavery, was not solely based on moral principle. Essentially, Bell claims, the power went back to local courts and boards of education. As a result, in many places around the country, segregation in the school system was enacted more discreetly.

The effects of institutionalized racism and its consequent marginalization of people of color is an important issue to both Critical Race Theory and the Du Boisian philosophy of race. In his article, Dr. Bell argues that laws are written to preserve the privilege of whites. For example, Bell asserts that Brown V. Board of Education, 1954 was promoted as civil rights legislation but makes concessions to protect white privilege and harms black people in the process. In The Souls of Black Folk, W.E.B. Du Bois provides commentary about the protection of white privilege in the U.S. legal system when he states:

Daily the Negro is coming more and more to look upon law and justice, not as protecting safeguards, but as sources of humiliation and oppression. The laws are made by men who have little interest in him; they are executed by men who have absolutely no motive for treating the black people with courtesy or consideration. (Sundquist, 1996, p. 191)

           Dr. Bell’s article was published in 1980, twenty-six years after the de-segregation of public schools in the United States. W.E.B. Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk was published seventy- seven years earlier in 1903, twenty-six years after the end of Reconstruction. Aside from the similarity of a twenty-six year period between the authors’ publications and the historical events upon which they reflected, Du Bois and Bell both discuss quantitative institutional racial injustice through the examination of the legal system. Nearly three decades after both historic events, Du Bois and Bell were equipped with the representative data to create a useful commentary on the condition of race and injustice in American society. The writings of Critical Race theorists such as Dr. Bell on the distinctive legal element of race maintain close similarities to the Du Boisian sociohistorical philosophy of race.

             Attorney Mari Matsuda writes about race consciousness and employs direct references to Du Bois’ philosophy of race in her article “Looking to the Bottom: Critical Legal Studies and Reparations” (Crenshaw et al., 1995, p. 63). The article challenges U.S. lawmakers and theorists to listen to the experiences of oppressed black people. She states that the practice “can assist critical scholars in the task of fathoming the phenomenology of law and defining the elements of justice” (Crenshaw et al., 1995, p. 63). Matsuda argues that the experiences of oppressed black people must be understood to create just and effective legislation. She explains that a “new epistemological source for critical scholars” must be the study of “the actual experience of black poverty and listening to those who have done so” (Crenshaw et al., 1995, p.63). The aspects of Du Boisian philosophy incorporated in the article creates an avenue for critical discourse on antiquated legal practices and suggests necessary changes to the legal system.

          Ms. Matsuda approaches the Du Boisian concept of double consciousness by stating that it provides useful insight when discussing the relationship between blacks and the American legal system. She claims that the system contributes to the disjunction of black consciousness. Matsuda posits that deleterious mental consequences result from the fact that black people must attempt to reconcile the idea that the law defends equality for all people, yet it is created by the white minority and disproportionately punishes black people. In part, Du Bois’ theory is used as an introduction to Matsuda’s argument for reparations. Attorney Matsuda advocates for reparations based on the idea that privilege, on varying levels, benefits “members of the dominant class” at the expense of people of color and other marginalized groups (Crenshaw et al., 1995, p. 71). She claims that historical wrongdoing led to the societal denigration of black people which continues to negatively affect them and produces unearned advantages for the beneficiaries of white privilege.

W.E.B. Du Bois reflects upon the consequences of white privilege and the systematic oppression of black people in both The Souls of Black Folk and Black Reconstruction. He proposes both economic redress and the reorganization of the American legal system. In his article, “Four Du Boisian Contributions to Critical Race Theory”, Professor John Shuford combines Du Bois’ opinion with CRT when he notes:

            Racial injustice permeates the nation’s cultural fabric, pervades American institutions, and remains salient during periods of progress and backlash alike. Perhaps the most remarkable and most overlooked dynamic in this enduring legacy is that government has never engaged African Americans as a group to speak about what sort of redress they sought or what would help them heal still-open wounds from America’s original sin. (Shuford, 2001, p. 320)

             Both Attorney Matsuda and Professor Shuford apply Du Boisian philosophy in order to support their defense of reparations for black people. Du Bois’ philosophy of race lends itself to the work of CRT theorists who seek to provide critical commentary on racial injustice within the law. The writings of W.E.B. Du Bois are Critical Race Theory in and of themselves. Nonetheless, in the formal sense, Du Bois’ contributions to CRT can be measured by drawing comparisons between examples from his writings and major concepts in CRT. Professor John Shuford remarks, “Du Bois’ keen insights and strategies [to make whites see themselves and African Americans through a different mirror] have cast a long shadow over Critical Race Theory and its offshoots” (Shuford, 2001, p. 319). Within Du Bois’ philosophy of race, there is constant defining and redefining of the concept, which is incidentally affixed to the ever-changing cultural, political, and legal landscape of America. His philosophy provides commentary, in addition to, suggested methodology in order to formulate solutions to the injustices forced upon groups of people due to race and class discrimination.

             Du Bois spent the entirety of his adulthood challenging the constructs of racial discrimination and white supremacy. He was very vocal about the contributions of black people to the United States of America and stated that black people are the reason America holds its elevated status in the world community. Du Bois juxtaposed this insight with the systemic oppression faced by black people and made observations on both the micro and macro level. Shuford expounds upon Du Bois’ contribution to the philosophy of race by stating: He systematically challenged myths of African American inferiority and white superiority; revealed the constructed nature and racist assumptions of whiteness; articulated pluralistic, consequence-attentive models of cultural criticism; and utilized a revised ‘racial gifts’ discourse to diagnose whites’ indebtedness through participation in racial commodification practices. (Shuford, 2001, p. 319)  Although Shuford’s observation refers to the work of W.E.B. Du Bois, the passage reads as if it were a definition of Critical Race Theory. In fact, each item listed in the passage is a major topic of study in CRT.
             Earlier we examined The Conservation of Races, one of the first examples of the Du Boisian concept of race. Evidenced in this early representation of Du Bois’ theory of race are useful insights into taking control of the race narrative and unifying oppressed people. Within the speech, he talks about surveying the situation of race-based discrimination and confronting it on a philosophical level in order to develop substantial solutions to combat its daily manifestations.  CRT takes the direct approach of challenging the legitimacy of the legal system by demonstrating, through pointed philosophical legal discourse, the racial structure on which the American legal system has been formulated. The theories of both W.E.B. Du Bois and CRT center around the illegitimacy of white supremacy and the distinct need for people of color to challenge injustice and bring the discussion to the forefront of the collective consciousness.

              CRT criticizes the notion that the objectivity of traditional legal theory leads to unbiased law creation and law enforcement in America. Instead, CRT proposes the idea that race consciousness is necessary for the examination of the American legal system because the supposed objectivity of traditional legal theory is in all actuality a thinly veiled cover for white supremacy and the codification of racial hierarchy into law. Arguably, Critical Race Theory has employed Du Bois’ idea of “double-consciousness”, as a means, to define the real implications of being black and American under the scope of the law (Sundquist, 1996, p.102). Both W.E.B. Du Bois and Critical Race Theory find value in the examination of individual experiences and the reflections of oppressed people in order to obtain insight into the cultural landscape of America.

              Race prejudice manifests itself in both conscious and unconscious forms in America. Du Bois elevates the discussion of the social, economic, political, and legal implications of race prejudice when he says:

We find it, historically, to be nothing but the friction between different groups of people… if, now, this difference exists touching territory, laws, language, or even religion, it is manifest that these people cannot live in the same territory without fatal collision; but if, on the other hand, there is substantial agreement in laws, language, and religion; if there is a satisfactory adjustment of economic life, then there is no reason why in the same country and on the same street … that men of different races might not strive together for their race ideals as well, perhaps even better, than in isolation.  (Sundquist, 1996, p. 43-44)

          Du Bois makes the intersection of both unconscious and institutionalized racism clear within the passage. Additionally, the race concept remains in-tact as a reality by which groups of people identify with one another and work toward common goals. He intimates that a solution to racial strife is obtainable through the restructuring of the legal and economic system in a manner which promotes social equity.

           Comparatively, the concept of race as a central component of Critical Race Theory is judged to be useful in unpacking the social, economic, political and legal realities of the United States of America. Du Boisian influence is apparent in CRT’s attempt to explain race within the framework of group experience and collective identity formation. Neither Du Bois nor CRT contends that the erasure of racial categorizations will solve conscious, unconscious, or institutionalized racism. In actuality, the race concept is often employed by both Du Bois and CRT in such a way as to acknowledge the contributions of black people to American society, while simultaneously exposing the racially motivated theft of black contributions by the white supremacist power structure.

             Professor Shuford explains racially motivated theft in his article about Dubois’ contributions to Critical Race Theory. In a section about legalized racial violence, “Du Bois reminded white and black America and the world that the gifts of black folk were gifts that had been given, even where racialized theft or other practices of legalized racial violence shaped the context of contribution. This simultaneously emphasized African American agency and underscored the injustice and societal destruction that white America and the white world imposed.” (Shuford, 2001, p. 318)
             The writings of W.E.B. Du Bois and Critical Race Theory offer much-needed insight into the damaging effects of white supremacy. They also destroy the idea that black people have been complicit participants in the American social complex. The social narrative of black people in America runs counter to the attempts of the white supremacist hegemony’s efforts to usurp any semblance of democracy. Instead, blacks in America have been both unwilling and willing benefactors in the American social experiment. Du Bois’ philosophy of race and Critical Race Theory seeks to attain justice for blacks and all oppressed groups by facilitating honest dialogue, providing real solutions to the problem of racism, and creating the definitions required to properly address the issue of racial injustice in America. Dr. W.E.B Du Bois’ philosophy of race is instrumental to the development of Critical Race Theory and new interpretations of his work rapidly expands within the continuous growth of the field.




Bernstein, F. A. (2011, October, 6). Derrick Bell, Law Professor, and Rights Advocate Dies at 80. The New York Times. Retrieved from

 Crenshaw, K., Gotanda, N., Peller, G., & Thomas, K. (Eds.). (1995). Critical race theory: Key writings that formed the movement. New York, NY: The New Press.


Du Bois, W.E.B. (1940). Dusk of dawn. New Brunswick, NJ.

Du Bois, W.E.B. (2007). Black reconstruction in America: An Essay Toward a History of the Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, 1860– 1880. H.L. Gates (Ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.


Du Bois, W.E.B. (2009). The gift of black folk: The negroes in the making of America. Garden City Park, NY: Square One Publishers.


Jeffers, C. (2013). The cultural theory of race: Yet another look at Du Bois’s “The Conservation of Races”. Ethics123(3), 403-426.


Shuford, J. (2001). Four Du Boisian contributions to critical race theory. Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society37(3), 301-337.


Sundquist, E. (Ed.). (1996). The Oxford: W.E.B. Du Bois Reader. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.


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