Great Black Minds That Paved Way for Diversity in U.S. Politics
1 year ago
Works that brought about expectation of excellence and consciousness in black academia
If browsing through African American literature sections in public libraries, it’s not hard to notice the sparse offering of relatively recent social commentary.
One might conclude either the lazy librarian is uninterested in expanding the branch’s offerings, or publication of “African American thought” peaked during the Black Renaissance.
Arguably, both conclusions are right. However, the latter suggests that what was available to the baby boomer’s generation and their parent continues to provide nuggets of genius to their offspring.
[Also check out: Black-Owned Bookstores in the United States]
In other words, these writings have directly and indirectly awakened the race consciousness of America’s black political heavy weights. Below are three classic works from celebrated black thinkers and then a few more recent works from Black America’s political stars.
(This author, by no means, professes the list to be all encompassing, but rather a diverse representative of black thought past and present.)
The Negro by W.E.B. DuBois
Considered the 20th century’s most notable historical account of Africans, their culture, and their gruesome experience with European colonialism. Author W.E.B. DuBois became known as one of America’s most relevant black historians and writers. Works like ‘The Negro’ continue to inspire race consciousness in even the most conservative black minds in American politics. (Read more about the title.)
The Philosophy and Opinions of Marcus Garvey, edited by Amy Jacques Garvey
A collection of important writings by a man DuBois had dismissed as deranged. Marcus Garvey advocated for the return of freed African people to the Dark Continent and birthed the Black Nationalist movement, later co-opted by the Black Power movement. Garvey’s work is responsible for the brief growth spurt in black communities, served by black-owned businesses and other institutions. (Read more about the title.)
James Baldwin’s Collected Essays, compiled by the Library of America