Dr. Blum’s Recent Work on DuBois

W. E. B. Du Bois, American Prophet

For those of you at independent schools and colleges and universities that I have met and worked with over the years, you know what a fan I am of the late W.E.B. DuBois. I recently wrote here about my hopes of taking a sabbatical to retrace DuBois’ German experience. Beyond my desire to focus on his German travels, I have noted on my study list to really look at the contrasting dimensions of DuBois and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.Here is an interesting point: While thinking about the differences between Dr. King and DuBois, I received this wonderful e-mail from a Dr. Blum at San Diago State Universitywho wrote his recent book on DuBois’ religious experience. Here is a copy of Dr. Blum’s e-mail and book description. I hope to get it read and reviewed in the next three weeks.

Dear Dr. Carson,
I was just reading some of your blog and other comments, and I thought you would be interested to know of my forthcoming ‘religious biography’ of W. E. B. DuBois. Basically, I focus on the importance of spirituality in his life and times. Here is the website:—– If you ever get a chance to check it out, please let me know what you think. I would love to hear your opinion.
Best, Edward J. Blum

Pioneering historian, sociologist, editor, novelist, poet, and organizer, W. E. B. Du Bois was one of the foremost African American intellectuals of the twentieth century. While Du Bois is remembered for his monumental contributions to scholarship and civil rights activism, the spiritual aspects of his work have been misunderstood, even negated. W. E. B. Du Bois, American Prophet, the first religious biography of this leader, illuminates the spirituality that is essential to understanding his efforts and achievements in the political and intellectual world.

Often labeled an atheist, Du Bois was in fact deeply and creatively involved with religion. Historian Edward J. Blum reveals how spirituality was central to Du Bois’s approach to Marxism, pan-Africanism, and nuclear disarmament, his support for black churches, and his reckoning of the spiritual wage of white supremacy. His writings, teachings, and prayers served as articles of faith for fellow activists of his day, from student book club members to Langston Hughes.A blend of history, sociology, literary criticism, and religious reflection in the model of Du Bois’s best work, W. E. B. Du Bois, American Prophet recasts the life of this great visionary and intellectual for a new generation of scholars and activists.

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5 thoughts on “Dr. Blum’s Recent Work on DuBois

  1. Sounds like you and Blum would have a lot to talk about. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this book.

  2. Blum is the real deal. Although I get pretty excited about books, I am really looking forward to reading this one. It sounds as though it is taking on a very different perspective. I am sure that I will learn even more than I already know.

  3. I hope his book is easier to read than DuBois’s “Souls of Black Folks.”I his Discussion of the Veil, that was great.

  4. A trip following Du Bois’s graduate work in Germany would be fascinating. Two important spiritual events would be (1) his 25th birthday ritual for himself when he pledged to be like the biblical Esther and ‘go to the King and if I perish, I perish.’ The other would be the awe he felt while visiting the church of Martin Luther’s boyhood. Both of these events are in the book; I can’t wait to hear what you think!

  5. I think so. I am most curious to study his racial interactions with the German people. I do know that it had a profound impact on some of his racial idealism. Again, I do find it interesting that your work addresses the topics I am most curious about.

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