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Democracy's ReconstructionThinking Politically with W.E.B. Du Bois$
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Lawrie Balfour

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377293

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377293.001.0001

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Four. Practicing Critical Race Autobiography

Four. Practicing Critical Race Autobiography

(p.71) Four. Practicing Critical Race Autobiography
Democracy's Reconstruction

Lawrie Balfour (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter addresses Du Bois's inquiry into his own exemplarity, his status as both an exemplar or “exception” and an example of “the Problem.” It offers an interpretation of Dusk of Dawn, Du Bois's 1940 autobiographical exploration of his life and the life of the “race concept,” as a counterpoint to William Connolly's account of identity and difference. Read together, Du Bois and Connolly demonstrate how identity categories shape democratic life; but Du Bois takes a further step, discerning those places in Connolly's work where race is elided and gesturing toward an alternative model of self-fashioning in a racially divided society.

Keywords:   W. E. B. Du Bois, Dusk of Dawn, autobiography, race, William Connolly, identity, democratic life

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