Peniel E. Joseph

  • Back in Black

    African Americans, during slavery and after, have been among the most passionate and steadfast proponents of American democracy. Frederick Douglass, a former slave-turned-abolitionist and internationally recognized orator, was one of the nineteenth century’s most renowned self-made men; he was also among the age’s most effective advocates for holding the nation accountable to the promise of its democratic rhetoric, for all its citizens.

    William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, the preeminent black scholar of the twentieth century, followed the trail blazed by Douglass, predicting that the “color-line”