America is Reading DuBois

‘Black Reconstruction’ is in vogue & a must-read


W.E.B. DuBois, by James Edward Purdy — This image is available from the United States Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs division under the digital ID cph.3a29260. This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. (Public Domain License)

“How the facts of American history have in the last half-century have been falsified because the nation was ashamed. The South was ashamed because it fought to perpetuate human slavery. The North was ashamed because it had to call in the black men to save the Union, abolish slavery, and establish democracy.” — W.E.B. DuBois

For the last few weeks, I have been listening to a podcast called Marx Madness. While the podcast is devoted to Marxist interpretations of history and politics, the podcast recently devoted multiple episodes to W.E.B. DuBois’ singular classic, Black Reconstruction in America commonly called Black Reconstruction.

In addition, a book club sponsored by the Democratic Socialists of America has as its next discussion book, Black Reconstruction by W.E.B. DuBois. There are other mentions of the book everywhere now. In fact, Google “Black Reconstruction, Dubois,” and you will get 2.6 million hits.

In the era of book banning of books like Toni Morrison’s Beloved and Black Boy by Richard Wright, the banning books crowd is taking a big “L.”

Black Reconstruction is a forgotten book, dismissed by the defenders of America and white supremacy, and for decades after its appearance, it was really a conversation piece for progressive scholars, intellectuals, and street scribes. The poet, Amiri Baraka, whenever I spent time with him, always urged many of us young poets, to read, DuBois’ Black Reconstruction.

It is a highly popular book for those who want the whole truth, but also, an accurate truth from the perspective of the oppressed Africans who were supposed to receive a path to freedom, justice, and self-determination after the Civil War.

Instead, these American citizens got the same old American caste system, dressed up in Black Codes, Jim Crow, and white terror ignored by the state they fought and died for during the Civil War to end slavery and to secure their freedom as human beings.



Brian G (aka 'bumpyjonas') - he/him

Lawyer for the poor. Poet. I love basketball and dark chocolate.