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ERIC Number: EJ1158027
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 10
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0160-7561
Removing the Veil: Coates, Neoliberalism, and the Color Line
Humphrey, David
Philosophical Studies in Education, v48 p20-29 2017
The words of W. E. B. Du Bois, in his widely-acclaimed work" The Souls of Black Folk," that "the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line" were a visceral attempt to illuminate the plight of the "Negro" in the United States of America. With this phrase, Du Bois positioned racial valorizations as the "modus operandi" of American society at the turn of the 20th century, with Black and Brown bodies bearing the brunt of societal dehumanization, bigotry, and hyper-visibility; as he claimed, it was as if the Black race were born some sort of "seventh son." Du Bois brought race center stage as the dominant issue of his day, contending that the uplifting of Black bodies is paramount to the advancement of all society. In this regard, he reveals the connectedness of the Negro Problem and the human condition. To Du Bois, resolving the Negro Problem is prerequisite to being a humane and just society. The focus of this paper is Ta-Nehisi Coates's "Between the World and Me" as an extension of the Du Boisian tradition of Black illumination. Coates's narrative, like that of Du Bois, compels the reimagination of the oppression and mythologization of the Black experience. The author will argue that through his articulation of the Dreamer, as a representation and metaphor for White privileged status, Coates avails himself of Du Bois's philosophical analysis regarding the hyper-invisibility of Whiteness. Situated in this Black activist and intellectual tradition, Coates operationalizes White invisibility to expose its false yet covert maintaining of Whiteness as a way of life.
Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A