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SanctuaryAfrican Americans and Empire$
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Nicole A. Waligora-Davis

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780195369915

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369915.001.0001

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W. E. B. Du Bois and the World Citizen

W. E. B. Du Bois and the World Citizen

(p.22) 2 W. E. B. Du Bois and the World Citizen

Nicole A. Waligora-Davis (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

W. E. B. Du Bois’s blueprint for an alternative global democracy—“the fourth dimension”—finds its fullest articulation in the aftermath of two world wars. In Darkwater and Dark Princess, Du Bois outline for socioeconomic and governance reform squarely locates the politically marginalized and colonized “colored world” at the center of a new global democracy. A proponent of republicanism, Du Bois rejects a “tyranny of the Majority,” and celebrates meaningful political participation by every member of society irrespective of race or gender. Du Bois’s critically cosmopolitan vision acknowledges the interrelation between intranational race conflicts and colonial and imperial projects practiced throughout the world. Addressing the primacy of race within domestic and international debates over national security, employment, resources, poverty, and health, Du Bois cites global democracy as a predicate for sustainable peace. Both governance strategy and critique, Du Bois’s “fourth dimension” revises the concept of citizenship and civil obligation, focuses on hinges on educational reform and the wellbeing of (black) American children. Prefiguring the arguments of mid and late 20th-century political philosophers, Du Bois insists that the disenfranchisement of one community within a society (specifically black Americans in the U.S.) risks the well being of the entire polis.

Keywords:   black empire narratives, world citizen, cosmopolitanism, pan africanism, WWI, fourth dimension, black internationalism, global democracy and peace, African American children, black emigration

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