27 September 2007

Thoughts from after reading Dusk till Dawn

Dusk till Dawn is an nontraditional "autobiography" of the life of W.E.B. DuBois. What I don't understand is why does DuBois feel that his life is more important or has more hidden meaning then others? Or why the idea of race is present more in his life than other blacks or Americans? He makes it very clear that he is writing about "a" race concept, and he is using his life to explain it this concept of race. Why does he only focus on his own life? As a scientist of sociology isn't it his job to be unbiased and nonobjective? If so why use his own life? Why are use experiences from more people and people of different racial backgrounds?
A reason for this maybe that DuBois is trying to help his readers understand this concept of race by making it seem more personal, so his readers can not only understand but also see that this idea is true? Also maybe the fact that his readers are mostly elite whites. Does this affect his book? Again if that was his main goal, why does DuBois seem so unattached to his memories? So unfeeling, the only real times we can see passion or a sense of forcefulness from him is when he is being critical of "Negroes" of this time.
It seems he was picking and choosing from his past, things that would better move the reader into believing or seeing what he wants you to see. W.E.B. DuBois doesn't let the reader come to some conclusions by themselves, the conclusions are already there for them. Almost as if he is afraid to let them into his life and judge him but more importantly judge his people. He may feel like "Negroes" aren't ready for that type criticisms yet because them are still new to themselves and new to this idea of developing their own culture and identify.


The Constructivist said...

Hey ax, nice first post, but watch the typos--it's Dusk of Dawn and he spelled "Negros" as "Negroes" throughout the book, just for 2! You raise great questions--hoping people from the class and others will respond here....

Arturomac2 said...

Autobiographies are by definition about an individual. If you would like to see more of my great-grandfather's sociological work read "The Philadelphia Negro" or his Atlanta Mongraphs.

Secondly, I think if you would read "The Souls of Black Folk" published in 1903, well before "Dusl of Dawn", specifically, the essay "Of the Passing of the First-Born", you would see that he was not "afraid to let them into his life".

Lastly, if he felt that they would come to the conclusions that "...are already there for them." he would not have spent his entire life and considerable intellect trying to get them to see those conclusions - which from this historical distance, may seem quite obvious to us.