Essay B Dubois 's Theory Of Social Organization

1242 Words Nov 18th, 2016 5 Pages
W.E.B DuBois was an African American intellectual and activist who advocated for the elevation of the black community through education. One of the key concepts in his theory of social organization was the talented tenth, the idea that higher education and influential positions in society should be given to the most intellectually gifted individuals. Although DuBois intends to communicate that intelligence is not determined by race, he disparages the black community in his explanations of the talented tenth and the position black people occupy in American society. DuBois’ pejorative language and generalization of black people as ignorant, uneducated, culturally unsophisticated, and lacking the motivation to move beyond their current social status buys into negative stereotypes about blacks and is ultimately counterproductive to his goal of elevating the black community. DuBois’ portrayal of the black community as uneducated and ignorant, especially in relation to the white community, leads to the perception of African Americans as intellectually inferior to whites. In his discussion of the education of the black population, DuBois states,“the would-be black savant was confronted by the paradox that the knowledge his people needed was a twice-told tale to his white neighbors, while the knowledge which would teach the white world was Greek to his own flesh and blood” (3). DuBois’ use of the adjective “would-be” essentially invalidates the idea of the black savant. This…

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