Thursday, February 23, 2006

Pour A Libation On The Ground Today (The Day That W.E.B. Du Bois Was Born)

"High in the tower, where I sit above the loud complaining of the human sea, I know many souls that toss and whirl and pass, but none that intrigue me more than the Souls of White Folk. Of them, I am singularly clairvoyant. I see in and through them. I view them from unusual points of vantage. Not as a foreigner do I come, for I am native, not foreign, bone of their thought and flesh of their language...I see these souls undressed and from the back and side. I see the working of their entrails. I know their thoughts, and they know I know. This knowledge makes them now embarrassed, now furious! They deny me my right to live and be and call me misbirth! My word to them mere bitterness and my soul, pessimism. And yet as they preach and strut and shout and threaten, crouching as they clutch at rags and facts and fancies to hide their nakedness, they go twisting, flying by my tired eyes and I see them every one stripped --ugly, human." (1903)

"It is a peculiar sensation...this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness -- an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder." (1903)

"The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line." (1903)

"The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression." (1909)

"By the God of Heaven, we are cowards and jackasses if now that the war is over, we do not marshal every ounce of our brain and brawn to fight the forces of hell in our own land." (1919)

"And what of Black women?...I most sincerely doubt if any other race of women could have brought it's fineness up through so devilish a fire." (1924)

"Drunk with power, we (the U.S.) are leading the world to hell in a new colonialism with the same old human slavery, which once ruined us, to a third world war, which will ruin the world." (1949)

"Believe in life! Always human beings will live and progress to greater, broader, and fuller life." (1957)

"In my own country for nearly a century I have been nothing but a nigger." (1959, in China, before moving in exile to Ghana and accepting Ghanian citizenship)

--William Edward Burghardt Du Bois
sociologist, writer, activist for social change
(2/23/1868 - 8/27/1963)

Rest in peace.
We hear.
We fight.

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