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Black Knowledges/Black StrugglesEssays in Critical Epistemology$
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Jason R. Ambroise and Sabine Broeck

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381724

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381724.001.0001

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“Come on Kid, Let’s Go Get the Thing”: The Sociogenic Principle and the Being of Being Black/Human

“Come on Kid, Let’s Go Get the Thing”: The Sociogenic Principle and the Being of Being Black/Human

Chapter:
(p.21) 2 “Come on Kid, Let’s Go Get the Thing”: The Sociogenic Principle and the Being of Being Black/Human
Source:
Black Knowledges/Black Struggles
Author(s):

Demetrius L. Eudell

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.5949/liverpool/9781781381724.003.0002

This chapter departs from a new object of knowledge identified in 1928 by W. E. B. Du Bois in response to a question posed by a young Black high school student. The student asked why the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) would ostensibly reinforce a sense of racial separation/inferiority through the organization's choosing to ‘designate, and segregate us as “Negroes,” and not as “Americans”’. In his response to the student, Du Bois pointed out that, ‘It is not the name — it's the Thing that counts’. That is to say, what counts is the fictively-constructed and epistemically-elaborated system of meanings imposed on the population that in turn evokes the ‘feeling of inferiority’, regardless of what particular names Black Americans choose to call themselves. The chapter traces the way in which Black intellectual tradition has been compelled to confront and/or transform this ‘Thing of being Black:’, as an indispensable part of coming to terms with and theorizing anew the ‘Thing of being Human’.

Keywords:   W. E. B. Du Bois, Black Americans, Negroes, Black intellectual tradition, Thing

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