Definitely read these speeches and writings by W.E.B. DuBois! They're exciting, eye-opening and inspiring, a call to struggle for the best we can make of humanity.
For much of the 20th century, W.E.B. DuBois was a leading figure in the fight against segregation, lynchings, race prejudice and oppression in the United States. He campaigned against the pervasive stereotypes of Afro-Americans, publicizing their accomplishments, abilities and stature as human beings. He challenged AFL unions and the Socialist party to reject the racist practices of the day and to united Black and white workers in a common struggle. He was outspoken opponent of colonial oppression and imperialist war and of the McCarthy witch hunt in the United States in the 1950s.
There 36 articles and speeches cover a fascinating range of topics: from the Marcus Garvey movement in the 1920s to the debates on education and the role of Afro-Americans in the post-Civil War period, from the fight against lynching to the anti-colonial freedom struggles of the 1950s and 1960s.
One of my favorites is his 1929 speech at the Chicago Forum where he debated a prominent racist, and white-supremecist, Lothrop Stoddard. DuBois fiercely attacks the myths of race supremacy, arguing that whether "Nordic, Mediterranean, Indian, Chinese or Negro... the proofs of essential human equality of gift are overwhelming." He exposes the economic interests behind race oppression and champions "the black and brown and yellow men [who] demand the right to be men." Don't miss this one!