The Profeminist Politics of W. E. B. Du Bois with Respects to Anna Julia Cooper and Ida B. Wells Barnett
In the above quote from his 1920 essay, “The Damnation of Women,” W. E. B.Du Bois designates the “great causes” as the struggles for racial justice, peace, and women’s equality. His use of the phrase “next to” does not refer to a sequential order of descending importance. Concerns for racial equality, international peace, and women’s emancipation combined to form the complex, integrative character of Du Bois’s analysis. With politics remark ably progressive for his time, and ours, Du Bois confronted race, class, and gender oppression while maintaining conceptual and political linkages between the struggles to end racism, sexism, and war. He linked his primary concern, ending white supremacy-Souls o f Black Folk (1903) defines the color-line as the twentieth century’s central problem, to the attainment of international peace and justice. Du Bois wove together an analysis integrating
the various components of African American liberation and world peace. Initially gender, and later economic, analysis were indispensable in developing his political thought.