positions 11:1 Spring 2003 W. E. B. Du Boisâs lifelong advocacy for the liberation and independence of Asian countries is both the least appreciated aspect of his political career and the one perhaps most central to its leftist trajectory. Between his support for Japan in its 1904 war with Russia and his second and ï¬nal trip to Maoist China in 1959, Asia was for Du Bois a literal and ï¬gurative site of his intellectual evolution from âfabian socialistâ (Adolph Reed) to revolutionary Marxist.1 Asia was the twin pole of Du Boisâs black intellectual world: after 1900, he imagined the U.S. âcolor lineâ as the âworld color line,â extending into China, Japan, and India, and he considered Pan-Africanism and PanAsianism as mutually constituting global struggles. Du Boisâs attention to and support for radical Indian political movements near the turn of the century was likewise his ï¬rst serious intellectual identiï¬cation with Marxian politics. Thus it is not surprising that during and after World War I, Du Bois found himself in the midst of a national, and international, debate over the relationship of Asia and Asian national movements to the West, including Africa. Indeed by 1921 Du Bois had become the
positions asia critique – Duke University Press
Published: Mar 1, 2003
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