W.E.B. Du Bois: American Prophet

I received a free copy of this book but I am not required to do a review for it. But I am anyway.

W.E.B. Dubois: American Prophet by Edward J. Blum


What can I say? I started this text as a cynic in all honesty. I had read and been transformed by DuBois’ biographies done by David Levering Lewis (which are gigantic volumes by the way). Lewis had ingrained in me the idea that DuBois was an atheist, he was a Communist. But there wasn’t really citation, it was just a well known fact. DuBois was portrayed as a bitter revolution who left this country for the shores of Africa. DuBois’ depiction was one of a quitter. Well, using facts like actual prayers and church attendance records kept by the government on DuBois, Blum breaks down the “secular orthodoxy” of Lewis’ books. I am now persuaded that DuBois was probably more of a theist who was committed to social justice. I don’t want to give any spoilers away because I highly recommend this book, but why did it not ever occur to historians to track down speeches DuBois gave at Christian colleges and universities? Or to look over his written prayers? Or to read his novels as narrative theology like we do with C.S. Lewis? Does race has something to do with it? Does it have to do with religion? Perhaps both! I will let you decide for yourself (no actually I haven’t!). šŸ˜‰

WHAT I DID NOT ENJOY: It was WAYY TOO SHORT! I wanted more, more more. I am greedy, I know! I am already re-reading this book again. I hope that Blum follows up on this with a look at DuBois’ literary contributions.

0 thoughts on “W.E.B. Du Bois: American Prophet

  1. Pingback: Was W.E.B. DuBois Really an Atheist? | Unsettled Christianity

  2. celucienljoseph

    Well, Jonathan Kahn’s book, Divine Discontent: The Religious Imagination of W.E. B. Du Bois—a book that focuses on the philosophical aspect of Du Bois’ religious experience and discourse— fundamentally disagrees with Blum’s thesis. Kahn uses the phrase “religious modernist” to describe Du Bois’ faith. I reviewed Kahn”s book for Callaloo.Divine Discontent: The Religious Imagination of W.E.B. Du Bois by Jonathan S. Kahn. Callaloo 35:2 (2012):537-541.


Leave a Reply to celucienljoseph Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *