“All Art is Propaganda”: W.E.B. Du Bois’s The Crisis and the Construction of a Black Public Image
Keywords:W.E.B. Du Bois, The Crisis Magazine, NAACP, Double Consciousness, Cosmopolitan Patriotism, Harlem Renaissance
This article explores W.E.B. Du Bois’s political thought through his use of rhetoric in his The Crisis writings (1910s–1930s). I argue that Du Bois used The Crisis to build an interracial dialogue on civil and political rights to draw support for federal intervention in favor of African Americans. Du Bois’s views on artistic expression were an organic part of his program to build a black public image for political purposes. As Du Bois’s political strategy started shifting after 1925, so did his position on the political use of interracial dialogue and, thus, his ideas on artistic expression.
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