Theorizing Race, Theorizing Racism: New Directions in Interdisciplinary Scholarship

Authored by: Jennifer C. Nash

The Ashgate Research Companion to Feminist Legal Theory

Print publication date:  October  2013
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781409418597
eBook ISBN: 9781315612973
Adobe ISBN: 9781317043423

10.4324/9781315612973.ch7

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Abstract

W.E.B. Du Bois’s claim that the ‘problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line’ has become one of his most famous, and most frequently quoted, insights (Du Bois 1903). But what does it mean to read that sentence now – more than a century after Du Bois wrote it? How has ‘the colour line’ been redrawn and transformed in the century since Du Bois crafted a sentence that has become foundational to his legacy? How do scholars discern the ‘problem’ of the colour line in a new century marked by a national love affair with the rhetoric of colour blindness? And how is the ‘colour line’ complicated, re-routed, intensified, and intersected by other ‘lines’ – or structures of domination – including gender, sexuality and class?

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