W. E. B Dubois Analysis

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The political identities play a significant role in the understanding of Williams, Dubois, and Nkrumah’s Pan-Africanism and how it has shaped their lives. Henry Sylvester Williams was born in Trinidad in 1869 where he eventually moved to London to organize the formation of the Pan-African Association. This resulted in the first Pan-African conference in 1900, the beginnings of the modern Pan-African movement. Several historians claim Henry Sylvester Williams originally conceived the term “Pan-African”. His abolitionist notions made him desire the removal of all forms of British colonialism from Africa and the West Indies, thus shaping Williams’ political identity. Gwilym Colenso and Christopher Saunders mention on the last day…show more content…
Dubois had a complex political history that went through various mutations over his lifetime. Comparable to Williams, Dubois felt abolishing colonialism in all parts of the world was a movement towards democracy and towards the end of racism. However, Dubois’ views on Africa are paternalistic and elitist at best. For example, Brandon Kendhammer remarks Dubois is guilty of holding an essentialist view of the non-Western world. Dubois felt African development should solely rely on training African Americans in advisory positions to establish proper leadership. Eric Porter mentions notwithstanding his radical visions for Africa, Dubois held paternalistic views of Africa and sought to put African Americans in charge of freeing Africa from colonialism and imperialism. Porter says Dubois had a global vision for a socialistic Africa, yet believed Africa could learn much from the broader sweep of the world’s community. Likewise, Anthony Ratcliff comments on Dubois’ elitist notions towards Africa, stating, “ despite seeing the Black working class as having a role in Pan-Africanism, Du Bois still envisioned the PAC as a movement organized by an elite cadre of intellectuals that would ultimately liberate the oppressed
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