Transformation and Resistance

Mary E. Frederickson

in Looking South

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036038
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813038469 | DOI:
Transformation and Resistance

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This chapter focuses on the color line that Du Bois saw as the central challenge of the twentieth century. At the 1900 Paris l' Exposition Universelle, Du Bois fired a major salvo in what became a war of images over the representation of African American life in the United States. For the Paris exposition, Du Bois chose to exhibit images that contrasted sharply with the drawings on racist trading cards and postcard pictures of lynched bodies and burned-out black neighborhoods circulated by those opposed to full and equal citizenship for African Americans. In the decades that followed, proponents of racial equality squared off against white resisters determined to push back the progress made by upwardly mobile black entrepreneurs, professionals, and skilled workers. Using artists' renderings, photographs, newspaper illustrations, postcards, and film, each group waged fierce battles over the dominant image of black life in the United States.

Keywords: Du Bois; l' Exposition Universelle; Paris exposition; African Americans; United States

Chapter.  14020 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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