W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture

Sponsors: African American Studies Department and

History Department at the University of Houston


Thursday, April 3, 2008            10 a.m.            University of Houston            Agnes Arnold Hall 630



W.E.B. Du Bois


American Religion


"The Noose and the Cross: Race, Religion, and the
 Redemption of Violence in the Works of W. E. B. Du Bois"


Historian Edward J. Blum, professor at San Diego
State University and author of a new spiritual biography of
W. E. B. Du Bois, will offer reflections about how Du Bois responded to the lynching of African Americans by linking the noose to the cross.  By connecting the lynch victim with the sacred figure of Jesus, Du Bois sought to divest racial violence of its religious justifications and to assert the sanctity of African American life.  Du  Bois's pioneering work may speak volumes to the incidents of cultural and symbolic terrorism now plaguing the United States in the form of nooses.


Get your copy of W.E.B. Du Bois, American Prophet here.  Interested persons may also wish to read Blum's "Religion and the Sociological Imagination of W.E.B. Du Bois," a 2005 article from Sociation Today.  Read a review of Blum's book by historian Curtis Evans, and another review to appear in Fides et Historia. 


Blum was recently named a "Top Young Historian" by the History News Network, a there are two on-line interviews with Blum and a newspaper article from The Daily Aztec that detail his scholarship and work on W.E.B. Du Bois, American Prophet.  Read the first interview here, and the second interview in 7 parts (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and Part 7.)


In addition, W.E.B. Du Bois, American Prophet received Honorable Mention from the Gustavus Meyers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in December 2007, and Blum's work was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Nonfiction.  


Blum's previous books include Reforging the White Republic: Race, Religion, and American Nationalism, 1865-1898 (which also received Honorable Mention from the Gustavus Meyers Center in 2005) and edited collections of essays titled Vale of Tears: New Essays on Religion and Reconstruction and The Souls of W.E.B. Du Bois, to be published by Mercer University Press in fall 2008.


Some of Blum's writing has appeared on History News Network, the blog "Religion and American History," and he was recently interviewed by Newsweek magazine for a piece titled "Prophets and Politicians."


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