Book Review: The Future of the Race

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) The Future of the Race by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Cornel West 

This is one of those books that you actually want to read over and over again because you’ll always find something new and interesting that resonates with you at the time. Gates and West are both brilliant scholars and intellectuals and it is difficult to fully absorb all their insight in one quick read of this book. 

As the next generation of philosophers, Gates and West discuss the merits (demerits) of W.E.B. DuBois’ essay on the ‘Talented Tenth’ and analyze the work done in our society since it’s writing in the early 20th century. I appreciate the manner in which both writers give DuBois his historical space while not making excuses for his contextual ‘blind-spots.’ We are all products of our moment in time and both authors recognize this in DuBois’ writing but do not offer it as an excuse for what they deem as shortcomings in his thought. 

I know I will read this short book over and over again in hopes of more fully comprehending the ideas that Gates and West are proposing and the rich commentary they offer on a seminal work by one of the greatest philosopher/intellectuals in American history. 

Read on my friends!

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