In the September 1933 issue of The Crisis, Du Bois published “On Being Ashamed,” a look back at the lifelong course of his own thinking, which he generalized as Black America’s thinking. From emancipation to around 1900, the “upper class of colored Americans,” he said, had striven “to escape into the mass of Americans,” practically “ashamed” of those who were not assimilating. But since then, “colored America has discovered itself,” and Du Bois had discovered himself and his singular antiracist consciousness. Excerpted from Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitve History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi.
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