Ever wonder why sociology emphasizes fieldwork, quantitative research, and participant observation? Or who challenged the notion of the ‘armchair theorist’? In recognizing Black History Month, we pay homage to the often ignored, great modern sociologist, W.E.B. Du Bois. Using the book, The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology (2015) by Dr. Aldon D. Morris, we discuss the legacy and contribution of Du Bois and retell the story of the origins of modern sociology. While faculty and students are gradually incorporating the work of Du Bois in their research and syllabi, the overall discipline of sociology has not yet fully acknowledged Du Bois’ work and contribution as the father of modern American sociology. Tune in to hear the convo!
“Be honest, frank and fearless and get some grasp of the real values of life…READ SOME GOOD, HEAVY SERIOUS BOOKS just for discipline: Take yourself in hand and master yourself.” -W.E.B. Du Bois [emphasis added].
Black History Month, Du Bois, double consciousness, social sciences, sociology
- The Scholar Denied: W.E.B. Du Bois and the Birth of Modern Sociology by Aldon D. Morris
- The Philadelphia Negro (Du Bois 1899)
- Souls of Black Folk [Double Consciousness] (Du Bois 1903)
- Short animated video on Souls of Black Folk
- Lecture from Aldon D. Morris: W.E.B. Du Bois at the Center: From Science, Civil Rights Movement, to Black Lives Matter (2016)
- Current issue of the sociology journal titled, Sociology of Race and Ethnicity. This issue features several studies focusing on Du Bois. At the very least, check out the abstracts!
- Du Bois and Race Conflict: Crash Course
February is Black History Month (BHM), which means… we gotta talk about it! This week we dig into the history behind BHM, talk about the founder of the holiday (the fascinating Dr. Carter Woodson), and tackle the many critiques and debates surrounding the month. Like, why the heck is BHM on the shortest month of the year?! Why do we usually only celebrate a select few Black figures this month? Is BHM a productive event? Oh also, did you know that race is a social construct? That’s right! Join in to hear the conversation and let us know what you think!
Omar: I meant to say melanin and NOT melatonin when discussing the social construction of race.
Omar: Barrack Obama’s mother, Ann Dunham, was an American anthropologist. She is not from Germany. In fact, she lived in Hawaii and studied at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. Though I said “I think,” I was wrong. [We all should have known that!]
race, racism, black history month, social construction
- What is a “Social Construct”?
- An idea or concept that is created and accepted by members of a society. These are ideas that are not “natural” or universal across all cultures and societies.
- “11 Things That Are Social Constructs” (2016), Jane Paolantonio
- “What We Mean When We Say ‘Race Is a Social Construct’”, in The Atlantic by Ta-Nehisi Coates (2013)
- Article from King and Brown (2014) “Once a Year to be Black”
- Article from The Atlantic by Melinda Anderson (2016), “Black History Month in Schools– Retire or Reboot?”
- Biography of Carter Woodson, the “Father of Black History”
- NPR report on Marian Andersen, “Denied A Stage, She Sang For A Nation” (2014)
- Biography of bad-ass Bessie Coleman
- Biography and work of poet Audre Lorde