Matthew W. Hughey’s article “Debating Du Bois’s Darkwater: From hymn of hate to pathos and power”

 

"The initial 1920 publication of W. E. B. Du Bois’s Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil sold over 15,000 copies. Its initial 1969 reissue, and subsequent reprints, have since garnered even more sales and thousands of citations. Darkwater is now considered a classic. The centenary of the publication (1920–2020) provides an opportune moment to reflect on the book’s significance and disparate interpretations. In this article, I first examine the antecedents of Du Bois’s Darkwater. I then examine the book reviews, announcements, book club declarations, and advertisements and I subsequently map the variations of their coverage, debate, and emphases. I conclude with some thoughts on sociology’s relative dismissal of Darkwater until recent years and what sociology’s modest rediscovery of, and debates over, Du Bois portend."