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Ambition and Ambivalence: W.E.B. DuBois and the Struggle for Social Responsibility Among the Talented Tenth, 1903-1948.

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Abstract:

In August of 1948, at the annual Grand Boule’ of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, W.E.B. DuBois was asked to deliver the keynote address. He offered a speech entitled “The Talented Tenth.” Given the occasion, it was reasonably to presume that his remarks would be a rousing affirmation to an audience that could reasonable be called “Brahmins” of the African American community. What they heard was not a revisiting of his seminal 1903 essay of the same title, but a stinging, admonition on their social responsibility. DuBois even went so far as to second guess himself on developing the very notion of “The Talented Tenth.”
The essay and the speech act as book end milestones for the article, Between Ambition and Ambivalence: W.E.B. DuBois and the Struggle for Social Responsibility Among the talented Tenth, 1903-1948. Although DuBois did not go into details in his remarks, research conducted by him and others during the period gave cause for alarm about what was believed to be a diminished sense of stewardship of the direction and social and political relevance of African Americans during the first half of the 20th century.
This paper then, will offer a qualitative examination of the validity of some of DuBois’s (and others) concerns about the direction of the socioeconomic class that comprised the “Talented Tenth.” To be more specific, this study will consider links between economic success and social responsibility in the African American community in the first half of the 20th century.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435954_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Westbrook, Randall. "Ambition and Ambivalence: W.E.B. DuBois and the Struggle for Social Responsibility Among the Talented Tenth, 1903-1948." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, Sep 29, 2010 <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435954_index.html>

APA Citation:

Westbrook, R. O. , 2010-09-29 "Ambition and Ambivalence: W.E.B. DuBois and the Struggle for Social Responsibility Among the Talented Tenth, 1903-1948." Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p435954_index.html

Publication Type: Individual Paper
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: In August of 1948, at the annual Grand Boule’ of the Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, W.E.B. DuBois was asked to deliver the keynote address. He offered a speech entitled “The Talented Tenth.” Given the occasion, it was reasonably to presume that his remarks would be a rousing affirmation to an audience that could reasonable be called “Brahmins” of the African American community. What they heard was not a revisiting of his seminal 1903 essay of the same title, but a stinging, admonition on their social responsibility. DuBois even went so far as to second guess himself on developing the very notion of “The Talented Tenth.”
The essay and the speech act as book end milestones for the article, Between Ambition and Ambivalence: W.E.B. DuBois and the Struggle for Social Responsibility Among the talented Tenth, 1903-1948. Although DuBois did not go into details in his remarks, research conducted by him and others during the period gave cause for alarm about what was believed to be a diminished sense of stewardship of the direction and social and political relevance of African Americans during the first half of the 20th century.
This paper then, will offer a qualitative examination of the validity of some of DuBois’s (and others) concerns about the direction of the socioeconomic class that comprised the “Talented Tenth.” To be more specific, this study will consider links between economic success and social responsibility in the African American community in the first half of the 20th century.


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