Orginal Publication Date
Explorations in Sights and Sounds
The predicament of race shapes the social and cultural landscape of this society. That this has been long true prompted Dr. W.E.B. DuBois to insightfully remark that "the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line, -- the relation of the darker to the lighter races ... in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea" (W. E.B. DuBois, Souls of Black Folk. New York: The Blue Heron Press, 1953, 13 ). DuBois was not offering a critique of race as an abstract sociological or cultural idea; he was critically commenting on how race as a social construct -- as social practice was being used all over the world to penalize, subjugate, colonize, and dehumanize people. The people who were the objects of this foul treatment were deemed by their tormentors to be members of valued "races". Race, racism, and the color line, all of which are products of the imagination of the racist, have been instrumental in producing lines of social demarcation in the United States.
Copyright, ©EES, The National Association for Ethnic Studies, 1994