Black Intellectual Thought in Modern AmericaA Historical Perspective

Black Intellectual Thought in Modern AmericaA Historical Perspective

Brian D. Behnken, Gregory D. Smithers, and Simon Wendt

Print publication date: 2019

ISBN: 9781496813657

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Abstract

Black intellectualism has been misunderstood by the American public and by scholars for generations. Historically maligned by their peers and by the lay public as inauthentic or illegitimate, black intellectuals have found their work misused, ignored, or discarded. Black intellectuals have also been reductively placed into one or two main categories: they are usually deemed liberal or, less frequently, as conservative. This book explores several prominent intellectuals, from left-leaning leaders such as W. E. B. Du Bois to conservative intellectuals like Thomas Sowell, from well-known black feminists such as Patricia Hill Collins to Marxists like Claudia Jones, to underscore the variety of black intellectual thought in the United States. Chapters situate the development of the lines of black intellectual thought within the broader history from which these trends emerged. The result gathers chapters that offer entry into a host of rich intellectual traditions.