The Future of the Race
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The Future of the Race

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  126 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Almost one-hundred years ago, W.E.B. Du Bois proposed the notion of the "talented tenth," an African American elite that would serve as leaders and models for the larger black community. In this unprecedented collaboration, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Cornel West--two of Du Bois's most prominent intellectual descendants--reassess that relationship and its implications for...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published January 14th 1997 by Vintage (first published March 26th 1996)
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I recommend that if you are planning to read, or have recently read, W.E.B. Du Bois's 1903 essay `The Talented Tenth', that you also follow through and read `The Future Of The Race'. I, myself, landed on this book after reading The Talented Tenth (Illustrated). `The Future Of The Race', published in 1996, is a collection of essays by two of the foremost leading black public intellectuals: Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cornel West. The compositions by Gates and West specifically address W.E.B. Du Bo...more
I don't know why this book was published. It feels like one of those EPs that a band puts out because their record company needs sales more than good music. A weak essay by Gates, an enjoyable but throw-away critique of DuBois by West, and an appendix which has the text of DuBois' "Talented Tenth" article and a speech on its 45th anniversary. Overall, a nice if unremarkable collection. DuBois is the highlight -- as Cornel West claims, because his thoughts are both relevant and challenging (if pr...more
Jeff Doucette
Drs. West and Gates reflect upon and update W.E.B. Du Bois' concept of The Talented Tenth, which admonished educated, financially-sound blacks to work to empower less fortunate members of the race.

Gates discusses how he and West were of the first generation to attend primary and secondary school following de jure desegregation, and how it was hoped that their admittance to top-tier universities would usher in greater racial equality in education and the workforce.

West criticizes Du Bois' propose...more
A brutal if not bitter examination of W.E.B. DuBois' talented tenth; full of personal soul searching and finally appealing to what I would call strength of character to carry on for a cause "not hopeless but unhopeful."
Steven Salaita
When Gates and West combine their powers, magic ensues. Their amalgamated intellects produce a heretofore unseen level of mediocrity.
Two African-American intellectuals. Even if you don't read it, you should have it on your shelf for a rainy day.
Mary Alice
Only had to read excerpts for my class but it was very boring to me. It was informative but did not hold my attention.
Joi Reece
This book is truly a thought-provoking partnership between Gates and West.
Both are such great, brilliant minds — enough said!
Would like to read again alongside of DuBois.
very enlightening
I wasn't particularly fascinated by this joint production. The first half of the book was written by Gates and sums up to a rather mundane reminiscence of Gates' college days. The second half, by West, is heavier on the critical is typical of his style (love it or leave it). After breezing through Gates' portion, West will certainly slow you down. Gates redeems himself in the end with an analysis of Du Bois' "The Talented Tenth." The book itself is salvaged by a complete reprinting...more
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Henry Louis Gates Jr. is a Professor of African and African-American Studies at Harvard University and Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research. He is well-known as a literary critic, an editor of literature, and a proponent of black literature and black cultural studies.
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