Harris, Frazier, and Bunche represented the vanguard of the young black radical intellectual-activists who dared to criticize the NAACP for its cautious civil rights agenda and saw in the turmoil of the Great Depression an opportunity to advocate class-based solutions to what were commonly considered racial problems. Despite the broader approach they called for, both their advocates and their detractors had difficulty seeing them as anything but "black intellectuals" speaking on "black issues."
A social and intellectual history of the trio, of Howard University, and of black Washington, Confronting the Veil investigates the effects of racialized thinking on Harris, Frazier, Bunche, and others who wanted to think "beyond race – who envisioned a workers' movement that would eliminate racial divisiveness and who used social science to demonstrate the ways in which race is constructed by social phenomena. Ultimately, the book sheds new light on how people have used race to constrain the possibilities of radical politics and social science thinking.
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