W. E. B. Du Bois’ Africa

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Africa

Scrambling for a New Africa

By Taharka Ade

Anthem Africology Series

W. E. B. Du Bois was one of the leading figures of Pan-African thought and activism in the twentieth century. This book delivers for the first time a comprehensive Afrocentric investigation and critique of Du Bois’s writings on Africa and Pan-Africanism.

Hardback, 178 Pages


August 2023

£80.00, $110.00

  • About This Book
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About This Book

W. E. B. Du Bois was one of the leading figures of Pan-African thought and activism in the twentieth century. As a sociologist, Du Bois wrote much about the historical and social circumstances of African Americans while often acknowledging the African historical background driving much of African American, or Negro, culture. In 1946, Du Bois published The World and Africa, which was a culmination of previous attempts at penning a narrative of African history beginning with his 1915 publication The Negro, in which he included the social-historical experience of African Americans within the continuity of African history. This book delivers for the first time a comprehensive Afrocentric investigation and critique of Du Bois’s writings on African history. The book argues that while Du Bois presented at the time a strong critique of the Eurocentric construction of African history, many of Du Bois’s descriptions and arguments about African people and history were likewise flawed with interpretations that projected the cultural subjectivities of Europe. Further, while Du Bois rightfully presents the historical relationship between African Americans and Africa as a justification for Pan-African activism, this book contends that Du Bois’s failure to center African culture instead of race leads to superficial justifications for Pan-African unity. Due to the history of slavery and colonialism, African Americans and other African diasporic people face unique challenges regarding identity. This book posits that the reconstruction of an African cultural-historical matrix would have served Du Bois in better ways than the use of the racial paradigm. Therefore, Adé offers his own African World Antecedent Methodology (AWAM) as a tool for scholars to assist in piecing together the African cultural-historical matrix of diasporic African people. There are three approaches in the AWAM methodology: Kanna (sameness), Fanna (similarity), and Naani (uniqueness), which applied together functions in providing a framework for reconstructing the past lifeways of African people transgenerationally and transcontinentally, as well as reaffirming the cosmological rationale for various aspects of African cultural continuity and cultural unity extant among the African diaspora.


“Taharka Adé’s W. E. B. Du Bois’ Africa: Scrambling for a New Africa is a penetrating and origi-nal work of African historical analysis. Professor Adé successfully carries forth an analysis of Du Bois’ conception of Africa that is robust and rich in layering the texture of agency, perspective and culture in an innovative fabric on Pan Africanism. Adé is the leader of a new generation of Afrocentric intellectuals who posit culture, historical and contemporary, as the center of social and political realities. What he has discovered in his study of Du Bois’ Pan Africanism is the inadequacy and limit of "race" as a meaningful concept.” — Molefi Kete Asante, author, The History of Africa, and Professor, Africology, Temple University

“Taharka Adé demonstrates the infinite vitality of Du Bois’s archive and its capacity to challenge new generations of scholars to use contemporary paradigms to interpret and map Du Bois’s vision for Africa.” — Christel Temple, Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Pittsburgh

"W.E.B Du Bois is considered by many to be one of the greatest intellectuals of the 20th century. Dr. Adé wonderfully captured the essence of Du Bois’ brilliance in “Du Bois’ Africa: Scrambling for a New Africa” while simultaneously positioning himself as a 21st century scholar with extraordinary potential." — Anthony Browder, Founder and Director of IKG Cultural Resources.

Author Information

Taharka Adé is an assistant professor in the Department of Africana Studies at San Diego State University. Dr. Adé is an Africologist who primarily investigates the African antecedents of various cultural phenomena among African Americans ranging from language, religion, the arts, corporeal aesthetics, and motif.


Anthem Africology Series

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Preface; Introduction; 1. The Situation; 2. Du Bois on African History and Classical Antecedents; 3. Du Bois and the Formation of Contemporary African History; 4. Locating Du Bois; 5. “Pan-Africa”; Conclusion; References; Index


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