Poverty, ignorance and sexual impotence in the post-Civil War period affected the development of Black male genealogy, said Yale Professor of American Studies Hasel B. Carby during a speech focusing on the works of W.E.B. DuBois.
Speaking to an audience of about 200 people yesterday, Carby discussed the intellectual progress of Black manhood from the perspective of DuBois and his works.
In the first of a three-part DuBois Lecture Series on the "Genealogies of Race. Nation and Manhood," Carby argued that DuBois' narrative, which is teen through a gender specific perspective, is essential to Black genealogy.
She said DuBois may have interpreted Black development through a "triple consciousness." Black men were forced to face the trials of entering manhood as well as see themselves through white men's eyes.
Carby said witnessing the rape of Black women by white owners affected their sexual maturation. As a result, Black man viewed women only as mothers or prostitutes, she said.
The images stunted their sexual development, caused them to become sycophants and to subordinate themselves to patriarchy.
Carby also discussed DuBois' dream for ending the marginalization of Blacks and his view of race as a form of political unification.
DuBois hope of legitimacy and advancement for Blacks was based upon access to political power, primarily the attainment of suffrage said Carby.
She said DuBois' own advancement as a political leader and social activist can be attributed to his dedication to virtue and education.
"It was the practice of intellectual analysis for DuBois to conquer impotence and allow self-respect," Carby said.