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 the future of black Americans. If the 1990s are the best of times for the heirs of the Talented Tenth, they are unquestionably worse for the growing black underclass. As they examine the origins of this widening gulf and propose solutions for it, Gates and West combine memoir and biography, social analysis and cultural survey into a book that is incisive and compassionate, cautionary and deeply stirring.
"Today's most public African American intellectual voices...West and Gates have made a valuable contribution."--Julian Bond, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Brilliant...a social, cultural and political blueprint...that attempts to illumine the future path for blacks and American democracy."--New York Daily News
"Henry Louis Gates., Jr., and Cornel West are among the most renowned American intellectuals of our time."--New York Times Book Review
Henry Louis Gates, Jr., is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and the director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He is editor in chief of the Oxford African American Studies Center and of the daily online magazine The Root. He has received more than forty honorary degrees from institutions the world over.
About Cornel West
Cornel West has been Professor of Religion and Director of Afro-American Studies at Princeton University since 1988, and was recently appointed Professor of Afro-American Studies and the Philosophy of Religion at Harvard University. He is the author of many books, including Keeping Faith, Prophetic Fragments, and, with bell hooks, Breaking Bread.
The Future of the Race by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Cornel West