Richard Pithouse

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The Propaganda of the Present

In Black Reconstruction, W.E.B. du Bois contests the accounts of the Reconstruction period that were dominant at the time – accounts that he terms ‘The Propaganda of History.’ His work is grounded in a simple methodological premise: “I am going to tell this story as though Negroes were ordinary human beings, realizing that this attitude will from the first seriously curtail my audience.”