by Fanon Che Wilkins

About Fanon Che Wilkins

Fanon Che Wilkins is Associate Professor of American Studies at Doshisha University. He is the coeditor, with Michael O. West and William G. Martin, of From Toussaint to Tupac: The Black International since the Age of Revolution (2009).


W. E. B. Du Bois famously declared that “the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-­line” (1903, vii). Du Bois’s words have been quoted extensively, and it would be hard to find a more cited passage in African American letters. Yet the proverbial problem, as it has been often cited from The Souls of Black Folk, has been routinely deployed as a prophetic observation principally concerned with the domestic plight of African Americans. Hard on the heels of the failures of Reconstruction, the persistence of white supremacy, and the legal codification of Jim Crow, “the color-­line” has remained an opening salvo for grappling with the conundrum of race and racial oppression on U.S. soil.