Journal of African American Studies

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 337–358 | Cite as

Politics, Rights, and Spatiality in W.E.B. Du Bois’s “Address to the Country” (1906)

  • Robert W. Williams


Organized in 1905, the Niagara Movement opposed racial discrimination in the U.S.A. and promoted its goals and means for racial uplift. During its second meeting in 1906 at Harpers Ferry, W.E.B. Du Bois wrote the “Address to the Country,” which set forth a series of demands for political and civil rights, and also called for Congressional intervention to secure those rights. This paper explores the critical spatiality of race, politics, and rights that inheres within the “Address” so that one can better understand the nationalizing strategy advocated by the Niagara Movement. Such a strategy implicated spatiality both as an end goal that supported civil and political rights via dismantling segregation and other discriminatory spatial structures, and also as a means—a politics of scale—that expanded the scope of political struggles to national arenas.


Race Civil rights Niagara movement Political rights Geographical scale 



I appreciated the useful suggestions made by Dr. Anthony J. Lemelle, Jr. and the anonymous reviewers. I also wish to thank Dr. Mona Basta for her helpful comments on the draft manuscript.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Political ScienceBennett CollegeGreensboroUSA

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