The tendency to identify this particular trajectory for Du Bois’s work is a troubling one. In fact, Du Bois's international vision originates at the beginning of his scholarship, with The Suppression of the African Slave Trade in 1896. It continues in The Souls of Black Folk, when Du Bois articulates his now famous statement, "The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line" and defines the color line as "the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in American and the islands of the sea." It emerges again in The Gift of Black Folk (1924), when Du Bois theorizes the relationship between enslaved African labor and the rise of modernity. These are but a few examples of many that complicate the tendency to position Du Bois's early writings as national while neatly confining Du Bois's international outlook to his waning years.
PS. What do you think?]