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June 19, 2015


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Derek Tokaz

How were you able to verify the insults and barricaded steps?


I clearly no longer understand the meaning of fact checking, after reading the NY Mag piece on Goffman.


The Dubois effort will be interesting. What an amazing man and scholar! David Eltis and Co. who used the most modern technology available to figure out the numbers of the slave trade, discovered that Dubois's numbers, which had been disputed by other historians over the years, turned out to be almost completely in line with what they had found. And he did it without all the fancy equipment they had.

Also, it is a small world, an even smaller African American world, and an even tinier world of black elites in those days and now. There were few degrees of separation between prominent blacks during that era. Correspondence suggests that Bassett knew Dubois and his half-brother, and Dubois knew Bassett's son. The letter in which Bassett mentions seeing Dubois's brother postdates the publication of The Philadelphia Negro, but it would be fun to try to trace these connections back.

Steve L.

I have also confirmed that Bassett lived in what was then the "northwestern part of the city."

Not that I ever mistrusted DuBois - and this vignette is actually just the entry point for a study of contemporary ethnography. More on that in future posts.


Like I said, this should be interesting and fun. Something to look forward to!

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