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The Status of the African Diaspora: A Research Publication


In the tradition of the Atlanta University Studies, building upon the legacy of the Institute of the Black World, and paralleling the W.E.B. Du Bois Southern Center for Studies in Public Policy flagship annual publication, the Status of Black Atlanta, the Global South initiatives of the Center will engage researchers from across Pan-Africa in this data-driven, public policy focused research project intended to detail prominent governance, political economic and social realities in continental Africa and the African diaspora. The bi-annual publication the Status of the African Diaspora will emerge from commissioned research and bi-annual forums hosted, alternatingly, in the Atlanta University Center, and other research centers of the African diaspora. 

W. E. B. Du Bois sought to bring science to inquiry in the pursuit of truth as is discoverable by logic, ingenuity, and endeavor. The intention was that such truth would serve the goal of positive social change. The annual reports of the Atlanta conferences stated, “we wish not only to make the Truth clear but to present it in such shape as will encourage and help social reform.” (Du Bois, “Science and Empire,” Dusk of Dawn) In his final years reflecting on the purpose and important work facing Africanist scholarship, Du Bois declared “We are seeking to bring Africans to believe in themselves and no longer receive as truth what they learn in current education.” (Du Bois, “Report to the Ghana Academy of Sciences, December 21, 1961.”) To serve its cause – the understanding of social truths to advocate for and shape social change – purposeful scholarship must be sound scholarship. Du Bois sought accurate information derived from systematic data gathering and analysis designed to produce substantial knowledge and sustain conclusions and understandings against detractors. The Status of the African Diaspora publication is animated by and continues this Du Boisian intellectual tradition. 

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