Religion Dispatches features an interview with our Contributing Editor Ed Blum. Of the professional motivations for his work W. E. B. DuBois, American Prophet, Blum says,
Professionally, I felt drawn to write about religion in Du Bois’s because it filled two important historical gaps. First, he was basically ignored by American religious historians who tended to write more about Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finney, Billy Graham, or Martin Luther King, Jr. I wondered about the religious insights of a man who refused to become a minister. I found that Du Bois’s life and insights probably tell us more about the power and place of religion in American society than any of these others. Second, American historians have written extensively about Du Bois but have basically ignored his interest in religion. I felt shocked to read book after book about The Souls of Black Folk that focused on the word “folk” in the title but not on “souls.” This struck me as a blind spot in the profession."