European Parliament Library

The Gratifications of Whiteness, W. E. B. Du Bois and the Enduring Rewards of Anti-Blackness, Ella Myers

This is the first book-length study of W. E. B. Du Bois's conceptualization of American whiteness. While many popular and scholarly accounts of Du Bois's thought focus on his famous claim that whiteness has functioned as a "public and psychological wage" in the United States, this book reveals a more complex analysis that speaks powerfully to contemporary conditions. Whiteness, Du Bois shows us, is not one thing, but many. Focusing on three key motifs found in his work-wage, pleasure, dominion-this book investigates the "gratifications of whiteness" Du Bois theorized. It argues that whiteness is composed not only of the status rewards that secure capitalism but also the enjoyment of gratuitous Black suffering and a quasi-religious conviction that the world belongs to those marked as "white." In addition, the book brings Du Bois's ideas into creative encounter with the present. It shows that Du Bois can help us recognize contemporary whiteness as a multifaceted formation, which provides a sense of social standing (wage), delivers feelings of pleasure born of Black pain (pleasure), and sanctions a worldview in which white skin supplies a "title to the universe" (dominion). The book also explores whether and how these patterns of racialized gratification might be undone
Table Of Contents
Contents: Acknowledgments - 1. The Gratifications of Whiteness - 2. Whiteness as Wage: Reaping the Rewards of Racial Capitalism - 3. Whiteness as Pleasure: Anti-Black Brutality and Sadistic Enjoyment - 4. Whiteness as Dominion: The Racial-Colonial Ethos of Ownership - 5. Resistances: Du Boisean Propaganda, World Building, and Black Lives Matter - Epilogue: Abolitionist Possibilities - Notes - Bibliography - Index
First Edition
Includes bibliographical references and index
Physical Description
1 online resource (257 pages)
Specific Material Designation
Form Of Item


Is Part Of

Library Locations

  • EP Library Luxembourg

    Rue du Fort Thüngen, Luxembourg, L-1313, LU
  • EP Library Brussels

    60 rue Wiertz, Brussels, B-1047, BE
  • EP Library Strasbourg

    7 Place Adrien Zeller, Allée du Printemps, Strasbourg, F-67070, FR