I work at Edinburgh University, where the Students’ Association (EUSA) has recently issued a formal call for the renaming of the David Hume Tower, the University’s most prominent blot on the city’s skyline, on the grounds that the Enlightenment philosopher after whom the building is named held ‘extremely problematic and incredibly harmful’ beliefs regarding ‘the inferiority of non-white peoples’ (‘Campaign to rename Edinburgh University building named after David Hume wins Students’ Union support’, Edinburgh Evening News 6 July 2020).
William Du Bois, or ‘Doctor Du Bois’ as he insisted on being addressed, was a great scholar, historian, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, and pacifist. He was a picture of the modern intellectual and scholar engaging eclectically in philosophies ranging from Calvinism to Socialism. His thought was to shape the world after it emerged in America against the backdrop of considerable racial barriers. Read more