April as Dalit History Month is slowly, but surely, catching on. Tides, the online magazine of South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA), has chosen the occasion to highlight the brief but important historical exchange between W.E.B. Du Bois and B.R. Ambedkar in 1946. This post, in turn, was picked up by a blog, Patheos, devoted to Buddhism and social justice, where Arundhati Roy’s recent intervention has also been commended.
Also see the “Evolution of the Race Problem”, Du Bois’ classic intervention of 1909, the paper he presented at the National Negro Conference in New York, which is quite similar to Ambedkar’s 1916 paper “Castes in India”. Du Bois examines how “the caste of color was so turned as to correspond with the caste of work and enslave not only slaves but black men who were not slaves”.