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The role of black public intellectuals is being passionately debated both within and outside of academia. Now Transcending the Talented Tenth offers an expansive examination of African-American intellectuals, both historically and in contemporary life. Joy James explores the work and politics of thinkers, activists, and topics from W.E.B. Du Bois to Ida B. Wells, from Ella Baker to women's autobiographies of the civil rights movement, from academic intellectualism to its relationship to Black feminists. Her original, sometimes controversial analysis will be necessary reading for all those concerned with the past and the future of African-American intellectual life.