Race Woman

The Lives of Shirley Graham Du Bois

363 pages

42 illustrations

February, 2002

ISBN: 9780814736487


Gerald Horne is Moores Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston, and has published three dozen books including, The Counter-Revolution of 1776:  Slave Resistance and the Origins of the USA and Race War!  White Supremacy and the Japanese Attack on the British Empire.  

All books by Gerald Horne

One of the most intriguing activists and artists of the twentieth century, Shirley Graham Du Bois also remains one of the least studied and understood. In Race Woman, Gerald Horne draws a revealing portrait of this controvertial figure who championed the civil rights movement in America, the liberation struggles in Africa and the socialist struggles in Maoist China. Through careful analysis and use of personal correspondence, interviews, and previously unexamined documents, Horne explores her work as a Harlem Renaissance playwright, biographer, composer, teacher, novelist, Left political activist, advisor and inspiration, who was a powerful historical actor.


  • “Gerald Horne has brought a wealth of detail and insight to the life of Shirley Graham Du Bois, a writer and activist as significant in her own right as for her long and vital companionship with W. E. B. Du Bois.”

    —David Levering Lewis, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of W. E. B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919-1963

  • “Horne's writing handsomely communicates the artistic, political and social climate of the world that created the multidimensional Graham Du Bois... You will not want to put it down."”

    Black Issues Book Review

  • “A fascinating account of the extraordinary life of W. E. B. Du Bois's widow: a complex, creative woman who lived a colorful, meaningful life.”


  • “Horne is the first biographer to grant Shirley Graham Du Bois her due.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Gerald Horne rescues Shirley Graham Du Bois from historical obscurity and from the shadow of her husband.”

    The Women's Review of Books