Vásquez, Jorge Daniel, "W.E.B. Du Bois and Irene Diggs: Gender, Erasures, and Knowledge Production in the Sociology of the Global Color Line," Gender & Society, Jun2024, Vol. 38 Issue 3, p317-350

The global sociology of W.E.B. Du Bois developed during the 1940s relies significantly on a collaborative relationship with African-American sociologist and anthropologist Irene Diggs (1906–1998). Diggs was mentored by Du Bois as a graduate student at Atlanta University and later became his research assistant, secretary, and colleague. No person worked for and with Du Bois as Diggs did, for nearly 14 years. In her own work, Diggs transcended Du Bois. Using archival documentary research, I analyze the connection between Diggs and Du Bois to show how they developed a global sociological perspective that included an analysis of the color line in Latin America. My analysis has two goals: (1) to show how the Du Bois–Diggs relationship was permeated by gender inequalities and a misrecognition of Diggs’s critical contribution and (2) to introduce Irene Diggs’s work on Latin America between 1942 and 1953 to show how it was inscribed within the project of a global sociology of the color line. I discuss how Diggs’s historical sociology expands the analysis of the Latin American color line today.