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PostNAACP's "The Crisis" and Swastikas; from Gary Moore (John Eipper, USA, 08/29/17 1:52 pm)
Gary Moore writes:
In response to John E's question, here is a small example that I came across quickly, from The Crisis, June 1921, page 58.
But what are the two book-end icons? At first glance they almost look like Torahs with a menorah motif, but there's a cross, so Bibles? Have I discussed the glimpse of Du Bois as a student in nineteenth-century Germany, spellbound in the drafty lecture room as Ranke or some other phenomenal genius was dissecting the world, and at one point making a sharp comment to the class about Africans being inferior--and supposedly knowing they are? Du Bois was so enthralled by the outpowering of knowledge otherwise that he scarcely even condemned the comment, almost brushing it off, and took back to the States the emblematic empire goatee that reminded him of classical erudition.
What in the world do all those swastikas mean--and the other arcana? For one thing, they mean Du Bois was fascinated by the catacombs.
JE comments: Thank you, Gary! There are more swastikas on p. 60. They function as snazzy dividers between articles, rather like asterisks today. How about a far-fetched analogy? Imagine the future horrors of the "Have a Nice Day" smiley-face, should a racist, genocidal regime ever adopt it as a symbol.