This essay discusses what W. E. B. Du Bois, in Black Reconstruction in America, 1860–1880, sees as the possibilities of black being, even as this being is conditioned by the constrictive and problematic interstitial sites of postbellum, Jim Crow existence that Du Bois names and renames across the vast trajectory of his scholarly career. As I consider Du Bois’s engagement with the hermeneutics of Schleiermacher and Dilthey, I trace his historicization of and inquiry into these interstices and their attendant existential situations. Such situatedness regularly emerges as the conceptual object of what I refer to as Du Bois’s hermeneutic historiographic praxis.

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