The Souls of Black Folk

The Souls of Black Folk

W.E.B. Du Bois

Language: English

Pages: 124

ISBN: 1505223377

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


The Souls of Black Folk is a classic work of American literature by W. E. B. Du Bois. It is a seminal work in the history of sociology, and a cornerstone of African-American literary history. To develop this groundbreaking work, Du Bois drew from his own experiences as an African-American in the American society. Outside of its notable relevance in African-American history, The Souls of Black Folk also holds an important place in social science as one of the early works in the field of sociology.

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competition with rich, landed, skilled neighbors. To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships. He felt the weight of his ignorance,—not simply of letters, but of life, of business, of the humanities; the accumulated sloth and shirking and awkwardness of decades and centuries shackled his hands and feet. Nor was his burden all poverty and ignorance. The red stain of bastardy, which two centuries of systematic legal defilement of Negro women

to Ghana and edit the Encyclopedia Africana, Du Bois leaves the United States for good. 1962 He renounces his American citizenship. 1963 Du Bois becomes a citizen of Ghana. He dies on August 27 and is buried in Accra, Ghana. On August 28, on the eve of the March on Washington, Martin Luther King leads a eulogy to Du Bois. 1964 The Civil Rights Act is passed to make voting easier for African Americans but is thwarted by the power of the states to impose registration restrictions. 1965 With

himself and his old wife by the help of the steer tethered yonder and the charity of his black neighbors. He shows us the farm of the Hills just across the county line in Baker,—a widow and two strapping sons, who raised ten bales (one need not add “cotton” down here) last year. There are fences and pigs and cows, and the soft-voiced, velvet-skinned young Memnon,ba who sauntered half-bashfully over to greet the strangers, is proud of his home. We turn now to the west along the county-line. Great

the South had no machinery, no adequate jails or reformatories; its police system was arranged to deal with blacks alone, and tacitly assumed that every white man was ipso factobm a member of that police. Thus grew up a double system of justice, which erred on the white side by undue leniency and the practical immunity of red-handed criminals, and erred on the black side by undue severity, injustice, and lack of discrimination. For, as I have said, the police system of the South was originally

remember, one cold winter, in Atlanta, when I refrained from contributing to a public relief fund lest Negroes should be discriminated against, I afterward inquired of a friend: “Were any black people receiving aid?” “Why,” said he, “they were all black.” And yet this does not touch the kernel of the problem. Human advancement is not a mere question of almsgiving, but rather of sympathy and cooperation among classes who would scorn charity. And here is a land where, in the higher walks of life,

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