The Souls of Black Folk: The Dawn of Freedom (Paperback)
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The Souls of Black Folk - By W.E.B. Du Bois. African American Studies. 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. The book, published in 1903, contains several essays on race, some of which had been previously published in the Atlantic Monthly magazine. 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. Chapter I lays out an overview of Du Bois's thesis for the book. It says that the blacks of the South need to enjoy the right to vote, to a good education, and to be treated with equality and justice. The second chapter, "The Dawn of Freedom" covers the history of the Freedmen's Bureau during reconstruction. Chapters III through VI deal with education. Chapters VII through X are sociological studies of the black community. In "Chapter X: Of the Faith of the Fathers," Du Bois describes the rise of the Black church, and examines the history and contemporary state of religion and spiritualism among African-Americans. The final chapters of the book are devoted to narratives of individuals. "Chapter XI: Of the Passing of the First-Born" tells the story of Du Bois's own son and his untimely death. In the next chapter, the life of Alexander Crummell is a short biography of a black priest in the Episcopal Church. The penultimate chapter of The Souls of Black Folk --"Of the Coming of John"-is a work of fiction. It is the story of John from Altamaha, Georgia, sent off to a well-off school only to return to his place, where " l]ittle had they understood of what he said, for he spoke an unknown tongue.