The Souls of Black Folk (Paperback)
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Herein lie buried many things which if read with patience may show the strange meaning of being black here at the dawning of the Twentieth Century. This meaning is not without interest to you, Gentle Reader; for the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line. I pray you, then, receive my little book in all charity, studying my words with me, forgiving mistake and foible for sake of the faith and passion that is in me, and seeking the grain of truth hidden there. Part historian, part activist, part autobiographer, part economic critic. W. E. B. Du Bois, in this fundamental look at the basis of the civil rights movement, attempts a scrupulous evaluation of the progress of African American cultural development in the United States. Du Bois insisted that there were three things indispensable to this progress: the right to vote, civic impartiality, and equal educational situations. He described the outrage of leaving any establishment of equal rights to an advancing movement fueled by protest and not by the cooperative consideration of justice. Du Bois was educated at Fisk, Harvard, and the University of Berlin and wrote this masterwork in 1903. Because his life spanned the nation's historical events from Reconstruction following the Civil War to modern civil rights activity, he was able to evaluate the cavernous depths crossed by American black men to claim their right to an environment free from oppression. This book demonstrates how the effort to be logical while analyzing the total historic effect of Afro-American socialization oddly blends racial characteristics and racial eloquence. Du Bois' commitment to an accurate understanding of this condition will inspire any reader to an objective assessment of the adversities encountered by African Americans.