Du Bois “Souls of Black Folk” essay

W.E.B. Du Bois in his book Souls of Black Folk tries to give the picture of the people and culture of African Americans. This book should be read in the historical context only because it describes the specific period of American history, the beginning of the 20th century. The objective of this essay is to describe some issues mentioned in the book

Souls of Black Folk

The author describes the living of African American from two different points of view: first, he is one of them, he is the member of this society, and second, he is well-educated person who finished Harvard and was cultured in Europe. Stating the problem of color-line as the problem of 20th century, the author wants to both Negro and American. He doesn’t agree that black people have to be good workers and farmers only. He discusses the importance of strong and clever leader in the time, when the people has to struggle for its rights, like right to vote.

He criticizes the famous black leader,  Booker T. Washington, for his assimilation  strategy   for African American, because he is sure that one from every ten black people can become the leader of the nation.

Speaking about the role of the preacher in this society, he writes:

In the Black World, the Preacher and the Teacher embodied once the ideals of the people, — the strife for another and a juster world, the vague dream of righteousness, the mystery of knowing; but to-day the danger is that these ideals, with their simple beauty and weird inspiration, will suddenly sink to a question of cash and a lust for gold

Du Bois was sure that black people had their own way and that’ why they needed preachers and teachers who would lead them.

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