Summary Of The Dusk Of Dawn By W. E. B. Du Bois

analytical Essay
992 words
992 words

W.E.B. Du Bois is a world-renowned American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, and author whose life goal was to educate African Americans and whites about the realities of race by posing and answering the question, “How does it feel to be a problem?” On the other hand, William Faulkner is an American writer whose specialty in Southern and American literature won him a Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford. Faulkner’s Southern literature illustrated the difficulties of being behind a societal veil, with special attention to gender and racial issues. Both of these authors have attempted to tackle the difficult questions regarding race and addressed some ties between race and economics. Du Bois focuses on the black narrative and Faulkner …show more content…

First, he breaks down the idea of race as a biologically constructed fact. He argues that race as a biological construction was used to set up a system of oppression that benefitted whites. He counters this construction by claiming that race can be constructed many different ways. Tommy Lott’s article "Du Bois and Locke on the Scientific Study of the Negro” further deconstructs the idea of race as a solely biological construction and establishes that race can be biologically, socially, and culturally constructed. Lott explains how each construction further perpetuates a racial caste, but he explains that the social and cultural construction of race, although false in its ideology about races, is how society is able to allocate a status of superiority or inferiority. Societal statuses are accompanied with privilege and economic advantages. Furthermore, Du Bois explains that white society clings to the established constructions of race because of its ability to create a caste system that affords whites with exclusive economic privileges. In chapter one of Dusk of Dawn, “The Plot,” is a socio-historical perspective on how the concept of race has evolved. The concept of race has evolved from biological difference in skin pigmentation, to biological superiority and inferiority, and then …show more content…

Du Bois argues in this quote that “basic racial difference between human beings and had suffered not change,” meaning that racism is still a pressing issue. In this quote he essentially asks the questions, why wont the idea of racism die? Du Bois then links the persistence of racism to economic incentives when he states, “and clung to it… the modern African slave trade a tremendous economic structure and eventually the industrial revolution had been based on racial differences.” As illustrated in this quote, the link between economics and racial indifferences is one reason Du Bois offers as an explanation for why racism has been able persist even until today. The perpetuation of racism and racial difference is how society allocates status and wealth, while socialization maintains the idea of racism Du Bois argues

In this essay, the author

  • Compares the views of w.e.b. du bois and william faulkner, both sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, and author.
  • Analyzes how du bois' dusk of dawn addresses the connection between race and economics by giving a historical account of what actually takes place behind the color line and how it affects african americans.
  • Analyzes du bois' socio-historical perspective on how the concept of race has evolved from biological differences in skin pigmentation to biological superiority and inferiority, and finally into socialized knowledge used to maintain economic privilege and security.
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