The Souls Of Black Folk By W. E. B. Du Bois Essay

The Souls Of Black Folk By W. E. B. Du Bois Essay

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Bayli Donaldson
The Souls of Black Folk
HIST 1493-997
The book The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois began with a forethought that gave an overview of what was about to be read. The forethought first mentioned “the veil” which was also used frequently through out the first two chapters. In these chapters Du Bois starts from when he was a young kid and then continues his timeline up until the Freedmen’s Bureau and then the Fifteenth Amendment. The first chapter focused more on what is was like and how he was going to overcome it while the second chapter focused on the issues, why they came about, and the changes that were starting to be made in the late 1800s.
At the beginning of chapter one, “Of Our Spiritual Strivings,” Du Bois (1994) talked about the question that is always indirectly asked to a black man. The question being, “how does it feel being the problem?” (p. 1). He talked about when he was younger his class all made cards for each other and the tall girl would not take his card. This is when he realized he was different. At this time, he also decided that he was not going to live his live hidden by the veil. The veil represented the black man being invisible and only being able to see their self through other’s eyes. He decided this was not right for him and he was going to do everything in his power to overcome the veil and to be superior to all of the white men and be better at everything than them. Du Bois questions God as to why he is lesser because of his color as if blacks were the seventh son. The Emancipation gave the blacks some freedoms but it also scared the rest of America because they were scared the blacks were going to take over. The blacks had too much to learn from the rest because of the advanc...


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...the veil. The white man cannot see clearly through from the outside of the veil. The white man has a much harder time seeing himself through the black man’s point of view. It’s almost impossible because the white man has not been through what the black man has.
In conclusion, Du Bois’s work is very historical and deserves much more attention than it gets. This is agreed among the three articles that were written about. He was a knowledgeable man who was capable of taking the facts he lived with and showing them in a sociological view to help the readers engage in more emotion. The first two chapters of the book revolve around “the veil” and “double-consciousness” which seems to be two of the most talked about parts of Du Bois’s essays. Historians seemed to be very thankful for his work and wish that, to other people, that his essays were taught more to other people.

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