Essay on The, The Souls Of Black Folk

Essay on The, The Souls Of Black Folk

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Within the pages of W.E.B Du Bois’ powerful ethnography, The Souls of Black Folk, we the readers are given the opportunity to see life through the eyes of post-Civil War newly “freed” black men. Enlaced within his essays Du Bois shows us the many inequalities that hinder the black community from equality. One such hardship which he touches upon is education, or rather a lack of it. Education is the key to the door which has been dividing humans for so long. Not only is an education of the mind necessary but also of the physical trade, for combining mind and body is essential in becoming a whole. This paper will examine the way in which black folks have been deprived of education and how attaining it will aid in the advancement of equality in a time of injustice.
To begin understanding the importance of education we need to look at the history of its deprivation in the black community. It starts with slavery, or more precisely the need of dehumanizing a group of people to the point where all they know is that condition. To make it more clear, a lack of education started with the white man’s greed for free labor. They needed people to do hard labor in exchange for no compensation. But how do you keep a population in chains of servitude without them fighting back? You rob them of access to knowledge which in turn dehumanizes them, which consequently leads to generations of a population internalizing a lack of self-worth. This mentality is shown early on in Du Bois’ work when he says, “the South believed an educated Negro to be a dangerous Negro. And the South was not wholly wrong; for education among all kinds of men always has had, and always will have, an element of danger and revolution, of dissatisfaction and discontent” (28)....


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...you. Only once you’ve gained knowledge can your eyes metaphorically start to open and enable you to see the 20/20 version of society, and your place in it. Once you’re educated you can start moving towards positions of power, and when there are likeminded people in these positions, that’s when change can finally take its course.
Without knowledge you have no power, and in turn the loss of your humanity. Through our journey of analyzing education and its role as an injustice faced by black people at the time, we can agree that these men although by law “free” are far from it. Thanks to institutionalized barriers and biased laws these men and women are forced into a second wave of slavery. So to overcome these obstacles one must stick to educating themselves, feeding their hungry minds. Only through understanding the prejudice around you can you start to make a change.

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