23Jun

Book Review: Du Bois, W. E. B., The Souls of Black Folk. 2d ed. (New York: Bantam Classic edition, 1989).

Du Bois, W. E. B., The Souls of Black Folk. 2d ed. (New York: Bantam Classic edition, 1989). The Souls of Black Folk is a book by William Edward Burghardt Du Bois published initially in 1903 that consists of a variety of essays founded on American literature. The author was a leading intellectual in the country and wrote his way up to prominence. He was well educated in history to the extent that he did his dissertation on the same field, even though educated in other disciplines, including social sciences. His works are founded on race and the fact that human beings are obligated and entitled to the rights that belong to mankind. Information from the book consists of essays that have been derived from his experiences in American society. Since he was an African American, he was interested in studying the position of blacks as the minority race in a significant society. The content is also based on social science. The key rationale is that race and ethnicity have always had a changing meaning in contemporary society. The seminal work by W. E. B. Du Bois insists that one challenge in the modern world is the problem of color-line. This is such that the racial minorities are not looking at themselves as a race but rather use other people’s perceptions, leading to "double consciousness” (Du Bois, 1989). Among the considered examples include the Freedmen's Bureau in the Civil War era. The favor of black litigants attributed to the failure, along with the counter productiveness of Washington.

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The counter productiveness of Washington contributed to the discrimination of blacks in exercises such as voting and education. Du Bois gives his experiences, noting that materialism in America threatened the replacement of other activities by Blacks to the extent that he only learned to gain wealth. As such, the only important action towards lowering education is to improve race relations between Americans and African-Americans. In his description at Georgia, Du Bois notes that the only practices exacerbating race relations are the tenant farming practice and the legal system. He also gives an insight into the Negro religion, which he notes is important in their existence in America. He also goes against racial discrimination but also thinks that losing his son was important rather than being dominated by the majority population. One of the key strengths of the book is that Du Bois uses historical facts as proof of evidence. For instance, he documents World War and slavery and the implications of racism during the periods. He also advances to use his experiences and those of others such as Alexander Crummel, the priest. Even so, one of the key weaknesses is that he does not take sides to defend his race. He concentrates on describing much about the American society and the position of Blacks rather than the influence of Blacks on the American society and their unrecognized contributions. Du Bois does not use references in his work. He, even though he uses the first-person perspective to evaluate his argument. He uses his life experiences, such as the death of his son and the activities he had to do in American land, to evaluate the larger African American society. He also uses statements from other people, whose majority include Negros. The evidence critically forms a good foundation for a discussion of racial issues. The author sufficiently meets his subject matter, as he defends issues to do with racism as is being exacerbated in America. He uses much evidence that is founded on the interactions between African Americans and the significant other race. His contentedness is the realization that the black race ought to be recognized just like any other race regardless of the region across the world.

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