The Souls of Black Folk. Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library. Chapter 1. I. Of Our Spiritual Strivings. O water, voice of my heart, crying in the. The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Souls of Black Folk, by W. E. B. Du Bois This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no. Free site book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg.

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W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk (). 2. CHAPTER I. Of Our Spiritual Strivings. O water, voice of my heart, crying in the sand, All night long crying with . Free PDF, epub, site ebook. The Souls of Black Folk is a classic work of American literature by W. E. B. Du Bois. It is a seminal work in the history of. An Analysis of W. E. B. Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk Jason Xidias DUBOIS BOOK 1 24/06/ Ways In to the text KEY POINTS • the.

And yet, being a problem is a strange experience,—peculiar even for one who has never been anything else, save perhaps in babyhood and in Europe.

It is in the early days of rollicking boyhood that the revelation first bursts upon one, all in a day, as it were. I remember well when the shadow swept across me. I was a little thing, away up in the hills of New England, where the dark Housatonic winds between Hoosac and Taghkanic to the sea.

In a wee wooden schoolhouse, something put it into the boys' and girls' heads to download gorgeous visiting-cards—ten cents a package—and exchange. The exchange was merry, till one girl, a tall newcomer, refused my card,—refused it peremptorily, with a glance. Then it dawned upon me with a certain suddenness that I was different from the others; or like, mayhap, in heart and life and longing, but shut out from their world by a vast veil.

I had thereafter no desire to tear down that veil, to creep through; I held all beyond it in common contempt, and lived above it in a region of blue sky and great wandering shadows.

The Souls of Black Folk

That sky was bluest when I could beat my mates at examination-time, or beat them at a foot-race, or even beat their stringy heads. Alas, with the years all this fine contempt began to fade; for the words I longed for, and all their dazzling opportunities, were theirs, not mine.

But they should not keep these prizes, I said; some, all, I would wrest from them. Just how I would do it I could never decide: With other black boys the strife was not so fiercely sunny: The shades of the prison-house closed round about us all: After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek and Roman, the Teuton and Mongolian, the Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world,—a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world.

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It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his twoness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.

The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife,—this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa.

He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face.

According to Du Bois, this veil is worn by all African-Americans because their view of the world and its potential economic, political, and social opportunities are so vastly different from those of white people.

The souls of black folk, essays and sketches

The veil is a visual manifestation of the color line, a problem Du Bois worked his whole life to remedy. Du Bois sublimates the function of the veil when he refers to it as a gift of second sight for African Americans, thus simultaneously characterizing the veil as both a blessing and a curse.

Du Bois also introduces the problem of the color-line. Armstrong , and Erastus Cravath. He worried that the demise of the Freedman's Savings Bank , which resulted in huge losses for many freedmen of any savings, resulted in freedmen losing "all the faith in savings".

Thus Negro suffrage ended a civil war by beginning a race feud. Booker T. Here Du Bois argues against Booker T.

Washington 's idea of focusing solely on industrial education for black men. Du Bois refers to the Atlanta Compromise as the "most notable of Mr. Washington's career," and "the old attitude of adjustment and submission.

He fears that, if black people "concentrate all their energies on industrial education, the accumulation of wealth, and the conciliation of the South," this will lead to 1 The disenfranchisement of the Negro, 2 The legal creation of a distinct status of civil inferiority for the Negro, and 3 The steady withdrawal of aid from institutions for the higher training of the Negro.

Washington apologizes for injustice, North or South, does not rightly value the privilege and duty of voting, opposes the higher training and ambition of our brighter minds,—so far as he, the South, or the Nation, does this,—we must unceasingly and firmly oppose them. Virginia passed similar laws in By excluding blacks from political life, southern legislatures were able to pass Jim Crow laws and other discriminatory methods.

Secondly he returned after 10 years and found the town where he had worked had suffered many unpleasant changes. In its place stood Progress; and Progress, I understand, is necessarily ugly. Du Bois compares Atlanta , the City of a Hundred Hills, to Atalanta , and warns against the "greed of gold," or "interpreting the world in dollars. Then complete school systems were established including Normal schools and colleges, followed by the industrial revolution in the South from to , and its industrial schools.

The Souls of Black Folk

Yet, he asks, "Is Not life more than meat, and the body more than raiment? He goes on to state, "If the Negro was to learn, he must teach himself," and cites the 30, black teachers created in one generation who "wiped out the illiteracy of the majority of the black people of the land, and they made Tuskegee possible.

From to , there were 22 Negro graduates from Northern colleges and from Southern Negro colleges. From to , Northern colleges graduated Negros and over graduated from Southern Negro colleges.

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Du Bois concludes by stating that the " And finally, beyond all this, it must develop men. These families are plagued with "easy marriage and easy separation," a vestige of slavery, which the Negro church has done much to prevent "a broken household. He describes the economic classes: the "submerged tenth" of croppers , 40 percent are metayers or "tenant on shares" with a chattel mortgage , 39 percent are semi-metayers and wage-laborers, while 5 percent are money-renters, and 6 percent freeholders.

Finally, du Bois states that only 6 percent "have succeeded in emerging into peasant proprietorship", leading to a "migration to town", the "downloading of small homesteads near town".

As for physical proximity, Du Bois states there is an obvious "physical color-line" in Southern communities separating whites from Negroes, and a Black Belt in larger areas of the country. He says that here is a need for "Negro leaders of character and intelligence" to help guide Negro communities along the path out of the current economic situation.

The power of the ballot is necessary, he asserts, as "in every state the best arbiters of their own welfare are the persons directly affected. After recounting his first exposure to the Southern Negro revival , Du Bois notes three things that characterize this religion: the Preacher, the Music, and the Frenzy—the Frenzy or Shouting being "when the Spirit of the Lord passed by, and, seizing the devotee, made him mad with supernatural joy.

Predominately Methodists or Baptists after Emancipation, when Emancipation finally, came Du Bois states, it seemed to the freedman a literal "Coming of the Lord". Du Bois comments, "Why was his hair tinted with gold? An evil omen was golden hair in my life.

Du Bois starts with, "This is the history of a human heart. When he returns to his place, he discovers that "[l]ittle had they understood of what he said, for he spoke an unknown tongue" Du Bois John's return to the South has made him a foreigner in his own home.

After he attempts to teach a class for the local children, John is compared to a different John, the son of wealthy Judge Henderson. John Henderson has become bored after his own return from college. He begins to sexually assault Jennie, the sister of black John, when the young white man sees her outside his home.

John kills white John and bids his mother goodbye. In the final part of the story, there is an implication that he is about to be lynched by a gathering mob, and John "softly hum[s] the 'Song of the Bride'" in German. Du Bois He refers to the short musical passages at the beginning of each of the other chapters.

Du Bois mentions that the music was so powerful and meaningful that, regardless of the people's appearance and teaching, "their hearts were human and their singing stirred men with a mighty power.On the roads below Macon, Du Bois encounters black families and individuals farming the lands after the prosperity of the region has long passed. In Sanders's work, Saints in Exile: The Holiness-Pentecostal Experience in African American Religion and Culture, Sanders deploys a dialectical understanding of exile, which she characterizes in black holiness-Pentecostal terms as "Being in the world, but not of it.

Divide the class into three groups and assign each student in the groups to read the hirteenth, Fourteenth or Fifteenth Amend- ments.

Finally, Du Bois concludes his book with an essay on African American spirituals. And yet, being a problem is a strange experience,—peculiar even for one who has never been anything else, save perhaps in babyhood and in Europe. Would America have been America without her Negro people? And yet it is not weakness,—it is the contradiction of double aims. Identify an example of this from the text.

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