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With a dash of the Victorian and Enlightenment influences that peppered his impassioned yet formal prose, the book's largely autobiographical chapters take the reader through the momentous and moody maze of Afro-American life after the Emancipation Proclamation: from poverty, the neoslavery of the sharecropper, illiteracy, miseducation, and lynching, to the heights of humanity reached by the spiritual "sorrow songs" that birthed gospel and the blues. The most memorable passages are contained in "On Booker T. Washington and Others," where Du Bois criticizes his famous contemporary's rejection of higher education and accommodationist stance toward white racism: "Mr. Washington's programme practically accepts the alleged inferiority of the Negro races," he writes, further complaining that Washington's thinking "withdraws many of the high demands of Negroes as men and American citizens." The capstone of The Souls of Black Folk, though, is Du Bois' haunting, eloquent description of the concept of the black psyche's "double consciousness," which he described as "a peculiar sensation.... One ever feels this 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." Thanks to W.E.B. Du Bois' commitment and foresight--and the intellectual excellence expressed in this timeless literary gem--black Americans can today look in the mirror and rejoice in their beautiful black, brown, and beige reflections. --Eugene Holley Jr. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
An important book from our history and great insight into the pain and suffering of the time. Interesting to read next to Up From Slavery. Two very different views of the time. Read morePublished 12 days ago by joyintheend
The prose is colorful and erudite, capturing the antebellum transition from slavery to the reimagined south beautifully. Read morePublished 21 days ago by A.R. Floyd
Will purchase hard copies. These books should be on every American's bookshelf and on every schools required reading list. Very timely in todays society.Published 1 month ago by Peggy S Arthur
An eye opening read. Beautifully written. "Of the Passing of the First Born" will try your soul and deliver an understanding.Published 1 month ago by John F. Prior