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, Kindle 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 link-marketing.info 1 24/06/ Ways In to the text KEY POINTS • the.
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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 kindle book and epub digitized and proofread by Project Gutenberg.
Allow students to select an HBCU from the list below to research or assign students diferent schools to cover the range of institutions: In doing so, Du Bois also distinguishes his own use of the apocalypse from its folk uses. Thought and Afterthought introduces whenever he talks with engrossment of subject a. In what ways are their messages for racial equality, peace, and freedom similar or diferent? In a wee wooden schoolhouse, something put it into the boys' and girls' heads to buy gorgeous visiting-cards—ten cents a package—and exchange.
Ask students to list their predictions. Conirm—after reading, ask students to return to their graphic organizers to use the inal column to add new information to their initial predictions.
He categorizes these leaders based on three attitudes: He begins the story describing his eforts to establish a school and then reminisces about the friendships he made with the members of the community. He argues that common schools and indus- trial training schools did very little to equip all people with the knowledge to combat racial injustices. And all this life and love and strife and failure,—is it the twilight of nightfall or the lush of some faint-dawning day?
Evaluate this statement. Does Du Bois seem optimistic or pessimistic about progress? How does the myth of Atalanta apply to the city of Atlanta according to Du Bois, and what implication does he draw for the universities of the South? DuBois 11 4.
What values and attitudes should characterize the man educated by the Negro college as envisioned by Du Bois? Allow students to select an HBCU from the list below to research or assign students diferent schools to cover the range of institutions: Ask students to include the following in their Glogster presentation: What opportunities or limitations are presented?
What character- istics distinguish across the institutions? Does the institution exist today? If so, are the same training and courses provided? How has the institution changed in response to modern issues?
Is there still a need for HBCUs? On the roads below Macon, Du Bois encounters black families and individuals farming the lands after the prosperity of the region has long passed. Du Bois reveals the poverty and hardships of tenant farming and the efects these conditions have had on the black laborers. He blames this in part on the luctuating price of cotton and institution- alized racism. Du Bois argues that freedom from slavery did little to change the lives of blacks in the South because neither social structures nor attitudes changed.
He is sharply critical of the lack of economic, educational, and social support ofered to freed slaves after the Civil War. In response he lays out his vision of leadership coming from within the African American community. He argues, however, that black leadership had been severely limited by disenfranchisement and intimidation at the polls. What was the general condition of the tenant farmer Du Bois observed in his riding of the roads near Macon, Georgia?
Du Bois documents structural legal, economic and more subtle, but not less lethal, social hindrances, to black economic progress in the South. He also describes black responses or resistance to those systems. Do any stand out to you as being particularly detrimental or signiicant? What evidence does Du Bois provide about the color barrier or color line and its impacts?
Taken collectively what type of picture does he create about life in the Jim Crow South? DuBois 13 4. What does Du Bois envision to be the role of black leaders? What advantages or limitations might there be to his ideas? What is Dougherty County like today? What are current economic conditions?
To what extent do you see evidence of the long term impact of racial discrimination on the county? Students can begin their research by reviewing key characteristics of Dougherty County as described by Du Bois, individually or as a whole class. Next, direct students to the U. Census information website about the county at: Teachers may direct students to pay particu- lar attention to statistics that might reveal the socio-cultural characteristics of the county, e. Students can also explore the oicial website of the county at: Ask students to consider whether markers of the color line that Du Bois cited e.
Du Bois provides evidence of changes in African American religious practices over time, identifying critical episodes during slavery, the rise of the aboli- tion movement, and emancipation from slavery. Holding in that little head—ah, bitterly! According to Du Bois, why were religion and the church so important to African Ameri- cans during slavery and after emancipation? How did the ethics of the black man in America change from slavery to abolition?
What were the two ethical tendencies of blacks at the beginning of the twentieth century, according to Du Bois? Choose one example from the text that creates a clear impression on you about what Du Bois experienced and witnessed and then describe what emotions and images are depicted. Why did Du Bois choose to include this chapter about a deeply personal experience in his book?
How does Chapter XI connect to the larger themes and arguments of the text? Identify an example of this from the text. Display this quote from Du Bois and ask students to write a brief journal entry detailing their opinions about the best means to resist oppression. Next provide students with access to the following web-based resources which focus on violent rebellion of the time: DuBois 15 unIT vI: Using the narrative framing of three temptations, Du Bois paints a portrait of a deeply religious and moral man who sufered racial prejudice and discrimination from within his own church.
Ultimately Du Bois decries that Crummell was little known in his time and today , despite his great potential and his leadership within the black community. John, a young black man from southeast Georgia, leaves home with great promise to go to school at the Wells Institute. Du Bois describes his slow, almost painful evolution from an easy going, good-natured young man into a serious thinker.
Ironically, his coming of age is paralleled with that of a white playmate also named John, whom he encounters later in life with tragic results. And herein lies the tragedy of the age: He had come to save his people, and before he left the depot he had hurt them. He sought to teach them at the church, and had outraged their deepest feelings.
He had schooled himself to be respectful to the Judge, and then blundered into his front door. And all the time he had meant right,—and yet, and yet, somehow he found it so hard and strange to it his old surroundings again, to ind his place in the world about him.
He could not remember that he used to have any diiculty in the past, when life was glad and gay. In what ways does Crummell overcome these trials?
What factors con- tributed to this alienation? What are the implications of this portrait for understanding the challenges for education and social change in the Jim Crow South? How do they illustrate arguments he makes in earlier chapters of the text? Who was Alexander Crummell? Ask students to conduct research about Crummell and then write an opinion piece or editorial describing his signiicance in American history.
Are not these gifts worth the giving?
Is not this work and striving? Would America have been America without her Negro people? Ask students to visit a variety of websites to learn about the history of Negro Spirituals, the various types of spirituals, and the success and contributions of the Fisk Jubilee Singers in present- ing the powerful message of these spirituals to the world. Provide students with the following URLs: How did Negro Spirituals serve as a form of resistance for those enslaved?
How would you evaluate the success and impact of the Fisk Jubilee Singers? Negro Spiritual Listening Activity Listening to the songs of a people can give us insight into their history, values, and culture. Students can research the songs online and ask the following questions: What is the message of each song?
In what ways do the songs express emotions? What emotions dominate the songs they have selected? How did the songs serve blacks, both as slaves and freedmen? Du Bois and the history of the period in which he wrote as well as to make contemporary connections. When Du Bois wrote about his views of progress and the role of education, the United States was experiencing a period of time known as the Progressive Era. To what extent did his views about progress and education typify the thinking of the time?
See for example: According to Martin Luther King, Jr. Du Bois because history has to relect truth and Dr. Du Bois was a tireless explorer and a gifted discoverer of social truths. His singular greatness lay in his quest for truth about his own people. Johnson and the Black Experience in the U. Johnson , who was born in Florence, SC.
Unrecognized for his talent as an artist during his life, his works were discovered after his death and displayed by the Smithsonian and regional museums in the South. A concise biography of Johnson can be found at: Du Bois and Other African American Leaders and Intellectu- als of His Time hree black leaders of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are often compared, W. Du Bois, Booker T. Washington, and Marcus Garvey. Direct students in partners or individually to study the following resources in order to ill out the information chart.
Students can report their indings to the whole group and as a class identify areas of agreement and disagreement in the thinking of these African American leaders. Du Bois: Washington http: Are there modern equivalents to the ideas of each of these leaders in the contemporary ight for civil rights? DuBois 19 Booker T. This is why this literary and religious tradition has been a sustaining resource for many traditions of Western political nonconformity.
In doing so, Du Bois also distinguishes his own use of the apocalypse from its folk uses. Emancipation was the key to a promised land of sweeter beauty than ever stretched before the eyes of wearied Israelites.
In song and exhortation swelled one refrain — Liberty; in tears and curses the God he implored had Freedom in his right hand.
At last it came, — suddenly, fearfully, like a dream. With one wild carnival of blood and passion came the message in his own plaintive cadences: For God has bought your liberty! Though Du Bois acknowledges and celebrates the historical experience and the idealism witnessed by the sorrow songs, he remains critical of the potential abdication of historical human agency carried within their theology.
The Negro, losing the joy of this world, eagerly seized upon the offered con- ceptions of the next; the avenging Spirit of the Lord enjoining patience in this world, under sorrow and tribulation until the Great Day when He should lead His dark children home, — this became his comforting dream.
In vain do we cry to this our vastest social problem: But to state it so bluntly may be to lapse into precisely the reductive and simplistic strategies of opposition which Souls largely refuses.
The turn to Shakespeare may read as an abrupt shift in register and location from the biblical typologies that precede it, but the turn more properly con- tinues a subdued and silent rhyming with the passage which comes before. There is then a continuity which provides an underlying logic for the transitions and turnings in the passage; the difference between Du Bois and the folk tradition is that he does not invest in a millenarian prospect but instead grounds his book in an ongoing and critical revelation of the present, a revelation which is itself presented in a typically hermetic form.
Why is it Du Bois turns to a supra-human agent or agencies at the close of his book?
To claim that the turn is ironic in intent may be an answer of sorts. But, on the surface at least, vitalism is the keynote of the conclusion. Daniel interprets the dream to mean that the king will lose his kingdom and wealth until that moment when he recognizes the power of God: In Isaiah it is the exiled nation itself that blossoms as a tree in its restoration: Both the images of the tree of life and of a tree drawing its strength from its roots and not its leaves are used by Du Bois in Souls.
The fruit of the Tree of Life produces the will to know and understand. As if to mark the continuity between ancient and modern academies, between his own work and the larger cultural project, but above all to underline the fact that his book is indissolubly tied to his argument about education, Du Bois describes himself writing Souls by again drawing upon an image from nature, one that opens onto the sustaining ancestral presence of the dead: Ware, the founder of Atlanta University; the stone is from New England because Ware, like many others who took up the challenge of black edu- cation after the Civil War, was himself from New England.
Thought and Afterthought provide enlightened leadership for the black masses. The university is, of course, the rock upon which, for Du Bois, this program must be built.
If my reading has digressed it has done so for a reason. However, the reading has progressively become enmeshed in other strands and movements besides education, which was my original concern. But this is how Souls works; this is what it does to the reader attentive to its subtle connections. Hence arises a new human unity, pulling the ends of earth nearer, and all men, black, yellow, and white. So here we stand among thoughts of human unity, even through conquest and slavery; the inferiority of black men, even if forced by fraud; a shriek in the night for the freedom of men who themselves are not yet sure of their right to demand it.
This is the tangle of thought and afterthought wherein we are called to solve the problem of training men for life. The association between education and the tree of life is severed here; the tree here is the tree of knowledge which in the Bible too is a source of human suffering and death.
Leaf, spring, harvest, still-born, book, tangle, afterthought: Almost anything can lead to everything in Souls because the developing interactions of relatively simple words and images weave the book together in such a way that its narrative unfolds not only as a melodic line but also as a chordal or har- monic simultaneity.
And for Du Bois, right hearing is synonymous with right reading or understanding. This is a dark note that troubles the comic ending and calls up again the specter at the feast writing in apocalyptic cipher. The limits of human ability are marked again in the same language a little later: These biblical framings at the start and close of Souls seem like calculated choices for a text which moves between narrative coherence and its collapse, between an ethical and political idealism and doubt.
Genesis is after all a book of origins, full of foundational stories of the nation of Israel, but stories that are also dominated by death, killing, and human division.
Eccle- siastes is a very different kind of text. Thought and Afterthought black collectivity but also signals his separation from the group. Adam acknowledges that Eve is indeed made of the same stuff as he is, but he also marks a division and an otherness. The dialectic of identity and differ- ence between Du Bois as a representative of the Talented Tenth and the black folk underlies the political and cultural psychology at the heart of Souls and binds this psychology to the concern with education.
III The education needed to equip a reader with the challenging range of cultural knowledge and mental skills required for a reading of Souls was available to only a very few African Americans at the start of the twentieth century. But, as Souls imagines it, such an education led to contradictory ends even for those who had access to it because while it sought to produce a whole and integrated individual, it also simultaneously engendered self-division.
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.
One ever feels his two-ness, — 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.
Thought and Afterthought the artist, a dilemma that becomes a source of creative energy in the making of Souls. If it is sometimes applied to black Americans in general and sometimes to a par- ticular social group only, it is also used by Du Bois to distinguish not a class difference, but one between a secular intellectualism and the consolations of religious faith. IV Before the publication of Souls Du Bois had produced two landmark works in historiography and sociology: This intellectual turn was radical in as much as it helped Du Bois challenge the generalizations and evolutionary or social Darwinist prejudices which he saw as dominant in nineteenth-century historical and sociological treat- ments of race.
But, in attempting to mold the human sciences in the image of the physical sciences, positivism also radically curtailed what was under- stood as knowledge. From this perspective Souls comes as a surprise.
That I take this transgression as an attempt to expand what is meant by knowledge and what is taken as an appropriate subject of human understanding, rather than as a lapse into sentimental affect, should be obvious by now. In any community or nation it is these little things which are most elusive to the grasp and yet most essential to any clear conception of the group life taken as a whole.
What is thus true of all communities is peculiarly true of the South, where, outside of written history and outside of printed law, there has been going on for a generation as deep a storm and stress of human souls, as intense a ferment of feeling, as intricate a writhing of spirit, as ever a people experienced. In one sense, this structure of feeling is the culture of a period: More than a century after publication it certainly affords a glimpse into a past and yet all too present American world.
But we do not continue to return to Souls again and again because it is merely a window on history. Souls is a work which has helped create a new historical subject, a consciousness divided and doubled, diminished and enriched in unique and multiple ways in its negotiation of race and modernity. Du Bois.
Writings, ed. Huggins New York: All further page references are given in the text. Blight and R. Gooding-Williams Boston: Gates, Jr. Oliver New York: Lewis, W. Du Bois: On Souls as Bildungsbiographie, see S.
Zamir, Dark Voices: On the relation of Souls and slave narratives, see especially A. McDowell and A. Rampersad Baltimore: Stepto, From Behind the Veil: Form and Meaning in W. Wald, Constituting Americans: Death and Sympathy in the Early Writings of W.
See also E. Sundquist, To Wake the Nations: Race in the Making of American Literature Cambridge: Burke, Attitudes toward History, p.
On this aspect of apocalyptic literature, see E. Bloch, The Principle of Hope Oxford: See Zamir, Dark Voices. Marx and F.
Engels, The Communist Manifesto, ed. Findlay Toronto: See R. Gordis, Koheleth — the Man and His World: A Study of Ecclesiastes New York: I do not revisit this intellectual history in the present discussion, but Hancock, King, and Stone-Richards in this volume provide varied perspectives on some of the issues.
Useful sources include: Rampersad, The Art and Imagination of W. Du Bois Cambridge: