The Souls of Black Folk

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2/15/1997
  • Publisher: Bedford/St. Martin's

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Originally published in 1903, The Souls of Black Folk is a classic study of race, culture, and education at the turn of the twentieth century. With its singular combination of essays, memoir, and fiction, this book vaulted W. E. B. Du Bois to the forefront of American political commentary and civil rights activism. The Souls of Black Folk is an impassioned, at times searing account of the situation of African Americans in the United States. Du Bois makes a forceful case for the access of African Americans to higher education, memorably extols the achievements of black culture (above all the spirituals or 'sorrow songs'), and advances the provocative and influential argument that due to the inequalities and pressures of the 'race problem', African American identity is characterized by 'double consciousness'. Book jacket.

Author Biography

David W. Blight is associate professor of history and black studies at Amherst College. He is the author of Frederick Douglass' Civil War: Keeping Faith in Jubilee (1989) and essays on abolitionism, the Civil War, and American historical memory. He is the editor of the Bedford edition of the Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass (1993).

Robert Gooding-Williams is George Lyman Crosby 1896 Professor of Philosophy and professor of black studies at Amherst College. He is the editor of Reading Rodney King/Reading Urban Uprising (1993) and the author of essays on Frederick Nietzxche, Du Bois, multiculturalism, and the representation of race in film.

Table of Contents

Foreword v
Preface vii
Introduction The Strange Meaning of Being Black: Du Bois's American Tragedy 1(30)
PART ONE The Document 31(190)
The Souls of Black Folk
W. E. B. Du Bois
Notes on the text
PART TWO Selected Photographs, Essays, and Correspondence 221(59)
W. E. B. Du Bois
``The Conservation of Races,'' 1897
``The Development of a People,'' 1904
``The Souls of Black Folk,'' 1904
Correspondence about The Souls of Black Folk, 1903-1957
Ida B. Wells-Barnett to Du Bois, May 30, 1903
Caroline Pemberton to Du Bois, December 12, 1903
D. Tabak to Du Bois
Du Bois to William James, June 12, 1906
Hallie E. Queen to Du Bois, February 11, 1907
W. D. Hooper to Du Bois, September 2, 1909, and Du Bois to W. D. Hooper, October 11, 1909
Du Bois to Herbert Aptheker, February 27, 1953
Langston Hughes to Du Bois, May 22, 1956
A Du Bois Chronology (1868-1963)
Questions for Consideration
Selected Bibliography
Index 280

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