First published in 1903, this extraordinary work not only recorded and explained history—it helped alter its course. Written after Du Bois had earned his Ph.D. from Harvard and studied in Berlin, these fourteen essays contain both the academic language of sociology and the rich lyricism of African spirituals, which Du Bois called “sorrow songs.”
Often revealingly autobiographical, DuBois explores topics as diverse as the death of his infant son and the politics of Booker T. Washington. In every essay, he shows the consequences of both a political color line and an internal one, as he grapples with the contradictions of being black and being American. One of our country’s most influential books, The Souls of Black Folk reflects the mind of a visionary who inspired generations of readers to remember the past, question the status quo, and fight for a just tomorrow.
With an Introduction by Randall Kenan and an Afterword by Cheryl Townsend Gilkes
W.E.B. Du Bois (1868–1963), writer, civil rights activist, scholar, and editor, is one of the most significant intellectuals in American history. A founding member of the NAACP, editor for many years of The Crisis and three other journals, and author… More about W.E.B. Du Bois