Souls of Black Folk, The
SOULS OF BLACK FOLK, THE
SOULS OF BLACK FOLK, THE. Published originally in 1903, The Souls of Black Folk is W. E. B. Du Bois's classic collection of thirteen essays and one short story. Assembled from pieces the young Du Bois wrote between 1897 and 1903 (age twenty-nine to thirty-five), the book as a whole is rich and multifaceted. It is a moving evocation of black American folk culture, a poetic rendering of African American history since emancipation, a critical response to the racism and economic subjugation afflicting black Americans at the turn of the twentieth century, and an analysis of political leadership (it contains Du Bois's famous critique of Booker T. Washington's doctrine of accommodation).
Souls can be conveniently divided into three parts: chapters 1–3 have a distinctively historical character; chapters 4–9 display a sociological perspective; and chapters 10–14 demonstrate Du Bois's attempt to capture the spiritual meanings of African American culture. Insisting that "the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line," Du Bois wrote Souls to explore the "strange meaning of being black" in a society that viewed blacks with contempt. To that end, he detailed a sweeping tableau of African American life, emphasizing the struggle for civil rights, the economic and social legacies of slavery, and the contributions of blacks to America's identity as a nation. By expounding on key concepts, such as the notion of "double consciousness" (being black and American), Du Bois described African American efforts to cope with forms of neo-slavery. Most significantly, Souls is an original and tragic vision of American history, a gripping revelation of the triumphs, betrayals, and legacies that, in the wake of emancipation, shaped the "souls of black folk" two generations after freedom. The book remains in print in many editions and is widely taught in American colleges.
Du Bois, W. E. B. The Souls of Black Folk. Reprint, edited by David W. Blight and Robert Gooding-Williams. Boston: Bedford and St. Martin's Press, 1997.
David W. Blight
See also Literature: African American Literature .
"Souls of Black Folk, The." Dictionary of American History. . Encyclopedia.com. (July 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/souls-black-folk
"Souls of Black Folk, The." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved July 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/souls-black-folk
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.