45th out of 110 books — 37 voters
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The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study
A collection of fourteen essays which records the cruelties of racism, celebrates the strength and pride of black America and explores the paradoxical "double consciousness" of African-American life. Introduction by John Edgar Wideman.
Paperback, 568 pages
Published February 1st 1996 by University of Pennsylvania Press
(first published 1899)
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DuBois is unquestionably the father of modern Sociology, the more of this I read, the angrier I became that this is not universally recognized. This book is extraordinary. It doesn’t escape all of the faults of its time (this was published in 1899!), but the level of rigorous scholarship and its depth of insight floored me just a bit. What also floored me was how very little things have changed, and that was heartbreaking. But the key to why DuBois is not a larger figure in Sociology as a whole, ...more
In 1899 W.E.B. Dubois published this study of the Negro community in Philadelphia, which at that time was relatively small. In intricate detail he describes the lives of the black residents of the city. Written in precise and scientific language he describes the systemic and personal discrimination faced by these residents and their efforts to cope in spite of that. While he is understandably critical of the white power structure for the sorry condition of the black community, he does mince ...more
One of the most fascinating books I've ever read. His range and depth and acute sense of studying while living with the people is mesmerizing. You don't always have to land where he lands. He's quite romantic and believes in a national aristocracy. But the clarity and sincerity in his thinking seems to be for the betterment of black people. His times were different, kind of. So I'm sympathetic to his respectability rhetoric. Nevertheless, this book was an amazing event to read.
Really interesting to know that the more things change, the more they stay the same. It does normalize some of the African American patterns of today however (ie marriage at later ages, propensity for entrepreneurship/laborers/learned professions, etc.) Also interesting to see that we were never a "traditional" family per say...everyone worked! The concept of "stay at home mom" was rare then too!
An early criminalogical study of Philadelphia. I thought about this book today when the Philadelphia prison reached an all time high of 9275 inmates, and when the senator, Arlen Spector decided that he was going to interrogate all immigrants at intake as to their legal status, just as the inmates in the 1800s were interrgoated as to their freeman status.
May 20, 2009 crenee rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Philadelphians, sociologists, African American studies
Incredible insights regarding the story of slavery, emancipation, and urban life for African Americans in early Philadelphia. First such sociological study in history. Also contains interesting biographical facts regarding W.E.B. DuBois, especially those associated with his employment with the University of Pennsylvania.
In 1868, W.E.B. Du Bois (William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, pronounced 'doo-boyz') was born in Massachusetts. He attended Fisk College in Nashville, then earned his BA in 1890 and his MS in 1891 from Harvard. Du Bois studied at the University of Berlin, then earned his doctorate in history from Harvard in 1894. He taught economics and history at Atlanta University from 1897-1910. The Souls of Black ...moreMore about W.E.B. Du Bois...