Lydia's Reviews > The Souls of Black Folk

The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois
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it was amazing
bookshelves: kindle-version, classic-negro-black-afro-am-lit, history

This is Du Bois state of the race book on the status of African-Americans at the turn of the 20th Century. He paints of bleak picture of a kidnapped, enslaved race that is suddenly set free with no education (against the law); no skills (for the majority of workers) and no family structure in the land of the free and home of the brave.

Du Bois chronicles the hopes and dreams destroyed; the attempts at education undermined; the physical and psychological degradation at the hands of the Jim Crow system. He also views the rise of peonage and share cropper systems that purposely left many rural blacks enslaved and poor. Du Bois writing of black life in rural Daughtery County Georgia gives a view of the primitive and unhealthy environment of blacks at that time. For some reason, I suspect that there still communities in the South as well as the North that exist today.

Du Bois also critiques the rise most powerful person in the black community, the clergyman. It is this person preaches Salvation to the black masses (his white counterpart preaches Redemption).

The Negro Spiritual, many of which are mainly songs of sorrow, are analyzed. This is a book that resonates today as the urban poor are more alienated and their educational systems undermined. This probably speaks to those blacks that still call places such as the Mississippi Delta and Jenna, LA, home.
It should be required reading for any African-American.
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Reading Progress

February 8, 2012 – Shelved
February 9, 2012 – Shelved as: kindle-version
February 6, 2013 – Started Reading
February 6, 2013 – Shelved as: classic-negro-black-afro-am-lit
February 6, 2013 – Shelved as: history
March 22, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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Christy Vogel Thank you for your review, I loved this book too. I recommended it to all my students. It describes a dedicated soul seeking change from both blacks and whites. Everyone should read it.


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