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The Souls of Black Folk by Du Bois - Essay Example

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This essay describes book The Souls of Black Folk by Du Bois in the early twentieth century. The book is also considered as a cornerstone of African American history and reflects on the state of slavery and its causes in the aftermath of the Civil War…
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The Souls of Black Folk by Du Bois
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Download file to see previous pages Over time the concepts introduced by Du Bois have become instrumental in approaching the race issue in America. The author’s work also reflects on the progress of race, the obstacles present to such progress and future possibilities for the nation as it entered the twentieth century. Overall Du Bois examines life for African Americans in the years following the American Civil War with particular focus being placed on the works of the Freedman’s Bureau’s function in the reconstruction efforts. The author indicates that the Bureau’s failures stemmed from a combination of southern opposition and “national neglect” as well as mismanagement by courts which were biased “in favor of black litigants”. However, the Bureau was successful on some fronts such as its contributions to the foundation and progress of African American schools. The author also claims that after Reconstruction ended in 1876 the most significant event in the annals of African American history was the rise of Booker T. Washington (an educator) as the spokesperson for the African American nation. However, the author also argued that Washington’s approach for dealing with race relations were more counterproductive in the longer run rather than being beneficial. Du Bois saw Washington’s approach of accepting segregation and emphasizing material progress as being representative of an "old attitude of adjustment and submission". The author sees this policy as causing long-term damage to the African American racial group by augmenting the loss of voting rights, the loss of civil status for African Americans and the loss of institutions of higher learning. Instead, the author argues that “the right to vote”, “civic equality” and “the education of youth according to ability” are critically important for the sustainable progress of the African American racial group as a whole. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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