W.E.B Du Bois’ The Souls of Black Folk is a seminal work in the field of sociology, a classic of American literature – and a solid example of carefully-structured reasoning.
One of the most important texts ever written on racism and black identity in America, the work contains powerful arguments that illustrate the problem of the position of black people in the US at the turn of the 20th-century. Du Bois identified three significant issues (‘the color line’; ‘double consciousness’; and ‘the veil’) that acted as roadblocks to true black emancipation, and showed how each of these in turn contributed to the problem of inequality.
Du Bois carefully investigates all three problems, constructing clear explanations of their significance in shaping the consciousness of a community that has been systematically discriminated against, and dealing brilliantly with counter-arguments throughout. The Souls of Black Folk went on to profoundly influence the civil rights movement in the US, inspiring post-colonial thinking worldwide.
Table of Contents
Ways in to the Text
Who was W.E.B. Du Bois?
What does The Souls of Black Folk Say?
Why does The Souls of Black Folk Matter?
Section 1: Influences
Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context
Module 2: Academic Context
Module 3: The Problem
Module 4: The Author's Contribution
Section 2: Ideas
Module 5: Main Ideas
Module 6: Secondary Ideas
Module 7: Achievement
Module 8: Place in the Author's Work
Section 3: Impact
Module 9: The First Responses
Module 10: The Evolving Debate
Module 11: Impact and Influence Today
Module 12: Where Next?
Glossary of Terms
People Mentioned in the Text
Dr Jason Xidias has held positions at King’s College London and the University of California, Berkeley.