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American Poems: Books: The Souls of Black Folk (Oxford World's Classics)
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The Souls of Black Folk (Oxford World's Classics)

  • List Price: $12.95
  • Buy New: $5.00
  • as of 9/16/2014 00:32 EDT details
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  • Seller:BLUECOAT BOOKS
  • Sales Rank:510,788
  • Languages:English (Unknown), English (Original Language), English (Published)
  • Media:Paperback
  • Number Of Items:1
  • Edition:Reissue
  • Pages:272
  • Shipping Weight (lbs):0.4
  • Dimensions (in):7.7 x 5.4 x 0.5
  • Publication Date:January 15, 2009
  • ISBN:0199555834
  • EAN:9780199555833
  • ASIN:0199555834
Availability:Usually ships in 1-2 business days

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Editorial Reviews:
Synopsis
Originally published in 1903, The Souls of Black Folk is a classic study of race, culture, and education at the turn of the twentieth century. With its singular combination of essays, memoir, and fiction, this book vaulted Du Bois to the forefront of American political commentary and civil rights activism. It is an impassioned, at times searing account of the situation of African Americans in the United States, making a forceful case for the access of African Americans to higher education and extolling the achievements of black culture. Du Bois advances the provocative and influential argument that due to the inequalities and pressures of the "race problem," African American identity is characterized by "double consciousness." This edition includes a valuable appendix of other writings by Du Bois, which sheds light on his motivation and his goals.

About the Series: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the broadest spectrum of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, voluminous notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
Amazon.com Review
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868-1963) is the greatest of African American intellectuals--a sociologist, historian, novelist, and activist whose astounding career spanned the nation's history from Reconstruction to the civil rights movement. Born in Massachusetts and educated at Fisk, Harvard, and the University of Berlin, Du Bois penned his epochal masterpiece, The Souls of Black Folk, in 1903. It remains his most studied and popular work; its insights into Negro life at the turn of the 20th century still ring true.

With a dash of the Victorian and Enlightenment influences that peppered his impassioned yet formal prose, the book's largely autobiographical chapters take the reader through the momentous and moody maze of Afro-American life after the Emancipation Proclamation: from poverty, the neoslavery of the sharecropper, illiteracy, miseducation, and lynching, to the heights of humanity reached by the spiritual "sorrow songs" that birthed gospel and the blues. The most memorable passages are contained in "On Booker T. Washington and Others," where Du Bois criticizes his famous contemporary's rejection of higher education and accommodationist stance toward white racism: "Mr. Washington's programme practically accepts the alleged inferiority of the Negro races," he writes, further complaining that Washington's thinking "withdraws many of the high demands of Negroes as men and American citizens." The capstone of The Souls of Black Folk, though, is Du Bois' haunting, eloquent description of the concept of the black psyche's "double consciousness," which he described as "a peculiar sensation.... One ever feels this twoness--an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder." Thanks to W.E.B. Du Bois' commitment and foresight--and the intellectual excellence expressed in this timeless literary gem--black Americans can today look in the mirror and rejoice in their beautiful black, brown, and beige reflections. --Eugene Holley Jr.


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