The Souls of Black Folk

Front Cover
New American Library, 1969 - Fiction - 280 pages
24 Reviews

First published in 1903, this extraordinary work not only recorded and explained history—it helped alter its course. Written after Du Bois had earned his Ph.D. from Harvard and studied in Berlin, these fourteen essays contain both the academic language of sociology and the rich lyricism of African spirituals, which Du Bois called “sorrow songs.”


Often revealingly autobiographical, Du Bois explores topics as diverse as the death of his infant son and the politics of Booker T. Washington. In every essay, he shows the consequences of both a political color line and an internal one, as he grapples with the contradictions of being black and being American. What emerges is a manifesto calling for a new class of African-American intellectuals and a transcendent program for change. One of our country’s most influential books, The Souls of Black Folk reflects the mind of a visionary who inspired generations of readers to remember the past, question the status quo, and fight for a just tomorrow.


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Review: The Souls of Black Folk

User Review  - Pete - Goodreads

This book was powerful. I am still thinking about it, and will be for some time. Read full review

Review: The Souls of Black Folk

User Review  - Elizabeth Means - Goodreads

This is one of the four books that I had to read last year for an English literature class when I went back to school for my hight school diploma,it was one of 2 classes I took befor graduating.i ... Read full review

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About the author (1969)

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born in 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. A brilliant student and natural leader, he experienced little prejudice during his early years; it was while attending Fisk, a Southern university for Negroes, that the young Du Bois first fully awoke to the realities of race in America. His response was to make the cause of the black people his own. After graduation from Fisk, he earned his Ph.D. from Harvard, studied in Berlin, and become one of the great pioneer sociologists. In 1903, The Souls of Black Folk appeared. This prophetic masterpiece was but the beginning of a long, often lonely crusade that saw Du Bois forced into an increasingly radical position in his search for a solution to the American racial dilemma. His final years were marked by disillusionment with his native land, renunciation of his citizenship, and final self-exile in Ghana, where he died in 1963 at the age of ninety-five.

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