Souls of Black Folk

With the Talented Tenth and the Souls of White Folk

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W. E. B. Du Bois, Ibram X. Kendi, Monica E. Elbert: Souls of Black Folk (2020, Penguin Publishing Group)

288 pages

English language

Published Sept. 6, 2020 by Penguin Publishing Group.

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4 stars (9 reviews)

Du Bois' 1903 collection of essays is a thoughtful, articulate exploration of the moral and intellectual issues surrounding the perception of blacks within American society.

97 editions

Review of 'Souls of Black Folk' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This beautiful book, written in 1903, is about race and America. It is a collection of essays; some history, some critique, some stories, some journals. They are gathered together to form a comprehensive picture of life for the African American at the turn of the 20th century. It’s author, W.E.B. De Bois was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer and editor.

Reading this book shook me and, more than once, left me speechless. However, this book is not a shocking book, full of the horrors of racism and America’s dark past. What shook me was the shear strength of character, integrity and humanity of De Bois. His prose is elegant, his observations keen and balanced, his conclusions measured, his stance humble. However, he is not passive, not content with the status quo and not very interested with sacrificial compromise.

After the Egyptian and Indian, the Greek …

Review of 'Souls of Black Folk' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

If there's anything more depressing than reading this and James Baldwin and Ta-Nehisi Coates this year - all with fantastic and enlightening offerings - it's the prospect of having to read a similar work another fifty years down the road.

But read it anyway. And read [b:Between the World and Me|25489625|Between the World and Me|Ta-Nehisi Coates||44848425] and [b:The Fire Next Time|464260|The Fire Next Time|James Baldwin||1129041]. And then find that book (or write it if it isn't out there) that tells me how to get past the othering and hate and oppression that seems foundational in America.

Review of 'Souls of Black Folk' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I enjoyed this even more than I thought I would. Interesting how aspects of Civil War history that I have added or emphasized since 2000 in my high school history classes were right there in 1903 in Du Bois, especially: enslaved people emancipating themselves during the Civil War and the significance of Reconstruction. This shows both DuBois's brilliance and how the African American perspective on US history is still gaining currency. Besides these, and many other insights into the African American experience of the early 20th Century, I loved the lively and energetic prose.

Justly a classic.

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