Du Bois, W. (1903). The Souls of Black Folk. (Lit2Go ed.). Retrieved March 21, 2018, from

The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Souls of Black Folk, by W

The Souls of Black Folk Summary | GradeSaver

 Du Bois, W. E. B.. The Souls of Black Folk. Lit2Go Edition. 1903. Web. . March 21, 2018.
The Souls of Black Folk is a classic work of African–American literature by activist W.E.B. Du Bois. The book, published in 1903, contains several essays on race, some of which had been previously published in Atlantic Monthly magazine. Du Bois drew from his own experiences to develop this groundbreaking work on being African–American in American society. Outside of its notable place in African–American history, The Souls of Black Folk also holds an important place in social science as one of the early works to deal with sociology.

The Souls of Black Folk study guide contains a biography of W.E.B

W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, Li2Go edition, (1903), accessed March 21, 2018, .
Duality doesn't just mean having two personalities, though. What's really key to understanding DuBois's notion of duality is "second-sight." Being split between "two warring ideals"—one "American," another "Negro"—isn't fun. It means seeing yourself the way a typical white American might see you (and back then, not too many white folks had generous perceptions of free black men and women).


The Souls of Black Folk Chapter 4 Summary ..

Du Bois, W. (1903). Chapter 1: Of Our Spiritual Strivings. The Souls of Black Folk (Lit2Go Edition). Retrieved March 21, 2018, from
W. E. B. Du Bois, "Chapter 1: Of Our Spiritual Strivings," The Souls of Black Folk, Lit2Go Edition, (1903), accessed March 21, 2018, .

This, then, is the end of his striving: to be a co–worker in the kingdom of culture, to escape both death and isolation, to husband and use his best powers and his latent genius. These powers of body and mind have in the past been strangely wasted, dispersed, or forgotten. The shadow of a mighty Negro past flits through the tale of Ethiopia the Shadowy and of Egypt the Sphinx. Through history, the powers of single black men flash here and there like falling stars, and die sometimes before the world has rightly gauged their brightness. Here in America, in the few days since Emancipation, the black man's turning hither and thither in hesitant and doubtful striving has often made his very strength to lose effectiveness, to seem like absence of power, like weakness. And yet it is not weakness,—it is the contradiction of double aims. The double–aimed struggle of the black artisan—on the one hand to escape white contempt for a nation of mere hewers of wood and drawers of water, and on the other hand to plough and nail and dig for a poverty–stricken horde—could only result in making him a poor craftsman, for he had but half a heart in either cause. By the poverty and ignorance of his people, the Negro minister or doctor was tempted toward quackery and demagogy; and by the criticism of the other world, toward ideals that made him ashamed of his lowly tasks. The would–be black savant was confronted by the paradox that the knowledge his people needed was a twice–told tale to his white neighbors, while the knowledge which would teach the white world was Greek to his own flesh and blood. The innate love of harmony and beauty that set the ruder souls of his people a–dancing and a–singing raised but confusion and doubt in the soul of the black artist; for the beauty revealed to him was the soul–beauty of a race which his larger audience despised, and he could not articulate the message of another people. This waste of double aims, this seeking to satisfy two unreconciled ideals, has wrought sad havoc with the courage and faith and deeds of ten thousand thousand people,—has sent them often wooing false gods and invoking false means of salvation, and at times has even seemed about to make them ashamed of themselves.

SparkNotes Search Results: the souls of black folk

So dawned the time of Sturm und Drang: storm and stress to–day rocks our little boat on the mad waters of the world–sea; there is within and without the sound of conflict, the burning of body and rending of soul; inspiration strives with doubt, and faith with vain questionings. The bright ideals of the past,—physical freedom, political power, the training of brains and the training of hands,—all these in turn have waxed and waned, until even the last grows dim and overcast. Are they all wrong,—all false? No, not that, but each alone was over–simple and incomplete,—the dreams of a credulous race–childhood, or the fond imaginings of the other world which does not know and does not want to know our power. To be really true, all these ideals must be melted and welded into one. The training of the schools we need to–day more than ever,—the training of deft hands, quick eyes and ears, and above all the broader, deeper, higher culture of gifted minds and pure hearts. The power of the ballot we need in sheer self–defence,—else what shall save us from a second slavery? Freedom, too, the long–sought, we still seek,—the freedom of life and limb, the freedom to work and think, the freedom to love and aspire. Work, culture, liberty,—all these we need, not singly but together, not successively but together, each growing and aiding each, and all striving toward that vaster ideal that swims before the Negro people, the ideal of human brotherhood, gained through the unifying ideal of Race; the ideal of fostering and developing the traits and talents of the Negro, not in opposition to or contempt for other races, but rather in large conformity to the greater ideals of the American Republic, in order that some day on American soil two world–races may give each to each those characteristics both so sadly lack. We the darker ones come even now not altogether empty–handed: there are to–day no truer exponents of the pure human spirit of the Declaration of Independence than the American Negroes; there is no true American music but the wild sweet melodies of the Negro slave; the American fairy tales and folklore are Indian and African; and, all in all, we black men seem the sole oasis of simple faith and reverence in a dusty desert of dollars and smartness. Will America be poorer if she replace her brutal dyspeptic blundering with light–hearted but determined Negro humility? or her coarse and cruel wit with loving jovial good–humor? or her vulgar music with the soul of the Sorrow Songs?

The Souls of Black Folk (Forgotten Books) [W.E.B

And now what I have briefly sketched in large outline let me on coming pages tell again in many ways, with loving emphasis and deeper detail, that men may listen to the striving in the souls of black folk.