“The Souls of Black Folk” is a text written by Du Bois, a male African American. The book was authored in 1903, just at the start of the 20th century and less than four decades since slavery was abolished in the United States. It addresses the racism that persisted in the country, and mostly in the southern states even after the emancipation of the slavery. This paper aim at reviewing this book, by giving a summary, its evaluation, and a personal view on the themes and the nature of the book.
Summary of the Book
In the commencement of the book, Du Bois introduces the main idea of the text which is racism in the United States. The introduction set a stage for several narrations which the authors present it other chapters to demonstrate how color is a problem in his world. In chapter two, the writer begins by writing that the issue of the 20th century will be the color line. This is because four decades since the liberation of the slaves, America had not shown any sign of accepting or incorporating the black people into their system.
To demonstrate that American was far from freeing the black population, Du Bois first narrates his life in Jim Crow world. He had to endure the laws of the Confederate States, which physically and socially segregated the white from the black people. Du Bois also argues that the tenant farming was a new form of slavery which keep the black population under the white person management and thus the country had to work harder in integrating the blacks.
Du Bois also write a story of how his son died in a hospital just because the management could not admit the child based on his color. He thus states that there was much effort that was required to guarantee that a black person had a place in the American society. He suggests that a gradual change would be necessary as it would help both parties adjust without been restrained.
In this book, Du Bois intended to give a clear picture of how the American society was at the turn of the 20th century. The book thus is a historical review of the American social, political and economic position four decades after the American civil war, which ended with the repeal of slavery. At the time when the author was writing this book, such history had not changed much because the United States had not yet acknowledged the importance of black people. The text was thus a real eye opener to the policy makers and the Americana government that much was required from them in demonstrating the need for equality in the country.
The author also uses a passionate and eloquent language in the book which holds the readers’ attention on the issue he raises. First, Du Bois shares the pain of the African American from a wider perspective of the American history. He also goes ahead to outline how they have strived through such pains and some of the achievement they have gained regardless of the repression they face. Du Bois thus primary aim in this book is to hold the attention of the readers so that they can feel the pain of black people, and also understand the importance of eliminating such pain.
Personally, I enjoyed reading the book because it has a reach history of the American society. Based on the time that the book was authored, I have a firm believe that it was the most relevant text at the time in enlightening the society on the need for equality. The book is based on real life narrations and which are also supported by recorded factors like Jim Crow laws and thus it has no exaggeration. It thus gives readers a good chance to connect with the writer and experience the issue that he is addressing with a high comprehensibility.
I also find that this book is relevant because it appears to be among several pieces of literature which lead to the progressive change in the human rights in the United States. Du Bois argues that it is only by a gradual change that such pain and repression of African-American would end in the country. It emerges that the future was not any different, as most African American have gained much equality through a continuous change. The book also inspired the human rights movement of the 1960s which lead to the abolition of the Jim Crow laws, thus giving black people more rights in the country. “The Souls of Black Folk” was thus not just a narration of black people lives, but also a detailed American history, and a predictor of future.
In conclusion, the above exegesis has reviewed the book “The Souls of Black Folk,” by giving a summary, its evaluation, and a personal view on the themes and the nature of the book. It has been revealed that the central issue of this book is the racism in American after the abolishing of slavery. The text has been found relevant because it delivers its theme in an efficient manner, supported by recorded history and that its suggestion also appeared to have worked in the long run.
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