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The Souls of Black Folk Chapter 1

Overview of Chapter 1 from the book "The Souls of Black Folk" by W.E.B. Du Bois

Saridh Galvan

on 14 February 2013

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Transcript of The Souls of Black Folk Chapter 1

The Souls of Black Folk
Chapter 1 Saridh Galvan Chapter 1 basically is talking about the struggle blacks had during this time. Du Bois talked about how blacks needed a right to vote, a good education, and to be treated with equality and justice. It also introduces the concept of the veil which is worn by all African Americans because their view of the world and its potential economic, political, and social opportunities are so vastly different from those of white people. During this part of the book, Du Bois talks about the first decade, which was from 1870-1880, was his search for freedom. This ws talking about the carpetbaggers coming to the South to look for personal gain. The 15th Amendment was passed (which allowed blacks the right to vote) and this looked like a sign of freedom. He then talked about Abraham Lincoln and what he was doing for black slaves. Du Bois' Point of View Du Bois saw Black Americans as a grown people stepping into the new century with a global stride and a unique perspective, learned and earned in the perilous company of an oppressor who was not a stranger. Summary of Chapter 1 Years have passed since then,
- ten, twenty, forty… History of the
American Negro How does it feel to
be the problem? Du Bois asks this question to himself. It is basically asking "What does it feel like to be black?" His answer was seldom a word which means he didn't like to talk about it. Twoness "Double Consciousness"
Double consciousness comes from African Americans viewing themselves, individually and as a group, through the eyes of the society they live in. This produces what Du Bois calls a "twoness, - an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body" (Du Bois 8) . These two views are often in conflict with one another, as the American view, in general, has despised and dehumanized African Americans. This is where Du Bois talks about how he wouldn't Africanize America because America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He said that he wouldn't "... bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world." (Du Bois 9)
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