W. E. B. Du Bois was the foremost black intellectual of his time.
The Souls of Black Folk, his most influential work, is a collection of 14 beautifully written essays, by turns lyrical, historical, and autobiographical. Here, Du Bois records the cruelties of racism, celebrates the strength and pride of black America, and explores the paradoxical "double-consciousness" of African American life.
When it was first published in 1903, The Souls of Black Folk quickly established itself as a work that wholly redefined the history of the black experience in America, introducing the now-famous "problem of the color line." In the decades since its publication, its stature has only grown, and today it ranks as one of the most influential and resonant works in the history of American thought.
The Souls of Black Folk throws much light upon the complexities of the negro problem, for it shows that the key note of at least some negro aspiration is still the abolition of the social color line." (
New York Times Book Review, April 1903; Books of the Century)
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