Other books byW. E. B. Du Bois
This classic treatise by W. E. B. Du Bois (1868-1963), the most important African American leader of the first half of the twentieth century and the cofounder of the NAACP, presents a brief history of Africa and people of African descent. To appreciate this pioneering work, published in 1915, it is important to recall the historical context of American society at the start of the last century. As historian Kenneth Goings points out in his introduction, during the first half of Du Bois's life, there were between 3000 and 5000 lynchings of African American men, women, and children; separation of the races was upheld by the Supreme Court (Plessy v. Ferguson, 1896); the vast majority of black Americans lived in abject poverty; and bogus racial theories that invariably put African Americans at the bottom of a racial hierarchy were commonly accepted, even in educated circles. Faced with this seemingly insurmountable wall of racism, Du Bois's stance against the injustice of the time takes on heroic proportions. Through his writings he hoped to educate America and thus to dispel the vast ignorance about black people that fed the racism of most whites. In writing The Negro he intended to create a "short general statement of the main known facts and their fair interpretation as shall enable the general reader to know as men a sixth or more of the human race." For in fact, outside of commonplace racist stereotypes and prejudicial notions, most whites had no real knowledge of African Americans as true human beings or as descendants of a continent with a very ancient and distinguished history of many cultures. So Du Bois was addressing a very real need at the time to enlighten most white Americans about the cultures and achievements of the African peoples. More than eighty-five years after its first publication, The Negro is still well worth reading as a groundbreaking work. In a dark age of colonialism and blatant discrimination, Du Bois succeeded in proving that black people were inheritors of a proud cultural legacy and a long history. He thus laid the foundation for a later generation of scholars. This new edition is complemented by an informative introduction by Kenneth W. Goings, professor and chair of African American Studies at Ohio State University.
The Givens Collection
W.E.B. Du Bois, one of the most celebrated intellectuals of the twentieth century, published Darkwater -- a powerful collection of essays, verse and fiction -- in 1920, two decades after his most famous book, The Souls of Black Folk. Throughout his long life and extraordinary career as a scholar, activist, writer and educator, Du Bois's body of work illumined America's understanding of the "problem of the color line." While much of his early texts were sociological investigations of the Black community, the author increasingly incorporated autobiographical, poetic and spiritual elements into his works. The results are some of the most electrifying commentaries ever written on race and class in America. After decades of obscurity, this literary jewel is presented with a new introduction written by David Levering Lewis, author of W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919 and W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919-1963; Lewis is the foremost scholar of the work of Du Bois. "If The Souls of Black Folk achieved its singular impact through W.E.B. Du Bois's masterly interweaving of the personal and the universal in such a way that each appropriated something of the illustrative and symbolic value of the other, much of Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil was a cri de coeur in which the author's anger at the absurdities of racial prejudice crackled through the text like electric jolts that scorched, illumined, or stunned." -- David Levering Lewis, from the Introduction
The Quest of the Silver Fleece
This classic novel by a renowned sociologist and civil-rights leader examines issues of race, class, and gender in early 20th-century America. Its romance between young lovers becomes increasingly urgent and dramatic in the shadow of the "silver fleece" — the cotton industry, which forms a nexus of Northern finance and Southern politics.
The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America 1638 1870
The study begins with the colonial period- setting forth in brief the attitude of England and more in detail- the attitude of the planting- farming- and trading groups of colonies toward the slave-trade.' (Excerpt from Chapter 1)