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Home » Books » Nonfiction » Social Sciences » African-American Studies

The Souls of Black Folk

By W. E. B. Du Bois, Vann Newkirk

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Format: Paperback, 288 pages
Other Information: 1
Published In: United States, 16 February 2017
Restless Classics presents The Souls of Black Folk: W. E. B. Du Bois' seminal work of sociology, with searing insights into America's complex, corrosive obsession with race and the African-American conscience. Reconsidered for the era of Obama and #blacklivesmatter, the new edition includes an incisive introduction from rising cultural critic Vann R. Newkirk II and stunning illustrations by the artist Steve Prince.

About the Author

About the Author: William Edward Burghardt "W. E. B." Du Bois (1868 - 1963) was an American sociologist, historian, civil-rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, and editor. Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Du Bois grew up in a relatively tolerant and integrated community. After completing graduate work at the University of Berlin and Harvard, where he was the first African American to earn a doctorate, he became a professor of history, sociology and economics at Atlanta University. Du Bois was one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909. He rose to national prominence as the leader of the Niagara Movement, a group of African-American activists who wanted equal rights for blacks. He was a proponent of Pan-Africanism and helped organize several Pan-African Congresses to fight for independence of African colonies from European powers. His collection of essays, The Souls of Black Folk (1903), was a seminal work in African-American literature. The United States' Civil Rights Act, embodying many of the reforms for which Du Bois had campaigned his entire life, was enacted a year after his death. About the Introducer: Vann R. Newkirk II is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where he covers politics and policy. Prior to work at The Atlantic, Vann was at Daily Kos, where he focused on justice and health issues, specifically the intersection of policy, race, class, and culture. He has also contributed articles, essays, and photography to sites such as GQ, Gawker, Grantland, and Ebony. Vann is also the founder of Seven Scribes and a contributing editor. About the Illustrator: Steve Prince is an artist, educator, and art evangelist. He is a native of New Orleans, and the rhythms of the city's art, music, and religion pulsate through his work. Steve's favorite medium is linoleum cut printmaking. Through his complex compositions and rich visual vocabulary, Steve creates powerful narrative images that express his unique vision founded in hope, faith, and creativity.

Reviews

["The Souls of Black Folks"] was never meant for a purely academic audience. And perhaps here lies its greatest contribution: It is a brilliant, multifaceted, learned book addressed to an intelligent lay audience as a means of informing social and political action . Du Bois's ideas have been explored in detail, but only recently, through the efforts of black feminist writers such as Hazel Carby, Joy James, and Nellie McKay, has his notion of black leadership as fundamentally masculine received scholarly attention. These writers have opened up new ways of reading "The Souls of Black Folk." Farah Jasmine Griffin" "I never emulated white men and brown men whose fates didn't speak to my own. It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, Du Bois and Mandela." --Barack Obama "Du Bois is the brook of fire through which we all must pass in order to gain access to the intellectual and political weaponry needed to sustain the radical democratic tradition in our time." --Cornel West "The impact of The Souls of Black Folk on black American writing, and on writing about black America, is all the clearer. The descent of the imaginative treatments of two-ness, invisibility, and the magic behind the veil, from Ellison to Baldwin to Morrison, has by now become a stock theme in accounts of modern American literature. But the book's radicalism, its astonishing precocity, hardly ends there. It would take more than fifty years for mainstream American historical writing to catch up with Du Bois' insight about the resilience and spiritual depth of the slaves' culture, and about the benefits of Reconstruction and the ex-slaves' role in achieving those benefits . . . And historians have only begun to comprehend and amplify Du Bois' claim that American culture has been marked, indeed defined, by black people's presence." --Sean Wilentz "Du Bois's most important gift to the black literary tradition is, without question, the concept of the duality of the African-American, expressed metaphorically in his elated metaphors of 'double-consciousness' and the 'veil.'" --Henry Louis Gates, Jr. "What Dr. Du Bois showed is that he had enormous courage. I would encourage young men and women, black and white and Asian and Spanish speaking and all, all to look at Dr. Du Bois and realize that courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can't practice any other virtue consistently. You can't be consistently fair or kind or generous or forgiving any of those without courage." --Maya Angelou "Du Bois . . . wrote knowing full well that what he said was neither palatable nor negotiable, that a large portion of the country would not be swayed, and that the truth, in and of itself, must be enough. It is often said that this space lacks for hope. Here is your bone for the day: In the academy, Du Bois was victorious. He did not live to see that victory, but it is his view on the centrality of white supremacy that now carries the day." --Ta-Nehisi Coates "Dr. Du Bois was not only an intellectual giant exploring the frontiers of knowledge, he was in the first place a teacher. He would have wanted his life to teach us something about our tasks of emancipation. One idea he insistently taught was that black people have been kept in oppression and deprivation by a poisonous fog of lies that depicted them as inferior, born deficient and deservedly doomed to servitude to the grave . . . Dr. Du Bois recognized that the keystone in the arch of oppression was the myth of inferiority and he dedicated his brilliant talents to demolish it." --Martin Luther King, Jr. "With a striking new introduction written by Atlantic journalist Vann R. Newkirk II and riveting artwork from printmaker Steve Prince, Restless Classics' new edition of The Souls of Black Folk is presented--in all its relevancy--as a crucial work of sociology that is applicable to the current political, economic and social climate more than a century later. To understand the driving force behind today's current Black liberation movement, to recognize the historic pattern and large scope of state violence against communities of color, to dissect the most recent wave of white nationalism surging through the nation is to know the duality of African-American life presented by W.E.B Du Bois in The Souls of Black Folk. Hailed as the bedrock of any examination on Blackness in America--from literature to front-line resistance--the century-old exploration of 'the color line' stands unblemished by time, its wholeness applying fully to the era of Barack Obama, Black Lives Matter and Donald Trump. Presented by Restless Classics, with a pointed introduction by journalist Vann R. Newkirk II, the newest edition of Du Bois' work presents itself through the lens of today's political and social climate, highlighting the ugly truth that white supremacy's roots still grip America and serving as an introduction to a generation fighting a familiar battle for liberation, one that our elders have already witnessed . . . Newkirk's introduction . . . examines the immortality of what can be considered the most important piece of literature to date." --Christina Coleman, Essence I never emulated white men and brown men whose fates didn t speak to my own. It was into my father s image, the black man, son of Africa, that I d packed all the attributes I sought in myself, the attributes of Martin and Malcolm, Du Bois and Mandela. Barack Obama" Du Bois is the brook of fire through which we all must pass in order to gain access to the intellectual and political weaponry needed to sustain the radical democratic tradition in our time. Cornel West" The impact of The Souls of Black Folk on black American writing, and on writing about black America, is all the clearer. The descent of the imaginative treatments of two-ness, invisibility, and the magic behind the veil, from Ellison to Baldwin to Morrison, has by now become a stock theme in accounts of modern American literature. But the book s radicalism, its astonishing precocity, hardly ends there. It would take more than fifty years for mainstream American historical writing to catch up with Du Bois insight about the resilience and spiritual depth of the slaves culture, and about the benefits of Reconstruction and the ex-slaves role in achieving those benefits . . .And historians have only begun to comprehend and amplify Du Bois claim that American culture has been marked, indeed defined, by black people s presence. Sean Wilentz" What Dr. Du Bois showed is that he had enormous courage. I would encourage young men and women, black and white and Asian and Spanish speaking and all, all to look at Dr. Du Bois and realize that courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can t practice any other virtue consistently. You can t be consistently fair or kind or generous or forgiving any of those without courage. Maya Angelou" Dr. Du Bois was not only an intellectual giant exploring the frontiers of knowledge, he was in the first place a teacher. He would have wanted his life to teach us something about our tasks of emancipation. One idea he insistently taught was that black people have been kept in oppression and deprivation by a poisonous fog of lies that depicted them as inferior, born deficient and deservedly doomed to servitude to the grave . . .Dr. Du Bois recognized that the keystone in the arch of oppression was the myth of inferiority and he dedicated his brilliant talents to demolish it. Martin Luther King, Jr." "Du Bois . . .wrote knowing full well that what he said was neither palatable nor negotiable, that a large portion of the country would not be swayed, and that the truth, in and of itself, must be enough. It is often said that this space lacks for hope. Here is your bone for the day: In the academy, Du Bois was victorious. He did not live to see that victory, but it is his view on the centrality of white supremacy that now carries the day. Ta-Nehisi Coates" [The Souls of Black Folks] was never meant for a purely academic audience. And perhaps here lies its greatest contribution: It is a brilliant, multifaceted, learned book addressed to an intelligent lay audience as a means of informing social and political action . Du Bois's ideas have been explored in detail, but only recently, through the efforts of black feminist writers such as Hazel Carby, Joy James, and Nellie McKay, has his notion of black leadership as fundamentally masculine received scholarly attention. These writers have opened up new ways of reading The Souls of Black Folk. Farah Jasmine Griffin" Despite its fragmentary structure, the book's disparate parts contribute to a sense of a whole, like movements in a symphony . Du Bois's subject was, in no small part, the largely unarticulated beliefs and practices of American Negroes, who were impatient to burst out of the cotton fields and take their rightful place as Americans .And yet for subsequent generations of writers, what Du Bois cast as a problem was taken to be the defining condition of modernity itself. The diagnosis, you could say, outlasted the disease. Although Du Bois would publish 22 books and thousands of essays and reviews, no work of his has done more to shape an African- American literary tradition than The Souls of Black Folk, and no metaphor in this intricately layered book has proved more enduring than that of double consciousness. Henry Lewis Gates, Jr."

EAN: 9781632060976
ISBN: 1632060973
Publisher: Restless Books
Dimensions: 20.83 x 13.72 x 2.29 centimetres (0.35 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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