Uncategorized, W.E.B. Du Bois

Du Bois Reading Response

The reading for Du Bois was much more accessible than the other three readings we had for this class. Du Bois’s main target was racism. The chapters in the book started off with a song, which I skipped over because I thought that they were not important. However after class, it made sense to me why he had lyrics of songs during the beginning of every chapter. I believe the showed the rational and cultural equality between a both white and black cultures.

            In the forethought where Du Bois talks about how he has stepped within the veil, I thought that was pretty strong line. The veil meaning, you can see everything out of the veil but cannot see within the veil.  One of the biggest concepts that Du Bois talks about in the book is the double consciousness. During that time period African Americans struggled the “multifaceted conception of self”, which is known as the double consciousness (looking at one’s self through the eyes of others).

Du Bois talks about how the blacks in the south should have the same equal rights as the whites, more over they should be treated with justice and equality.  I think Du Bois did a pretty good job with his book, it was a easy read, and it was easy to understand. The choice of his words was really powerful in my eyes. Overall I like Du Bois and his writing and his thoughts.

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3 thoughts on “Du Bois Reading Response

  1. Molly says:

    I also enjoyed the The Souls of Black Folk, and I agree with the above mentioned observation about the accessibility of Du Bois’s work. It was said in class that the author’s style has quite a few literary qualities, which is an observation that I had also made myself prior to our class discussion because these literary qualities of the work are what made it so accessible for me. Even if I were not an English major who prefers reading literature to social theory, I think that I would have enjoyed Du Bois more than Marx, Durkheim, and Weber simply because he writes so beautifully, which is not a quality I have encountered in much of the social science material I have read.

    Thinking again of class discussion, I think Du Bois does a brilliant job bringing out affect in readers. As is discussed in the above comment, his description of “the veil” is exceptionally vivid, and it brought me to do a great deal of thinking about race and how much importance is placed on it in society (even in 2013). For me, Du Bois’s work succeeded in bringing about an emotional response as well as an intellectual one – I felt for him and I learned from him. Indeed, The Souls of Black Folk was certainly a moving and thought-provoking read.

  2. I agree as well! Molly you bring up a good point which was I was initially thinking. Race has grown to be such a huge topic and under different studies it is something considered entirely a myth. People make up the idea of what race actually is and how we become defined by it. Much of Du Bois’ writings are still applied to what is going on currently in today’s society. It also goes to show it does not matter what the economic background is of a person. Whether they are privileged or not, it still becomes an issue that injustice is still occurring. So yes, as Sam stated Du Bois was not necessarily receiving the harsh end of what was going on at the time but I also feel it doesn’t make his personal experiences any less painful.

  3. farhanauddin221 says:

    I agree with everyone above. I think the reading was accessible and the ideas were clearly presented. I really enjoyed this book because it is relate-able even though it was written a long time ago. I like how we shifted from Weber to Du Bois. You can see the difference in writing techniques. I prefer Du Bois because he is able to get his thesis out through personal narratives and he presents it in an interesting way.

    I think most of Du Bois’ theory and thesis is clear. He coins a few terms such as double consciousness, the veil, double aims, color-line and others. In double consciousness, you are aware of how others perceive you. Du Bois speaks about how he stepped into a veil. The veil means that you can see everything out of the veil but others cannot see within the veil.

    Du Bois talks about color- line and is constantly referring to this idea. In the beginning of chapter two he states, “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line – the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa.” (pg13) We see this idea holds true even now.

    In regards to the previous post, I agree with Katina and Sam. Although, Bois had certain privileges in comparison to other Black folk, this does not take away from his narrative. I think his privileges kind of exemplifies that no matter what end of the socioeconomic status you are in, race is always an issue.

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