The Souls Of Black Folk Analysis

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The Souls of Black Folk, overall, is a candid, yet thorough discourse surrounding the social position of blacks throughout space and time in the United States, addressing slavery, Emancipation, and Reconstruction. The central thesis of The Souls of Black Folk revolves around the concept of a double-consciousness, or a veil. Throughout the book W.E.B. DuBois elaborates upon it in different social and historical contexts. Basically, the double-consciousness refers to the unique position that black people find themselves in living in America. This double-consciousness can also be referred to as “second-sight.” In American society, a black person is faced with the socially constructed reality of his/her difference from the majority. This difference …show more content…
For instance, as previously mentioned, DuBois greatly expounds upon the idea of struggling between compliance and resistance as a response from a subordinate in the face of oppressions. This is highly relevant to sociology because of the implications it holds for cycles of oppression in society. For instance, if society is based off of the dominance of one group over the other—in which they benefit while harming others—then it matters how the subordinate group responds because it has the potential to unintentionally continue the cycle and further limit their social mobility. In The Souls of Black Folk, the story begins with the slaves’ desire for freedom. Yet, they become discouraged as they start to understand that perhaps freedom is not free and instead they are met with the problem of the color …show more content…
DuBois avoids this problem right from the beginning of the book. He addresses the black person as a whole, as a spiritual, social being who holds fears and dreams. While DuBois is factual in his historical accounts regarding dates, people, and so forth, he uses stories as a sort of case study for the point he is trying to make at that time. The people in his stories have names, families, a voice, and a story. There are plenty of examples throughout the book, but one example worth noting is that of Josie and the community she lives in. He builds this narrative around teaching in black schoolhouses in order to illustrate a point regarding progress. In this community, “progress” meant the disappearance of the schoolhouse and a general downgrading of the quality of life for the members of the community. Here, DuBois surfaces a fallacy of racism. This story confronts the notion of progress because it displays the reality of the black person’s experience and how their social position is expressed. Yet, DuBois does acknowledge the fluidity of society and changed by posing the rhetorical question of whether the suffering is signaling worse to come or positive

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