Dubois Color Line Essay

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This research will discuss the concepts of W.E.B. Du Bois and his outlook on society. Mainly how Dubois explains how social change is possible for Black America and how Blacks are forced to coexist with Whites and the preservation of social order. In his writing “The Souls of Black Folk” Dubois explains the relationship of racism and the effect it has on African Americans identity of their own self. He wanted to express the view of the black man in the post slavery time. He used the concept of the “color line” to explain the separation of Whites and Blacks.
COLOR LINE In this writing Du Bois states “in well-nigh the whole rural South the black farmers are peons, bound by law and custom to an economic slavery, from which the only escape is
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Du Bois Johnson 2 Du Bois explained that social change is possible for African Americans if they could achieve civic equality, the right to vote and the education of the youth. Alexis Rogers of Georgia State University states “ If these three fields were perfected within the African American community, the patriarchal color line that both economically and socially hindered the nation would give way to ideas of capitalism, progress, and eventually, reform” (Rogers: pp 4).
VEIL & DOUBLE CONSCIOUSNESS The color line concept is connected to another Du Bois concept, “the veil”. Author Charles Peterson defines the veil as “the wall of racial repression that allocated lesser resources to Afri-US communities of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century and bestowed markers of inferiority upon the black people who live behind those lines” (Peterson: p 14). He used this concept to explain how racism affects the mind of both the black and the white. Racism makes it difficult to see blacks as one of them, as Americans. In result of that, black folk see themselves as whites see them to be. Weber states “the negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world, a world which yields him no true self consciousness but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world” (Weber: p
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To obtain that education he used another famous concept of his. A concept of Du Bois of how to create social change and equality is the talented tenth. Du Bois concept of the talented tenth was the process of the elite group of African Americans (the 10th percentile) to be the leaders in a social movement, to allow other African Americans to conquer their full potential and in result open up more opportunities for them, It was a theory of a across the country movement that to help the communities in trouble and educate. Du Bois states “The Talented Tenth of the Negro race must be made leaders of thought and missionaries of culture among their people. No others can do this work and Negro colleges must train men for it. The Negro race, like all other races is going to be saved by its exceptional men.” Yolanda Williams’s states “Du Bois conceded that only a portion of African Americans would obtain a liberal arts education. This select group then would be responsible for leading what we might rightfully call Civil Rights Movements” (Williams: p 412).

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