Comparing The Souls Of Black Folk By W. E. B. Du Bois
By intentionally removing knowledge, both in the educational sense and in the sense of one’s internal understanding, it was much easier for those in power to define specifically where they themselves were comfortable having black Americans fall within the social spectrum. This, therefore, allowed a system to exist that couldn’t really be tackled in any large amount until the Civil Rights Movement, over a century after the abolition of slavery in the United States.
To understand the larger comparison that can be made with Du Bois’ observations, one must first delve into the position slaves were put in upon landing in this country. From the beginning, slave traders and slave owners understood that the immense history and culture that the slaves had left behind in Africa had bestowed them with an individual worth not entirely conducive to servitude. The first step that was necessary to developing a functional slave system in the United States was to squander this history in favor of one more fitting of their intentions. Once slave owners restricted the use of African languages, many of which had been spoken for thousands of years, and forced new religions and clothing on entire groups of people, it became …show more content…
It is not a coincidence that black men are statistically more likely to be incarcerated than white counterparts or that the number of degree-bearing black people is disproportionately small. If you are a black person in America you have been born into the most current iteration of that systemic inferiority that has existed from the onset of American society. “White privilege” is simply another term denoting, again, the most current form of that systemic racism that has always existed. The thing that has changed in the modern day, however, is our collective ability to at least recognize what is happening, and perhaps to take the pragmatic actions needed to eventually change the system on the whole. We can never get back fully our African roots and the immeasurable strength they once provided, but we can perhaps build on the great achievements of our African-American forbearers. Recreate that culture of inferiority into one sculpted of ivory and worthy of the millennia of civilization which lay behind us. It is this generation’s task to take what those like W.E.B. Du Bois set in motion and continue it until something finally