- New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
- Biographies of the authors
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- Footnotes and endnotes
- Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
- Comments by other famous authors
- Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
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- Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
One of the most influential books ever published in America, W. E. B. Du Bois s The Souls of Black Folk is an eloquent collection of fourteen essays that describe the life, the ambitions, the struggles, and the passions of African Americans at the transition from the nineteenth to the twentieth century.
The first African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University, Du Bois was a sociologist, historian, novelist, and activist whose astounding career spanned the nation s history from Reconstruction to the Civil Rights Movement. In The Souls of Black Folk, published in 1903, Du Bois argued against the conciliatory position taken by Booker T. Washington, at the time the most influential black leader in America, and called for a more radical form of aggressive protesta strategy that would anticipate and inspire much of the activism of the 1960s.
Du Bois s essays were the first to articulate many of Black America s thoughts and feelings, including the dilemma posed by the black psyche s double consciousness, which Du Bois described as this twonessan American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings . . . in one dark body. Every essay in The Souls of Black Folk is a jewel of intellectual prowess, eloquent language, and groundbreaking insight. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the struggle for Civil Rights in America.
Farah Jasmine Griffin is Professor of English and Comparative Literature and African-American Studies at Columbia University in New York City."