The Souls of Black Folk
An Apple Books Classics edition.
The Souls of Black Folk was a call to action when it was published in the United States in 1903, post-abolition. W.E.B. Du Bois, a founding member of the NAACP, sought to lift the “veil” separating white and Black America—urging compassion for the trauma of being Black in America and espousing the ideal of equality for all. Du Bois fought fiercely and eloquently against injustice, accurately predicting that the “color line” would be the “problem of the 20th century.”
Over 100 years later, Du Bois’ seminal book continues to influence global race theory today. In his essays, Du Bois elevates and reclaims Black culture and history, beginning with the slave songs that open each chapter. He bravely addresses how Christianity corrupted Black religions and shares personal experiences, comparing the racism he experienced outside the veil in a predominantly white Massachusetts suburb to the comfort he felt teaching in a rural Black community.