"The Souls of Black Folk" is a cornerstone of African-American literary history. Published in 1903, this seminal book of essays incited many white supremacists who discredited it as "dangerous" and "imaginative." Drawing upon his own personal experiences of racism, Du Bois argued that African Americans are forced to wear a "veil" of color line, that is, they are forced to live their race every single day of their lives. This is why a strong political Black leadership must emerge from within the community and continue the fight for their rights. A century later, African Americans are still fighting these personal and political battles against racism and Du Bois' words have never run as true as they are now.
W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963) was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, and editor. He was the first African American to earn a doctorate and to become a professor of history, sociology and economics at Atlanta University. Du Bois was one of the co-founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and a prominent the leader of the Niagara Movement, a group of African-American activists who wanted equal rights for blacks.