Item #140945367 The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches. W. E. B. Du Bois.
The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches
The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches
The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches
The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches
The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches
The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches
The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches
The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches

The Souls of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches

New York: A. C. McClurg & Co., 1903.

First edition, first printing. x, 265 pp. Bound in publisher's original black cloth ruled in blind and lettered in gilt. Fine, with bright gilt and well-defined blind stamping; clean and bright contents. Evidence of bookplate removal to paste down, subtle bowing to front board. A superb copy of a cornerstone of African American literature.

In an effort to portray the genius and humanity of the black race, Du Bois published The Souls of Black Folk, a collection of 14 essays. James Weldon Johnson said the book's effect on African Americans was comparable to that of Uncle Tom's Cabin. The introduction famously proclaimed that "the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line". Each chapter begins with two epigraphs – one from a white poet, and one from a black spiritual – to demonstrate intellectual and cultural parity between black and white cultures.

A major theme of the work was the double consciousness faced by African Americans: being both American and black. This was a unique identity which, according to Du Bois, had been a handicap in the past, but could be a strength in the future: "Henceforth, the destiny of the race could be conceived as leading neither to assimilation nor separatism but to proud, enduring hyphenation." Item #140945367

Price: $30,000.00

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