Customer Reviews for

The Souls of Black Folk

Average Rating 3.5
( 66 )
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(24)

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(10)

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(11)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

A must-read for all!

W.E.B DuBois' The Souls of Black Folk successfully elucidates the paradoxical existence of the African American. His main thesis embellishes the ¿double-consciousness¿ of the African American (an American of African heritage or the African displaced in America) and the ...
W.E.B DuBois' The Souls of Black Folk successfully elucidates the paradoxical existence of the African American. His main thesis embellishes the ¿double-consciousness¿ of the African American (an American of African heritage or the African displaced in America) and the hardships that emerge as a result. More specifically, the African American, detached from his ancestral homeland and having some significant investment in the development of this nation (i.e. slavery), longs to receive the constitutional gifts entitled to its citizens. However, because the ¿American dream¿ was conceived by and for the benefit of white Christian men of substantial wealth, and moreover, because this enabled group continuously fails or refuses to recognize their darker counterparts as equals, the African American can never truly realize his place among society. Likewise, the endless, and often fruitless, process of assimilating with mainstream American culture equates with the gradual loss of ethnic authenticity. Consequently, the African American is left at war with his own identity. Finally, DuBois exposes the socioeconomic security on behalf of white America beneath the stronghold of racism, as well as the contradictions of American values with the maintenance of social color lines . The Souls of Black Folk is presented in 14 essays, each beginning with a slave hymnal. Harvard educated DuBois employs both black vernacular and academic language, further emphasizing the duality of the African American experience. Though DuBois¿ Souls analyzes black culture in context of the early 1900s, his ideas, for the most part, hold true today and have myriad applications. Regardless of background, this text provides original and genuine insight to the American societal dynamic based on historical social investigation. I challenge you to read this work whole-heartedly and find a personal meaning! - C.G. F.

posted by Anonymous on December 9, 2006

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

Very informative, also very tedious

This here book is my summer assignment for my Junior year in high school. It took me a month to read the first chapter and I had to force myself to finish the others three weeks before school started. I never felt so tortured. As informative as it is, it seems like DuBo...
This here book is my summer assignment for my Junior year in high school. It took me a month to read the first chapter and I had to force myself to finish the others three weeks before school started. I never felt so tortured. As informative as it is, it seems like DuBois dragged on and on his sentences and used such colorful words to make his essay so 'pretty-like.' A whole paragraph could of been simplied to one sentence. Once my assignment is done, I would never want to see this book ever again.

posted by Anonymous on September 3, 2005

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2006

    A must-read for all!

    W.E.B DuBois' The Souls of Black Folk successfully elucidates the paradoxical existence of the African American. His main thesis embellishes the ¿double-consciousness¿ of the African American (an American of African heritage or the African displaced in America) and the hardships that emerge as a result. More specifically, the African American, detached from his ancestral homeland and having some significant investment in the development of this nation (i.e. slavery), longs to receive the constitutional gifts entitled to its citizens. However, because the ¿American dream¿ was conceived by and for the benefit of white Christian men of substantial wealth, and moreover, because this enabled group continuously fails or refuses to recognize their darker counterparts as equals, the African American can never truly realize his place among society. Likewise, the endless, and often fruitless, process of assimilating with mainstream American culture equates with the gradual loss of ethnic authenticity. Consequently, the African American is left at war with his own identity. Finally, DuBois exposes the socioeconomic security on behalf of white America beneath the stronghold of racism, as well as the contradictions of American values with the maintenance of social color lines . The Souls of Black Folk is presented in 14 essays, each beginning with a slave hymnal. Harvard educated DuBois employs both black vernacular and academic language, further emphasizing the duality of the African American experience. Though DuBois¿ Souls analyzes black culture in context of the early 1900s, his ideas, for the most part, hold true today and have myriad applications. Regardless of background, this text provides original and genuine insight to the American societal dynamic based on historical social investigation. I challenge you to read this work whole-heartedly and find a personal meaning! - C.G. F.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 8, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Classic Literature!

    This book was required reading before I went to college. Ironically enough, I went to W.E.B. DuBois' Alma mater, Fisk University. Excellent read; delves deeply into what black people were looking and searching for during those times: a sense of belonging, a sense of peace within the community and within each other. An excellent manifesto!

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 10, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Must Read for a deeper understanding of the African-American Experience

    W.E.B Du Bois's book "The Souls of Black Folk" is a must read for all Americans to get a deeper more philosophical sense of what it means to be "Black in America". DuBois was a visionary who was ahead of his time. This book is often a mandatory read for African-American studies students, but should be a must read for all serious students of history. The issues DuBois highlighted and detailed at the turn of the 20th Century seem to be resurfacing at the turn of the 21st Century. The Color Line!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2007

    American document

    On the surface this book seems to be an account of what it was like to be black in the early 1900s. It is so much more than that. It is a description of what America is, what it can be, its greatness, and its shortcomings. Here is a man who was a true American. He loved his country even as it was not fulfilling its promise to him. Amongst the gems you will find in this work: 'Honest and earnest criticism from those whose interests are most nearly touched, --criticism of writers by readers, of government by those governed, of leaders by those led, -- this is the soul of democracy and the safeguard of modern society.' Can we ever hear that too much? 'It is, then, the strife of all honorable men of the twentieth century to see that in the future competition of races the survival of the fittest shall mean the triumpgh of the good, the beautiful, and the true that we may be able to preserve for future civilization all that is really fine and noble and strong, and not continue to put a premium on greed and impudence and crueltly.' I don't think we're there yet. This work documents the time of the Reconstruction, something we probably know less about that we think we do. We think we know what went on, but in reality we have mostly theory. Here is someone who lived through the time and the aftermath of the civil war. He bears truer witness to it than anyone writing on the subject today. If you want to know why the state of the races is as it is, here is a book to shed light. 'One thing, however, seldom occurs: the best of the whites and the best of the Negroes almost never live in anything like close proximity. It thus happens that in nearly every Southern town and city, both whites and blacks see commonly the worst of each other.' Was it so different in the North? Is it so different today? Even with all the forced integration in the 70s? If you like American History, this is a text you should have in your bookcase.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 11, 2006

    Difficult

    I had to read this in my sophomore year of High School. My teacher told me it was a book for Juniors in college. This book is very difficult to understand. I respect everything African Americans had to go through but Du Bois seems to talk in so many metaphors that it confuses you so much that you don't want to know what A.A. had to go through!

    2 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2005

    Very informative, also very tedious

    This here book is my summer assignment for my Junior year in high school. It took me a month to read the first chapter and I had to force myself to finish the others three weeks before school started. I never felt so tortured. As informative as it is, it seems like DuBois dragged on and on his sentences and used such colorful words to make his essay so 'pretty-like.' A whole paragraph could of been simplied to one sentence. Once my assignment is done, I would never want to see this book ever again.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 20, 2010

    Learning Our History

    Take the time to learn of the accomplishments of some of the relative unknowns in our history. The First Black PH.D from Harvard, De Bois looks from the perspective just north of slavery and the need to seek to understand what the future must bring. A great read for those who wish yo know more about individuals sometime segmented into a black history subject matter when his thoughts are universal and his blackness secondary.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2005

    Questons & Answers for Book Club for The Souls of Black Folk

    My Book Club just read this book. Do you have questions and answers for the Book Club? Thank you so much, Susan Ofuji

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2013

    African American Literature!  Composed of several essays discuss

    African American Literature! 
    Composed of several essays discussing race, W.E.B. DuBois' The Souls of Black Folk effectively explains the the existence of the Negro
    in America. Within these essays that compose the book, DuBois mainly exemplifies the difficulties that African Americans pertain in an American society.
    These difficulties that DuBois explains throughout the book mainly comes under the accepting of ones rights that were entitled to them. But, because of 
    their skin, as well as their previous existence (i.e. slaves), the superiority (i.e. whites) turned a blind eye towards them. DuBois explains how by this fact: 
    African Americans will never truly find themselves as equals in society if such continues to occur. Hence, DuBois reasons that with this constant  ingratiation towards the white man, and trying to acquiesce with his culture, only leads to a misunderstanding of the intrinsic ethnicity of African Americans. Finally, DuBois uncovers the truth about the White America involving race. In every essay composed within the book, you will find the reality of the African American citizen of that time, as well as their rationale on such matter. This book is for ones who are willing to know about the thinking of the Black man from a single-minded view. This book will truly change the thoughts of those who read it. I hope you enjoy the reading!  

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2012

    H

    Gv6

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  • Posted February 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    A must read

    Du Bois engages one with his erudition and his use of African American Spirituals to set off each essay. He closes the book with a reflection specifically on these spirituals. He makes clear several aspects of American and slavery history and presents interesting perspectives and criticisms of other important figures, such as Booker T. Washington. I found this book greatly insightful not only on the times and social milieu of Du Bois but also for current times. I highly recommend this book for all interested in this history and especially for all non-African Americans.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2010

    Educational

    Eye opening essays from a man who lived what he wrote about. Insightful and thought provoking.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2006

    most important book in american history!

    just buy this book! it is important with no regards to your race! it offers an insight to black life then, but it also gives insight to black and brown life now!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 10, 2006

    must read doctrine

    not the most pressing book and easy to lose intrest, but the doctrine expressed should be read by all, and some day if implicated, will end all racism

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 8, 2009

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    Posted June 20, 2011

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    Posted June 25, 2010

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    Posted May 7, 2011

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    Posted February 19, 2011

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    Posted October 29, 2011

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