The Souls of Black Folk
312 pages, 5 1/4 x 7
Release Date:08 Feb 2018

The Souls of Black Folk

Essays and Sketches

University of Massachusetts Press
In honor of the 150th anniversary of W.E. B. Du Bois's birth in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, the University of Massachusetts Library has prepared a new edition of Du Bois's classic, The Souls of Black Folk. Originally published in 1903, Souls introduced a number of now-canonical terms into the American conversation about race, among them double-consciousness, and it sounded the ominous warning that "the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line." In a new introduction, Shawn Leigh Alexander outlines the historical context of this critical work and provides rare documents from the special collections archive at the Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Unlike Du Bois's more scholarly work, Souls blends narrative and autobiographical essays, and it continues to reach a wide domestic and international readership. This moving homage to black life and culture and its sharp economic and historical critique are more important than ever, resonating with today's unequivocal demand that Black Lives Matter in the twenty-first century.
W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963) was a scholar, writer, and civil rights activist of international significance and renown. The first African American to earn a PhD from Harvard University, he was also a cofounder of the NAACP. A prolific writer and tireless advocate, he authored many works of scholarship, helped to shape the field of sociology, and wrote the early and prophetic history, Black Reconstruction in America. He also wrote novels, poems, and plays. Shawn Leigh Alexander is director of the Langston Hughes Center and associate professor of African and African American studies at the University of Kansas. He earned a PhD from the W. E. B. Du Bois Department of Afro-American Studies at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and he is the author of An Army of Lions: The Struggle for Civil Rights Before the NAACP and a brief biography of Du Bois, W. E. B. Du Bois: An American Intellectual and Activist.
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