The book The Souls of Black Folk offers the history, politics, as well as social system of the African Americans. Each chapter starts with a song, lamenting the life of the black community. Du Bois began his work by recognizing the situation of being black in the Twentieth Century. Du Bois’s forethought asserted that the biggest problem in the Twentieth Century happened to be the issue of color. Color has created a gap between African Americans and white society. Because of color, the Civil War emerged. The concept of the veil created a sense that people prefer to look at themselves through other people’s eyes.
The Freedmen’s Bureau became a milestone in social and political progress. The bureau did not go without ridicule, as the majority thought it was working against the citizens’ rights. The whites thought that the Bureau was favoring the African Americans. Although the Bureau workers encountered myriads of difficulties, they benefited from it through the establishment of Negro schools. Du Bois used the term “Negro” to refer to black people. The Southern legislature refused to pass a law to allow African Americans to participate in polls, even after being given their freedom. The revolution that occurred in 1876 created a restraint to the Negro votes.
The southerners enhanced discrimination against African Americans. Du Bois introduce used the veil as a metaphor to express how the African American society is quite different from the white society, in terms of political, social, and economic prospects. The veil represents the color, which, according to Du Bois, was freedom for African Americans. The Americans paid more attention to the accumulation of wealth, a condition that Du Bois termed as materialism. Du Bois argued that African Americans should learn more about ideals of life, rather than merely on how to earn wealth. Learning how to improve race relations was more essential than other things. The political environment in the South led to the emergence of African American crime. Emancipation resulted in crime and the emergence of slum life among African Americans. However, public schools offered the Negroes an opportunity to become respected citizens. Before education, Negroes were working as domestic workers in white families.
Negro religion became an essential part of African American history, as churches became centers to express African character. Many Negroes joined churches, as churches did not fall under the government’s censure. For many years, the Negro religion has been identified with the fight for Abolition but was later transformed by the Southerners to abandon its dream. The Negroes have broken into two groups that represented two divergent ethical tendencies. One group has bent towards radicalism while the other into deceitful compromise. Those who went to the South live in deception while those who proceeded to the North knew how to transform their lives despite color discrimination.
Du Bois concluded his work by emphasizing how racial discrimination affects individuals. The death of his child brought mixed reactions, as he wondered whether it was good to die or to live within the veil. He sang sorrowful songs that expressed the pain and exile of African Americans. He hoped for the day that the guilty will be set free, and his children to sing the same song with other children. In the afterthought, Du Bois prayed that the guilty people will stand up, to tell the truth, and the righteous to exalt the nation.