It seems strange, ridiculous and even horrifying that in the age of humanism and tolerance such problems of the past as racism, discrimination and segregation are still actual. Being childhood illnesses of humanity, these taints should have been forgotten. However, there are obvious facts proving that unfortunately, it is very keen issue nowadays and society has to do something with it. One of the men stressing the problem of racism was William Edward Burghardt Du Bois.
Famous American sociologist and civil right activist, he was trying to draw peoples attention to this issue, insisting on the prohibition of racisms manifestations in the twentieth century. He devoted his book The Souls of Black Folk to this question. In this work he tries to outline the problem and trace it on the background of the history of the USA. African Americans face discrimination since their childhood and only some sort of consolidation can help to reduce it.
African Americans Discrimination
From the first lines of the introduction of the book it is easy to guess that the author is very affected by this problem, asking the reader to pay a great attention to this issue as he is trying to describe the great problem of society.
Recognition of the problem comes with the authors description of his first realization of him being different “It is in the early days of rollicking boyhood that the revelation first bursts upon one, all in a day, as it were.” (Du Bois 886). Even children are infected with this disease and this fact makes things even worse. Children are the mirror of society and the worse they act the worse situation is. Horrible recognition of being different strikes a child and newer leaves him until the end of his life.
The whole history of African Americans relations with other people can be taken as the struggle “to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self” (Du Bois 887). It can be easily understood that white society still continues to humiliate black people while stating equal rights with them. African Americans have the right for education however they are still offered low skilled jobs. The situation has not changed greatly since our past.
The author also gives some facts and ideas about black populations strife for its rights, especially pointing out the person of Booker T. Washington. His figure cannot be overestimated as he gave some slight hope for black people in America, being some kind of a leader which was able to lead people for their better future.
However, ambivalent character of his actions can be seen. “His doctrine has tended to make the whites, North and South, shift the burden of the Negro problem to the Negro’s shoulders and stand aside as critical and rather pessimistic spectators” (Du Bois 901). Moreover, the author underlines the absence of some leaders which can change the state of the problem nowadays.
Having analyzed the following extracts it is possible to come to some obvious conclusions. Though there is no distinct difference in attitude to African Americans between North and South nowadays, the problem still remains. It is absolutely impossible in modern age and people should unite in order to get rid of it. However, black people should also understand their main problem and be more consolidated in their strife for recognition of their rights. Only in that case some measurable result can be achieved.
Du Bois, William, Edward, Burghardt. “The Souls of Black Folk”. The Norton Anthology of American Literature. 8th Edition. Ed. Baym, Nina, and Robert S. Levine. New York, London: W.W. Norton & Company. 2011. 885 – 901. Print