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“Of Our Spiritual Strivings” by William Du Bois Essay

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Updated: Mar 30th, 2020

In this essay, William Du Bois shows that at the beginning of the twentieth century, the American society did not fully recover from the legacies of slavery. Moreover, the author notes that the legal emancipation of black people did not bring true liberation to them. Furthermore, at that time, they had two major concerns, the need to find their cultural identity and the need to integrate into the society without facing discrimination or prejudice. This is the main argument that can be identified.

The author of this text is William Du Bois who was a prominent historian, sociologists, and journalist. This essay was written in 1903 at the time when many African-American people could simply be dehumanized only because of their race. To a great extent, the author tried to raise people’s awareness about the experiences of many black people.

The readers of this text should also note that this essay was written during the so-called Progressive Era. During this period, the political leaders of the United Stated strived to change various aspects of the American society; for instance, one can speak about economics and the political representation of different groups such as women. In turn, many black people did not feel the impact of these changes. These trends could be observed in European countries as well. In turn, Du Bois was keenly aware of the fact that policy-makers failed to bring improvements into the lives of African-American people.

This text can throw light on the issues that have been familiar to me. Much attention should be paid to the restoration of the American society after the Civil War. Additionally, one should speak about the experiences of black people who were treated as outcasts, even though officially they were given civic rights. In order to understand this text, one should also examine the rhetoric of African-American intellectuals who lived at the beginning of the twentieth century. These people attempted to find ways in which black people could assert their status in the American society.

Overall, the author refers to faith as one of the values that can appeal to the intended readers of the text. This is why the author makes references to the Bible since the allusions to this book could be understood by the audience. For instance, he speaks about Canaan which was a part of the Promised Land given to the Israelites by God. In turn, the author notes that black people also strived to find their Canaan. In this way, the author tries to show that African-American passed through the period of severe hardships. Unfortunately, at the time, they did not achieve the true liberation.

This source is important for understanding the questions related to race. In particular, this text can demonstrate how race can influence the identity of an individual. Moreover, this essay can illustrate the way in which a person, who is affected by discrimination, can integrate into the community. Additionally, it is valuable for discussing the cultural values of these people.

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IvyPanda. ""Of Our Spiritual Strivings" by William Du Bois." March 30, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/of-our-spiritual-strivings-by-william-du-bois/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. ""Of Our Spiritual Strivings" by William Du Bois." March 30, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/of-our-spiritual-strivings-by-william-du-bois/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) '"Of Our Spiritual Strivings" by William Du Bois'. 30 March.

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