Souls of Black Folk is an African American literature that is focused on being black in the United States of America. The writing highlights the oppression directed at the Negroes and then focuses on encouraging the blacks to fight for their rights. There were racial injustices directed at the African American people, but with the rise of leaders such as Martin Luther King, they were able to fight for their freedom. This essay will explore the various injustices in relation to the blacks, proposed means of overcoming them, and the rise of the Civil Rights Movement.
The black people faced many problems, and the country’s democracy had failed in delivering freedom and equal rights. The African Americans wanted to be treated equally in terms of opportunities and be seen as both American and Negro (Du Bois 9). Racism had a deleterious impact on the life of the blacks; they were physically abused, economically neglected, and there were indirect effects such as self-doubt, self-hate, and lack of self-reliance.
Moreover, they were uneducated, hence unfit in the industry sector or any formal jobs. Therefore, they suited doing tenant farming and basic life. The economic plight started during slavery when the blacks worked without pay. Moreover, after the emancipation, there was a labor problem, and the few Negros who got jobs squandered their little pay, hence deepening their financial crisis (Du Bois 18). Through racism, lack of education, and unequal job opportunities, the African American person would have to suffer.
It was only through education and self-belief that African Americans would overcome their struggles. President Washington wanted the blacks to gain industrial education and amass wealth instead of focusing on politics and civil rights (Du Bois 39). However, according to Du Bois, blacks should not belittle or ridicule themselves; they should enjoy civil rights, such as voting, and have equal access to education as the whites, hence live a better life (42). Therefore, it was through stating plainly and unequivocally their legit demands that the Negros would liberate themselves, even if it meant opposing a renowned leader.
The blacks believed that they would also free themselves through the ballot and airing their grievances. The Fifth Amendment was their road to liberty, and over one million African Americans voted themselves into the kingdom (Du Bois 11). By the 1876 revolution, most of them were weary but they did not stop, and this led to the formation of the Civil Rights Movement. Such leaders as Martin Luther King Junior and Malcolm X are considered the faces of the revolution. The blacks felt that to secure a place in this world, they had to be true to themselves (Du Bois 12). Under the leadership of Malcolm and Luther, they directed efforts in seeking freedom for African Americans; their biggest achievement was the equal-rights legislation. Therefore, the non-violent protests helped the blacks to move closer to achieving their freedom.
In conclusion, the Soul of Black Folk is iconic and unique as it represents an empirical analysis of the blacks in the 1950s and 1960s. They faced many problems such as racism, lack of freedom, and access to education. It was through their resilience and fight for equal treatment that they achieved equality. The leadership of key figures such as Malcolm X and Martin Luther played an important role in liberating African Americans. The acts of the 20th century against the blacks were evil, and society should strive not to relapse into such ordeals.
Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt. The Souls of Black Folk. Oxford UP, 2008.