Cover image for Darkwater
Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963.
Publication Information:
Amherst, N.Y. : Humanity Books, [2003]

Physical Description:
270 pages ; 21 cm.
General Note:
Originally published: New York : Harcourt, Brace, and Howe, 1920. With new introd.
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E185.5 .D8 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



First published in 1920, this groundbreaking work by the pioneering African American scholar W. E. B. Du Bois is not only original and probing in its brilliant ideas but also experimental in presentation, ranging from detailed sociopolitical analyses to lyrical and poetic presentations.

After an opening autobiographical essay, Du Bois launches a series of critical commentaries on some of the most important issues pertaining to white-black relations. Perhaps the most provocative of these, titled "The Souls of White Folk," presents the first major analysis in Western intellectual history of white identity and the meaning of whiteness. In a trenchant assessment he explores the arrogance of the white perspective that tries to "make children believe that every great soul the world ever saw was a white man's soul."

Many of his criticisms, in this essay and in others, of a world social and economic system that marginalizes people of color still resonate today, especially in debates over globalization. Another still very relevant issue addressed in this book was the fate of Africa after colonialism. Du Bois was also farsighted in his advocacy of women's rights, in his emphasis on the critical importance of childhood education for all races, and in his critiques of an unjust economic system that concentrates power and wealth in the hands of a few.

Complete with an insightful introduction by University of Florida Graduate Research Professor of Sociology Joe Feagin, this new edition of a classic work in Black Studies will make available to a wide audience the influential ideas of a leading African American scholar and advocate of reform.

Author Notes

Civil rights leader and author, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts on February 23, 1868. He earned a B.A. from both Harvard and Fisk universities, an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard, and studied at the University of Berlin. He taught briefly at Wilberforce University before he came professor of history and economics at Atlanta University in Ohio (1896-1910). There, he wrote The Souls of Black Folk (1903), in which he pointed out that it was up to whites and blacks jointly to solve the problems created by the denial of civil rights to blacks. In 1905, Du Bois became a major figure in the Niagara Movement, a crusading effort to end discrimination. The organization collapsed, but it prepared the way for the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), in which Du Bois played a major role. In 1910, he became editor of the NAACP magazine, a position he held for more than 20 years.

Du Bois returned to Atlanta University in 1932 and tried to implement a plan to make the Negro Land Grant Colleges centers of black power. Atlanta approved of his idea, but later retracted its support. When Du Bois tried to return to NAACP, it rejected him too.

Active in several Pan-African Congresses, Du Bois came to know Fwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana, and Jono Kenyatta the president of Kenya. In 1961, the same year Du Bois joined the Communist party, Nkrumah invited him to Ghana as a director of an Encyclopedia Africana project. He died there on August 27, 1963, after becoming a citizen of that country.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

These three latest additions to Humanity's "Classics in Black Studies" series, which debuted in 2003, are great fodder for February's Black History Month. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

I The Shadow of Years
A Litany at Atlanta
II The Souls of White Folk
The Riddle of the Sphinx
III The Hands of Ethiopia
The Princess of the Hither Isles
IV of Work and Wealth
The Second Coming
V ""The Servant in The House""
Jesus Christ in Texas
VI of The Ruling of Men
The Call
VII The Damnation of Women
Children of the Moon
VIII The Immortal Child
Almighty Death
IX of Beauty and Death
The Prayers of God
X The Comet
A Hymn to the Peoples