The Souls of Black Folk Criticism

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In his introduction to the 1989 edition of The Souls of Black Folk, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. asserts that the book "has served as a veritable touchstone of African-American culture for every successive generation of black scholars since 1903." He goes on to say that "Du Bois' contemporaries, and subsequent scholars, generally have agreed that two of the uncanny effects of The Souls are that it is poetic in its attention to detail, and that it succeeds, somehow, in 'narrating' the nation of Negro Americans at the turn of the century, articulating for the inarticulate insider and for the curious outsider .. . the cultural particularity of African Americans." Although at the time of publication some white critics were skeptical about the work, black critics were overwhelmingly enthusiastic for what Wendell Phillips Dabney, in the Ohio Enterprise, calls "a masterpiece."

The New York Times review from 1903 calls The Souls of Black Folk...

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This section contains 349 words
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The Souls of Black Folk from Nonfiction Classics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.