The Souls of Black Folk is a classic work of African–American literature by activist W.E.B. Du Bois. The book, published in 1903, contains several essays on race, some of which had been previously published in Atlantic Monthly magazine. Du Bois drew from his own experiences to develop this groundbreaking work on being African–American in American society. Outside of its notable place in African–American history, The Souls of Black Folk also holds an important place in social science as one of the early works to deal with sociology.
Source: Du Bois, W. E. B. (1903). The souls of black folk. Chicago: A. C. McClurg and Co.
- The Forethought
- The author gives the reader some insight to into the purpose of his book.
- Chapter 1: Of Our Spiritual Strivings
- Du Bois introduces the struggles and strives of the Negro over the course of history.
- Chapter 2: Of the Dawn of Freedom
- Du Bois discusses the period of history from 1861 to 1872, as it relates to the American Negro.
- Chapter 3: Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others
- Du Bois analyzes the effect Booker T. Washington had on the American Negroes and whites.
- Chapter 4: Of the Meaning of Progress
- Du Bois reflects on his experiences teaching in a school in the hills of Tennessee.
- Chapter 5: Of the Wings of Atalanta
- Du Bois discusses the significance of the city of Atlanta.
- Chapter 6: Of the Training of Black Men
- Du Bois discusses the various education systems in place for the black men.
- Chapter 7: Of the Black Belt
- Du Bois discusses Albany, the heart of the Black Belt of the South.
- Chapter 8: Of the Quest of the Golden Fleece
- Du Bois remarks on the cotton-mills in the South.
- Chapter 9: Of the Sons of Master and Man
- Du Bois discusses the progression of the black man after emancipation.
- Chapter 10: Of the Faith of the Fathers
- Du Bois discusses the religious growth of the black man.
- Chapter 11: Of the Passing of the First Born
- Du Bois tells about his son who died as a young baby.
- Chapter 12: Of Alexander Crummell
- Du Bois tells the story of Alexander Crummell.
- Chapter 13: Of the Coming of John
- Du Bois tells the story of John Jones.
- Chapter 14: Of the Sorrow Songs
- Du Bois explains and presents the Sorrow Songs of the olden days.
- The Afterthought
- Du Bois delivers a final message to the reader.
Du Bois, W. (1903). The Souls of Black Folk. (Lit2Go ed.). Retrieved January 28, 2015, from
Du Bois, W. E. B.. The Souls of Black Folk. Lit2Go Edition. 1903. Web. <>. January 28, 2015.
W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, Li2Go edition, (1903), accessed January 28, 2015,.