In The Souls of Black Folk, DuBois offers the reader a simple and romantic version of the struggle of black people in the United States at the outset of the 20th century. In 1903 when this book was first published, DuBois would have had a mostly white readership, since black people were only just starting to recover from the hardships they bore as a result of slavery, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. Henry Louis Gates proposed that at this time black people were involved in trying to construct the “New Negro.” DuBois work fell at the beginning of this “negro image construction” period which Gates says lasted from 1895 to 1925 (131). Therefore, DuBois had a monumental task of establishing in the white reader an ideal view of a black person in America. He did this by presenting simple and highly emotional material which created the... [continues]
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