The Souls of Black Folk

The Veil of Economic Inequality

In 1903 the controversial black rights leader W.E.B. DuBois wrote one of the most influential African-American books to date. In The Souls of Black Folk, DuBois proclaims that the "problem of the twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line"(xxxi). Now, the twenty-first century has begun and it seems as though the color-line issue, of distinct racial prejudice, has been resolved through the elimination of slavery and racial segregation and the application of the Civil Rights Act. In truth however, America has not conquered the race problem. Now, though less identifiable, the new problem of the color-line is even more applicable post the benchmark Civil Rights Act. Though there have been slight advancements in social equality, there is, more than ever, economic conflict and class struggle embedded in racial discrimination, leading to the new problem of the twenty-first Century, racial inequality in economics and class.

DuBois very broadly describes the "problem of the color-line" in The Souls of Black Folk, in much length and expertise. However it can be summed up in one question from the book: "How does it feel to be a problem?" To which, DuBois answers "being a problem is a strange...

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