Black belt college essay

The most exemplary part of the work is Du Bois' personal account of the passing of his son. In "Of the Passing of the First-Born", Du Bois chronicles his journey from pure happiness into despair and disappointment when his son dies in infancy. Although he would never be afflicted by the evils of the veil, he was afflicted by tragedy, which, Du Bois argued, hurt even more. “Of Alexander Crummell" tells the story of a black man who decides that he will fight for his people, through education and religion. While he ultimately fails to garner the respect and success he originally wanted, he fought until death to gain equality. In "Of the Coming of John", he tells the story of a young black man who decides to get an education. While he receives this education and is therefore successful, the existence of racism destroys him. Finally, Du Bois ends this book with a collection of Negro Spirituals, which provide a glimpse into the tragedy of the past, and the hope that he has for the future.

This transfiguration is not novel. It is a return to form. The tightly intertwined stories of the white working class and black Americans go back to the prehistory of the United States—and the use of one as a cudgel to silence the claims of the other goes back nearly as far. Like the black working class, the white working class originated in bondage—the former in the lifelong bondage of slavery, the latter in the temporary bondage of indenture. In the early 17th century, these two classes were remarkably, though not totally, free of racist enmity. But by the 18th century, the country’s master class had begun etching race into law while phasing out indentured servitude in favor of a more enduring labor solution. From these and other changes of law and economy, a bargain emerged: The descendants of indenture would enjoy the full benefits of whiteness, the most definitional benefit being that they would never sink to the level of the slave. But if the bargain protected white workers from slavery, it did not protect them from near-slave wages or backbreaking labor to attain them, and always there lurked a fear of having their benefits revoked. This early white working class “expressed soaring desires to be rid of the age-old inequalities of Europe and of any hint of slavery,” according to David R. Roediger, a professor of American studies at the University of Kansas. “They also expressed the rather more pedestrian goal of simply not being mistaken for slaves, or ‘negers’ or ‘negurs.’ ”

Black belt college essay

black belt college essay


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