W.E.B Dubois Thoughts on Education Essay

762 WordsApr 13, 20054 Pages
W. E. B DuBois's thoughts on education The Souls of Black Folk, written by W.E.B DuBois is a collection of autobiographical and historical essays containing many themes. DuBois introduced the notion of "twoness", a divided awareness of one's identity. "One ever feels his two-ness – an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled stirrings: two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keep it from being torn asunder" (215). There are many underlying themes in this collection of essays. One of the themes that DuBois speaks on extensively is education. DuBois stresses the importance of education amongst the black race. He believes that African Americans should be educated in order to guide and…show more content…
The dominant white male of the story speaks the following statement, "Now I like the colored people, and sympathize with all this reasonable aspirations; but you and I both know, John, that in this country the Negro must remain subordinate and can never expect to be equal of white men" (373). This is a fundamental sentiment that white people in the American society during that time held on to. In this essay W.E.B DuBois shows how this black man, John, was treated in his hometown after returning home with a college education. Both blacks and whites reject his new views. However, to whites the black John represents a devaluing of the college education. If a black person can have a college degree, then having a college degree must not have value. After this reaction from society John started to think, "John Jones, you're a natural born fool" (369). This behavior from society kept the average black person stagnant, and unmotivated. Continuing with the famous debate between Washington and DuBois, DuBois argues in "The Training of Black Men" that by training blacks for economic usefulness was not Smith 3 enough. Using blacks for manual labor without the benefit of education, culture, and ideas belittled them and suggests that they were less than human. Harmonization of race relations could only occur between two self-respecting, cultured, educated races, not between a dominant elite and a forcibly subordinated,
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