E. B. Dubois's 'Of Our Spiritual Strivings'

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In paragraph 10 of “Of Our Spiritual Strivings,” W. E. B. Du Bois develops and refines the word “prejudice” by introducing it as the white man’s defense against barbarism and ignorance before contrasting this explanation with the actual effects of prejudice on African Americans. Du Bois begins by writing that white men explain the “shadow of vast despair” that covers African Americans to be the “natural defense of culture against barbarism, learning against ignorance, purity against crime, [and] the ‘higher’ against the ‘lower’ races.” In other words, the white man sees prejudice as a good and necessary method for maintaining an orderly society. Du Bois then explain how African Americans fully support the idea of protecting society when he

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