Of Spiritual Strivings By W. E. B. Du Bois

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In the essay , Of Spiritual Strivings authored by one W.E.B Du Bois, Du Bois affirms that during this period of time in America, African American men are " treated like a problem." From birth, African Americans are invariably stigmatized and out-casted by the "white folk." So much so, that their perceived problematic nature becomes a part of one's being. Du Bois states, "being a problem is a strange experience--peculiar even for one who has never been anything else... I [was] different from the others; or like, mayhap, in heart and life and longing, but shut out from their world by a vast veil." (Du Bois, 1903) Through this assertion, Du Bois explains the universal strife that affects African Americans. Reiterating that from birth, African Americans are regarded as a problem, never knowing any different in life. He then continues to explain that as an African American boy, Du Bois is regarded with contempt by his Caucasian peers. Though he is the same in anatomy, in passion, in aspirations and in affairs of the heart, as his classmates, the color of his skin created a barrier, or "veil," between him and his fellow students. Du Bois was no longer treated as a human or as an individual, but rather he was deemed a member of an indistinguishable, inferior group that is unworthy of holding a comparison to his Caucasion classmates.…show more content…
Providing the example of a "Negro middle class" family, Hughes
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