Analysis on Du Bois's “Of Our Spiritual Strivings”

In the first chapter, the Du Bois s that every white individual wants to know the feeling the black individuals within the social experience as a problem for the society (Du Bois, 2008, p.9). The author states that this question is not asked in an explicit manner but every white individual wants a response to this question. The author himself belongs to the black community and felt of himself being a problem when he was attending elementary level of schooling. He was studying in a school comprised of both the blacks and the whites. He states that he first experienced that he was a problem when a girl who had recently gained admission in the school did not accept to share a card with him as part of a class-based project (Du Bois, 2008, p.12). Due to this incidence, he decided to gain power over the whites by gaining and excelling in education in competition with the white members of his school and class. During the first chapter of the book, the author repetitively kept asking God the reason for which he was chosen to be born as a black individual and he refers to his own race as a seventh son (Du Bois, 2008, p.12). He uses this term because he was going through double perceptions about himself and was always trying to create a self-image of himself in compliance with how others perceived him. In the first chapter, he refers to his own race a problem as well as a sign of struggle. This is because he believed that the members of this race were in a struggle of attaining manhood as well as the struggle of creating a positive self-image out of the views of others and the way the members of this race view themselves.

In the first chapter, he even stated that the whites of the society feared that the blacks with trying to Africanize the American society. He even states that they were afraid without any reason because the whites already overpowered the blacks. He believed that the blacks never wanted to Africanize the society but rather wanted to integrate and gain acceptance. He states that after the attainment of civil rights the black race was trying to attain better living standards and they had to struggle relentlessly to attain these standards (Du Bois, 2008, p.15). He states that the African American faced the huge difficulty of creating a self-image as they had two views of themselves. They perceived themselves as Americans, while the white population perceived them as black Americans and not just Americans (Du Bois, 2008, p.16). He believes that the attainment of right for the black did not change their status from being non-Americans to Americans and instead the status was changed from people who were once slaves and now we’re free human beings. He believed that the only way possible for attaining the status of American, it was obligatory to perceive the concept of autonomy as well as an authority as one concept. He even believed that even though the members of the black community were no longer slaves, but they still did not have freedom.


Du Bois, W. (2008). The souls of Black folk. Rockville, Md.: Arc Manor.

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