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. E. B. Dubois, Of The Dawn Of Freedom: A Synopsis And Critical Discussion

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Larry

04/04/06

W. E. B. Dubois, Of the Dawn of Freedom: A synopsis and critical discussion

William Edward Burghardt Dubois' work, The Souls of Black Folk, gave a critical discuss of the early, twentieth century through the eyes of the Negro. Although many have limited this work to Dubois' argument of, The Talented Tenth, it should be noted that Dubois' work encompasses much more than that. The purpose of the essay is to summarize and give a critical eye to W. E. B. Dubois' Of the Dawn of Freedom.

In the first line of this work Dubois, states the now famous and words that would be reiterated by most Black intellectuals and social scientist of the twentieth and now early twenty-first century, "THE PROBLEM of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line". From here Dubois funnels into his thesis, declaring that, the aim of the "essay to study the period of history from 1861 to 1872 so far as it relates to the American Negro."[1]

From here Dubois, gives a synopsis of the civil war, partially through the eyes of the Negro, and the politics behind it. He briefly discusses, weather or not slavery was the true reason for the Civil War. After this discussion Dubois led

into the official, Dawn of Freedom, which was when slaves were officially freed.

Dubois, then leads into the affects of the Freedmen's Bureau and helped Blacks, in the beginning of this new era of their lives. He discuss how the Freedmen's Bureau and "Freedmen's Aid societies, born of the touching appeals from Pierce and from these other centers of distress. There was the American Missionary Association, sprung from the Amistad, and now full-grown for work; the various church organizations, the National Freedmen's Relief Association, the American Freedmen's Union, the Western Freedmen's Aid Commission,--in all fifty or more active organizations, which sent clothes, money, school-books, and teachers southward."[2]

Dubois then discusses the facts of the Freedman's Bureau closing. One of the major factors he points is the closing, was:

"Senator Davis, of Kentucky, when he moved to entitle the act of 1866 a bill, to promote strife and conflict between the white and black races... by a grant of unconstitutional power. The argument gathered tremendous strength South and North; but its very strength was its weakness. For, argued the plain common-sense of the nation, if it is unconstitutional, unpractical, and futile for the nation to stand guardian over its helpless wards, then there is left but one alternative,--to make those wards their own guardians by arming them with the ballot. Moreover, the path of the practical politician pointed the same way; for, argued this opportunist, if we cannot peacefully reconstruct the South with white votes, we certainly can with black votes. So, justice and force joined hands."

Dubois is basically stating that, the removal of the Freedmen's Bureau, was the reason the fifteenth amendments existence.

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