The Philadelphia Negro was the first big sociological study of African Americans in the United States. In book, Du Bois presents much empirical data about the lives of the 10,000 African Americans living in the 7th ward of Philadelphia. Du Bois surveyed and interviewed around 5,000 of these people. He believed that their previous enslavement had much to do with the way the African Americans act today. Therefore he also studied documentation from their past. The University of Pennsylvania issued this study because at the time there were major reforms occurring in Pennsylvania. People wanted to understand what was behind these reforms.
In Du Bois’ study he noted that blacks got paid low wages for undesirable work. They lived in unfavorable homes while paying higher rents. He also describes how blacks created problems such as pauperism, alcoholism, and criminality in their own communities.
Du Bois further discusses how the African Americans problems will only resolve when color is not longer used to determine status. I believe that he is correct on that. Yes, we as a nation should try to resolve problems between the races and ensure that everyone has equal opportunities. However, until the invisible line is detached, discrimination may stay in people’s hearts for a long time.