W.E.B Du Bois The Philadelphia Negro Blog #4

The Philadelphia Negro (1899) was one of the first studies of  an African American community in the Seventh Ward of Philadelphia to be published  in the United States. Du Bois exposes the the social conditions of African Americans in Philadelphia through experience,  living with his wife directly in the heart of the Seventh Ward, through 5,000 surveys and interviews . Du Bois findings were sad, the amount of racism, unfairness in the workforce,  actually getting a job,  raising children, and the relationship if there ever could be a true relationship between an African American and white, without it just being one way.

(Color Prejudice) “everybody speaks of the matter, everybody knows that it exists, but in just what form it shows itself or how influential it is few agree”(pg342) Its so ironic that  even though this work was published over a century ago we can still apply it to the racism that still exists but so many are few to agree.  Du Bois’s work goes into great detail about exactly how the people of Philadelphia treated African Americans.  Trying to get a job he couldn’t be more than  “menial servant”  and as for a woman well she had an option of three careers domestic service, sewing a married life.  Getting a chance to actually excel and attain a hire position if it would happen just wouldn’t last long. but most likely not given  chance. Raising children that are constantly discriminated against. Du Bois explained that parents put into  a position of raising their children under such circumstances is difficult, parent doesn’t exactly want their child to settle and accept their living conditions, but at the same time doesn’t want the child to hate the whites and reject his own people. Making friends with a white person was usually one way friendship anything the white person wanted or if felt like acknowledging that was really up to them.  After so many years we can still find racism in many parts of the world.  Some people are still raised to believe that race matters, a lot of us laugh at racial jokes and ethnic jokes. We live in neighborhoods that are either white, black, or latino. You can see that our society has changed drastically since slavery and the publication of The Philadelphia Negro,  years and centuries ago, but to say that racism and prejudice are gone that would be false.  Du Bois explains that even through everything the African Americans have experienced through slavery, the prejudice of three hundred years to present, the unfairness but still “under it increased in numbers and efficiency, is not in any immediate danger of extinction”. (pg345)  In our  society now to be successful both of us need each other, and we see that we work together, live together so times and beliefs have had some improvements to some not enough. We can make it work just like Dubois work states.. ” the two races should strive side by side to realize the ideals of the republic and make THIS TRULY A LAND OF EQUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL MEN!!!!!!(pg 345 W.E.B. Du Bois THe Philadelphia Negro)


5 responses to “W.E.B Du Bois The Philadelphia Negro Blog #4

  1. I definitely agree with you! Racism is all over but so many people don’t take the time to notice it. Yet there seems to be little or no movement toward eliminating racism, despite the many efforts. I think racism is a very socially constructed idea, and it seems impossible to just stop a socially constructed idea. African Americans and slavery had to put up with so much and you bring up so many good points, defending Du Bois.

  2. Do you think that soon enough maybe racism will be gone though? Since we, and plenty of other students like us, are being taught these concepts? And soon enough the old annoying traditional politicians and lawmakers will die out and our children and grandchildren will be able to move further than we have because they won’t have the old generations holding them back like we do. Eventually our generation will come into power and with the education we’re getting (especially all these sociology classes!) we can hope that things will move closer to equality rather than further.

  3. I do believe that racism exist all over in our modern world, but is no where near the racial differences that people faced 50 years ago. The one issue I do have is that the simplest things are taken as racism or prejudice, when someone is simply stating a fact like saying “That black guy” when some one asks which person you are talking about. Once someone says that everyone looks at them like they cursed that persons existence. I do believe that in this modern society, people have become too sensitive to racial issues and need to step back and really look at a persons intention.

  4. I understand what you are saying. The comedian Russell Peters he was on a talk show, he is so blunt, I was trying to find the link, he basically went on saying African American ok black. The host was white called him a cracker, the point he was making was like if your black your black, if your white your white. You are what you are get over it. We are all people.

  5. Reading your post was reminded me of how much racism there still is out there. Sometimes it becomes hard to notice because fortunately in most cases it is not seen around us. Of course in some places racism still occurs frequently, but due to the decreased prejudicial actions around many other places we can conclude that in the years to come racism will fade away soon enough. We’ve gone too far and fought for too long that racism will die out all around.

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