Tag Archives: Du Bois

Seventh Ward to Section 8( Du Bois): Blog 5



No one questions this satire (second video) or even catches the video as a satire, mostly because people associate black people with welfare and laziness till this day. These associations can stem from Durkheim’s ideas about symbolism or symbols. Many people may view a black female with the idea of the “Welfare Queen”. This intersects with the color-line, because it is known that after slavery and colonialism, people associated white with good and black with bad. If such symbols in terms of race were worshipped and stigmatized for so long, it is as if people have only ritualized them throughout their lives subliminally. For every time one sees such colorism and racism in his or her daily institution, or sees internalized attitudes of stigmata or scorn towards darker skinned person, the racist associations are even more becoming. Today many Americans deem that the use of welfare by blacks is their fault. They never think of the Tusla Oklahoma riot or other reasons behind the poverty and unemployment of African Americans. Nobody would deem that the slums or section 8 areas as shock worthy or even a problem, because for so long black people were a symbol of problems. Du Bois was a genius of his time, he used data analysis and qualitative measures to get at the heart of the “Negro Problem”, he was able to find racism, another form of oppression as the source. He mentioned that blacks were no different from once French Peasantry, probably alluding to the fact that oppression and pain projected onto one group was for the benefit of another. This pain was racism this time, not sexism or other tribal pains. We can measure the black slums by comparing them to richest the whites, and conclude that this projection of racism was arbitrary. Maybe the once Bauer and the peasants became magnificent. If sexism dissipated in the past allowing the woman to work and give American 11 trillion dollars in commerce, can one imagine the riches and the glory, as well as the solution to the Negro Problem …if Black Wall Street expanded? We can leave that to imagination, for people will deny any racism and imagine that it was other reasons that made black poor, or that even the Black “mini” Holocaust never existed. It “may” be evident that slavery or race tribalism created awful symbols of blacks, so awful that many remained arbitrarily racist. Whether it was the greedy institution or the individual, none aided the Negro in doing his or her best. “when one group of people suffer these little differences of treatment and discriminations and insults continually, the result is either discouragement, or bitterness, or over-sensitiveness, or recklessness. And a people feeling they cannot do their best” (343, Du Bois) such racism not only prevented blacks from doing their best, but isn’t obvious, if one was to be discriminated against before even work or even hated while working, wouldn’t that one end up in welfare. Many White Americans of today shake their head at welfare usage of blacks not knowing that it was that very discriminating stigma and racist view that led to the Negro problem in the first place. There are reasons why this holocaust had to kept secret, how silly and inconvenient would it be to lose so much money over racism? Maybe some said, “let them die” so that they can keep their riches, or gain cheap labor. Many black men born from single homes and welfare homes go to the Prison system later on in life. Maybe if we realize that there were real reasons by any Negro problem, we as a country could make billions upon billions of dollars, especially since the Negro is here to stay.


Race- Blog 2

What is race? Aside from all the possible definitions anyone can come up with what it comes down to race is our physical differences. Race refers to a person’s physical appearance, such as skin, hair texture, eye color, bone/jaw structure, etc. Race divides people from one another solely based on your physical characteristics. Racial prejudice remains a problem throughout the world today and will always be a problem. Du Bois believed whites see themselves a certain way, as superior to others. This all stems back to the slavery days and race was something created by our own society. The whites were the slave owners and the slaves were those of color. Whites are imprisoned in their own minds and self-conception of the world. Du Bois uses the concept “whiteness” as a social construct, developed in the time of slavery. It all stems down to the white culture dominating the blacks by exploiting them, raping and murdering them in order to gain their riches. As a result the wealth and power gained gave whites a sense of superiority among all and this continues today.

Blog # 12 “The Philadelphia Negro (1899)” W.E.B. Du Bois

From my point of view understanding racism is one of the simple yet hardest concept or reality to accept because it depends on the generation that we live in. For example the generation that we live in do not like to see racism out in the open because it deem to be something that is brought back from the dark parts of American History or shows that some people are ignorant and do not consider that what they are doing is against the ideals that everyone is equal and it does not matter of race, skin color, language, or just where you come from. I know personally is that my parents feel that anyone who are dark skin are black, delinquents, and should stay away from. I remember one of my classmates in middle school was walking by a public school near my home and they said hello me and my sister but my parents said who are they (and both of the boys are dark skin but one is from Ghana, looks like a dark Indian and the other is an African-American descent) however my parents told me and my sister to stay away from them because they are black and these people are bad people to mingle to be friends with and that this world (American society) you cannot have real friends because they will turn their back on you for only one reason, because you are different from them.  However, I did not understand it but I did not consider what they said but I felt weird if I didn’t obey them (like I would get into trouble with them if I do not consider their feelings but I felt that I should choose who would be my friends and judge them through their actions not by the way they look like).

The study of the Philadelphia Negro is to tell or show the “geographical distribution of this race, their occupations and daily life, their homes, their organizations, and relation to their million white fellow-citizens” (Edles & Appelrouth, 340). He states that this study started in first of August until the thirty-first of December of the following year (1896-1897). He canvass door to door surveys of the Seventh Ward in Philadelphia (this area has about or over 10,000 African Americans and he distributed or carried out about 5,000 surveys).

“All this is true – all these problems are there and of threatening intricacy; unfortunately, however, the interest of the ordinary man of affairs is apt to stop here. Crime, poverty and idleness affect his interests unfavorably and he would have them stopped; he looks upon these slums and slum characters as unpleasant things which should in some way be removed for the best interests of all. The social students agrees with him so far, but must point out that the removal of the unpleasant features from our complicated modern life is a delicate operation requiring knowledge and skill; that a slum is not a simple fact, it is a symptom, and that to know the removal causes of the Negro slums of Philadelphia requires a study that takes one far beyond the slum districts” (Ibid, 341).

I have decided to use this quote from the book because it not only caught my attention but the way Du Bois mentioned that crime, poverty, and the idleness affects the interests of the people in a bad way and would have these interests stopped. In addition Du Bois mentioned that “he looks upon these slums” and the people in them as something that is not good to look into. After all these unpleasant people that is part of the slums would be removed and to get rid of people from the slums you must start by getting an education and different set of skills. Un addition within the slums there are different set of people with different occupations such as; laborers, servants, porters, waiters, caterers, clerks, teachers, professional men, and small merchants, etc. This indicates African-Americans that are living in the slums have varied jobs while paying high rents and trying to pursue a better set of jobs for the future of their family and themselves.  


However, even if people states that the African-Americans are will off, in reality they are not given the same opportunity as the Irish and the Italian men (as we see in history the African-American population has been underprivileged since early history of American History. The saddest thing is that the perception that the African-American people is/was looked down due to the old ways of thinking and because they ‘look different’ from their white counterpart. Neither the less, the African-Americans, some, are trying to cross over the glass wall or ceiling that the White American gave already set them from the beginning to not achieve the American dream as the other groups who came in American with little money to achieve the American Dream).


Du Bois mentioned that every time throughout his study the prejudice against Negro keeps popping up and everyone knows that it exist. in addition of having the prejudice visible this created the widespread feeling that the African-Americans hate themselves and their blood and keeps them away from having a good job (better pay jobs than underpay jobs).  Also because of all the prejudice is the chief or main reason of the African-Americans condition and the saddest thing is that the White community regards white prejudice more. This reason is because you cannot mingle or do anything with someone who looks different from you because you want to keep your bloodline clean and to not have the social norms altered by allowing someone different from you to even step in. I think this idea is what many different groups underwent not only the African-American, Jewish, and Hispanics. I think that certain community the people there afraid of changes and which to keep the place of their home like the old ways.


Du Bois mentioned how the African-American as of getting work, as keeping work, as entering new lines of work, as to his expenditure, as to his children, as to social intercourse, and the result of them all is to the different conditions and treatment, not only people would feel, but the results is discouragement, bitterness, over-sensitiveness. As to the ‘negro problem’ he mentioned that there are two answers which are how the ignorance, poverty, crime, and the dislike of stranger is an old question issue and the not having proof about these questions because it is important to have the evidence of these targeted questions so there is some type of light can shine to the issue.  In addition to what Du Bois mentioned that the Negro is here to stay and that they should make more of himself is important because they need to raise themselves and put all their efforts to the standards of modern civilization (society) and not stoop to the low aspects of what society thinks you should be doing and strive over that invisible line that you are able to be like them by working hard. 


Edles, Laura and Appelrouth, Scott. 2010. Sociological Theory in the Classical Era: text and readings 2nd edition. Pine Forge Press Sage Publications


W.E.B. Du Bois and The Colorline

Blog #4

W.E.B. Du Bois was a political activist and sociologist who focused on the racial inequalities between blacks and whites in society. He also discussed issues that he felt were the “root” of the problems that the African Americans were facing in America. One of Du Bois’ most famed concepts was the concept of the “Colorline”. The “colorline” describes the “relation of the darker races to the lighter races” (338). Blacks were prejudiced against people of their own race by describing people with a fairer skin tone as more superior than those with a darker skin tone. Even the features of one’s face were usually compared to that of a white person : thin lips. straight hair, etc. The more “white-like” features one had, the more “status” they had. Du Bois felt this internalized color prejudice was separating people of color. African Americans with less “white like” features did not really have a positive outlook on life. This is due to the injustice of blacks at the time. Their skin color was included as a qualification in anything (such as work) instead of their actual skills first. To Du Bois, omitting the colorline ideology will help blacks uplift themselves in society.

Blog #5 Du Bois

In his publication, “The Souls of Black Folk,” Du Bois explores the idea of double consciousness. He describes the concept as feeling as though your identity is split into two parts, making it hard for an individual to have a single, unified identity. He discusses double consciousness in the context of race, explaining that since American Blacks have lived in a society where they are devalued, it has become so difficult for them to have a unified identity because they have learned to see themselves as “American” and separately, as “African American.”

This concept of double consciousness still applies today and goes beyond race. Immigrants are an example of a group of people who experience Du Bois’s idea of double consciousness. Immigrants who come to the US arrive from all different parts of the world and bring with them their own cultures, beliefs, languages, clothing, etc. These immigrants want to keep their cultural values and traditions but also want to identify as “American” and fit that role. The two identities are not unified and therefore the immigrant has to try and balance between the two conflicting and separate identities. Perhaps inside the house, the individual acts a certain way according to cultures from his homeland, and outside the house, that individual attempts to act in an all American way. This individual cannot possibly be who he truly is, because at the end of the day, who exactly IS he? He identifies both as an immigrant and now also separately, an American citizen. And no matter what these immigrants do to try and fit the role of “American,” most likely they will still be considered “others,” and therefore forced to live a dual life.

Du Bois and racial inequality

Blog #5 Du Bois discusses a concept called Double Consciousness. This means that black people feel they are split between being black and having to think like a white person. This comes from the idea that the only way to survive in this world is if black people live and think the way a white person does. This also stems from stereotypes white people have about the way black people live. Du Bois says that Black people feel they have a conflict between being black and being American. Almost like there is no such thing as being both. All these ideas clearly stem from a deep-rooted racism that started from the times of slavery. One would think our world has come a long way and that we no longer see a “color line” and we just see people. But how true is this? It’s true we all a part of a different race and have different ethnicities but why should a specific race mean you are a different species?

I think the way to really combat racism and end major inequalities in America is by teaching kids at a young age that people are people and they come in all shapes and colors. But that the color in itself doesn’t mean anything. Maybe that means they celebrate different holidays or wear different clothes but that doesn’t mean they don’t have the same rights as everyone else. Our social institutions are only “Racialized” because we still see people as colors and not as humans. This also goes along with the idea of “racial profiling”. because we created this concept people feed into it. Because society has decided that racial profiling is helpful to society it must be good. But in reality we are just continuing the idea that people are colors and that makes them different. When will everyone be equal? Will there ever be such a concept in this world? As long as people teach their kids that “black” means something else than white, we will never have real equality.


Blog #3: Dr. Cornel West on Race, Class, & Imperialism

Dr. Cornel West, in many regards, reminds me of a modern W.E.B. Du Bois, particularly as he got older and his ideas became more radicalized. Dr. West is a large proponent of exposing and criticizing systems of inequality or as he calls it, “systems that lose sight of the humanity of other people”. This is something that is very similar between West and Du Bois; there is a personal element in their rhetoric.  This interview touches on many topics we have discussed in class, including the “Stop & Frisk” and the “New Jim Crow”. He believes that we must express our sentiments loudly and clearly; we must hold those responsible, accountable. He discusses elements of imperialism, capitalism, and colonialism as well. Although quite similar to Du Bois, West is a both a bit more universal and critical “across the board”. He calls for constancy amongst activists and elected officials who fight against the various systems that are mentioned.