The souls of black folk

W.E.B. DuBois’s The Souls of Black Folk is a landmark work of American literature. DuBois’s collection of essays, published in 1903, document the plight of black Americans and advance an argument for how black Americans might cross the “veil” that divides them from white America. Over the span of the twentieth century, DuBois’s vision for black Americans’ advancement became the dominant perspective for racial equality.


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For your essay assignment, I want you to explain how DuBois envisioned the value and purpose of education for black Americans. Be sure to explain how his perspectives on education differed from those of Booker T. Washington. Be as specific as possible in explaining the various dimensions of how and why he believed education was central to blacks’ achievement of equality.


Please note: do not use any other source for this essay assignment other than The Souls of Black Folk. If you quote from the book, and please do so sparingly and only when absolutely necessary, indicate the page number in parentheses following the quoted material.


This essay is worth 30 points total. Please type (double space, 12-point font, 1” margins) with your name in the upper right hand corner of page 1. Do not use a title page. The essay needs to be a minimum of 2 ½ pages and a maximum of 4 ½ pages. Anything less than 2 ½ or more than 4 ½ will be returned to you for no points. Please number your pages (top, upper-right corner).


Your introduction should be succinct and highlight the main perspectives on education you will discuss. Your conclusion should briefly reiterate the educational issues you have explained.


Scoring Rubric: 28-30 points: Excellent, full response that explains the multiple

dimensions of DuBois’s educational perspectives.

24-27 points: Good, full response, but some incorrect or inadequately

explained issues.

21-23 points: General ideas about DuBois’ educational perspectives.

18-20 points: Serious problems in the focus as well as serious problems

with issues such as length, mechanics, grammar, spelling, etc.

17 and below: Inadequate work. No strong evidence that you read the

book carefully or that you paid attention to the assignment.

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