In The Souls of Black Folks, what role does DuBois see for education?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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If we examine a couple of themes from the work, education becomes a critical part of addressing these realities.  For DuBois, African- Americans (and all people of color) have deal with the reality of "the color line."  This is an undeniable demarcation that helps to distill reality as being different between White America and Black America.  Its presence, Du Bois argues, is evident in all aspects of life.  Within this realm, DuBois suggests that it cannot be obliterated.  Yet, in understanding its realities bettern, those who are African- American can better navigate its effects.  This is where education comes to play a vital role.  DuBois is too smart to capitulate to an "opportunity ideology" belief that "education solves all."  Rather, he suggests that education is the realm where the color line and its pervasive reality in political, social, economic, and psychological realities can be understood and changed.  Like his own narrative, DuBois argues that education is the only way that full comprehension and solidarity is evident for those who live at the hyphen of being African- American, in that one gains knowledge for their own sense of understanding the dynamics of the color line driven world and then passes it on to others so that they experience the same understanding.  It is through this where DuBois finds hope and redemption and this process is only possible through education.

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dano7744 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

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W.E.B. DuBois a gifted writer, educator, and advocate to the African American race, graduated from Harvard University  in 1890 and later attended the University of Berlin. Later, in Philadelphia he embarked on a research project in the seventh ward slums looking for a "cure" to the prejudice against colored people. He taught sociology at Atlanta University for thirteen years before becoming the head of research at the NAACP.

Dr. DuBois was a staunch advocate for social reform and the education of the "colored" race. He was a firm believer in the concept that the colored man can change his circumstances through training and education.

The role of education according to DuBois was one of social change, he felt that a better educated black man could work to achieve an equal footing in the world with his white counterparts. He felt that education could solve the problems of bigotry, inequality, and discrimination.

The Enduring Vision/Clark/p. 228-230

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