In Chapter 6 of his enormously influential The Souls of Black Folk, W. E. B. Du Bois presents his argument for the importance of higher education if African Americans are going to overcome the legacies of slavery, segregation, and poverty. As importantly, Du Bois argued that the future of the American South itself hinged greatly on the ability of African Americans to attain a college education. Note, with respect to this latter point, the following quotes from Chapter 6:
“No secure civilization can be built in the South with the Negro as an ignorant, turbulent proletariat.”
“The dangerously clear logic of the Negro's position will more and more loudly assert itself in that day when increasing wealth and more intricate social organization preclude the South from being, as it so largely is, simply an armed camp for intimidating black folk.”
Du Bois understood what many whites across America, especially in the South, did not: No country or region of a country could reach its full...
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