From The Souls of Black Folks, what were DuBois's own experiences as a teacher among emancipated Negroes?
In chapter VI of The Souls of Black Folk ("Of the Training of Black Men"), DuBois writes about the importance of college and higher education for African Americans. Contrary to B. T. Washington who devalued higher education for black Americans in favor of vocational and industrial training, DuBois thought that education should be a combination of "the permanent and the contingent, of the ideal and the practical". Without directly mentioning Washington, DuBois expands his argument against the Atlanta compromise begun in chapter III by pointing out that "colored college-bred men" form the backbone of Tuskegee, Washington's academic institution.
In the chapter DuBois also offers personal recollections of his meetings with black college students. He found these students gifted with a broad spirit of helpfulness and of determination to succeed in their tasks despite the bitter difficulties they have to face. These men and women are moderate leaders who have resisted the temptation to become agitators. Because of these qualities, college-educated African Americans can lead the way towards a more integrated and civilized Southern society. The realization of such society will require "broad-minded, upright men, both white and black" and this attitude can only be attained through higher education. The South has thus little to gain by leaving African Americans "as an ignorant, turbulent proletariat".