The Souls of Black Folk Chapters 7-10: Questions and Answers

W. E. B. Du Bois

Chapters 7-10: Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. DuBois asserts that historical events and blacks’ progress in developing elementary and college-level curriculum for blacks didn’t always dovetail conveniently. Where did black educational institutions stand at the time of the Industrial Revolution? How did they have to adjust to respond to the demands of the period?

2. DuBois describes the geography and climate of the “Black Belt” region of Georgia as stark and oppressive. How did plantation owners, overseers, emancipated slaves, and others fare on the land based on DuBois’ tour?

3. Black farmers DuBois visits in Dougherty County were perpetually in debt at the turn of the century. What are at least three reasons why this happened?

4. Aside from living in debt, in what other ways did the black residents of Dougherty County continue to live in conditions that mimicked slavery?

5. How have blacks and whites consciously and unconsciously separated themselves along “the color-line”?

Answers
1. The rise of an educational system that could train black children and college students coincided with racist laws passed in the late nineteenth century and an Industrial Revolution that demanded schools of all kinds prepare students for new forms of labor. This coincidence made it easy for blacks and whites alike to see the Negro student as a laborer first and student second, but DuBois asserts that educational institutions needed to train blacks both as intellectuals and workers.

2. DuBois describes the land and climate as difficult, dry, and sprawling. He visited abandoned plantations and learned that many of their original owners moved and left the land in the care of racist overseers. He also met numerous black farmers who, though property owners or operators of their own farms, struggled with debt from loans for the land or equipment for farming. Many complained of...

(The entire section is 589 words.)