THE FIRST BOOK WRITTEN ON THE INFLUENCE OF BLACKS IN AMERICAN HISTORY BY W. E. B. DU BOIS
"(Du Bois') singular greatness lay in his quest
for truth about his own people."
—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Garden City Park, NY: Although the Civil War marked an end to slavery in the United States, it would take another fifty years to establish the country’s civil rights movement. Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois was among the first generation of African-American scholars to spearhead this movement towards equality. As cofounder of the NAACP, he sought to initiate equality through social change, and as a talented writer, he created books and essays that provide a revealing glimpse into the black experience of the times. In The Gift of Black Folk—one of Du Bois’ most important works—he recounts the remarkable history of African-Americans and their many unsung contributions to American society.
Commissioned by the Knights of Columbus Historical Commission and produced in 1924 at the height of the country’s Black Renaissance, The Gift of Black Folk represents one of the first critically acclaimed black histories. In it, Dr. Du Bois chronicled the role of blacks in the early exploration of America, the crucial parts they played in developing the country’s agricultural industry, and the courage they displayed on the many battlefields of our young nation. He documented their creative genius in virtually every aspect of American culture—music, painting, sculpture, literature, theater, and invention. He also highlighted the unique contributions of black women, proposing the idea that their freedom could lead to freedom for all women.
This new edition published by Square One Publishers features an introduction by Carl Anderson, who, prior to becoming Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, spent nearly a decade working on issues of racial equality as a member of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
Anderson states in the introduction: “A hundred years after W.E.B. Du Bois helped cofound the NAACP, the United States can view its civil rights achievements with pride. African-Americans have served on the Supreme Court, in the Cabinet, and, finally, as President of the United States. The Gift of Black Folk allows us to fully appreciate these monumental achievements. It is our belief that Du Bois’ classic work will continue to inform and inspire for many generations to come.”
Of interest not just now during Black History Month but all year long, The Gift of Black Folk ($14.95 USD, ISBN: 978-0-7570-0319-6) is available through Amazon, B&N.com, Bookshop, and wherever else books are sold nationwide.