Analysis of Du Bois Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Songs of Sorrow

"The Sorrow Songs" is a message that is related to the spirituality of the African-American people. In summary, Dubois gives what he perceives as a message of the African-American people, which is that of hope, not only in that particular time period, but also subsequent generations. Without doubt, African-Americans have made a substantial contribution as to what the United States is as a nation. This, in particular, does not take into account the work that the African-American partook and accomplished for the economy of the United States while being slaves, or the influences of African-American playwrights and originators as significant as all that was. Instead, this takes into account the manner in which the African-Americans' struggle for freedom and liberties instigated by the United States to extensively analyze its morals and epitomes. More so, this caused the United States to question itself, whether it actually was the land of those at liberty, in addition to the home of the brave, or whether it was a two-faced homeland, which discusses freedom, but at the same time repudiates it to particular people.

In agreement with Du Bois' sentiments, black Americans are a fundamental part of the United States. They have been right from the start, they presently are, and will continue to be even in the future. The appeal is for the white Americans to fully perceive and treat black Africans as equals and as great contributors to the enterprise of the United States. America is esteemed to be the greatest nation in the world. In great manner, African-Americans have played a great part in how the United States has turned out to be as a nation. This is largely owing to the fact that they faced up to society and instigated confrontations in order to make freedom a reality, and not a void ideal or an aspect that was only applicable to the white Americans. Notably, America did not at all times, live up to its tenets, and through the oppositions and struggles of the African-Americans, freedom and justice were affirmed. More so, it was declared that no institution bears the right to deprive such basic liberties to any individual.

"The Sorrow Songs" is an exemplification of the mixed quintessence of American distinctiveness. It elucidates the need for African-American recognition. To give a proper response to the sorrow songs, it is imperative that white Americans recognize their influence in the lives of the black Americans. This is by taking into account the core message presented in the sorrow songs and handing black Americans their freedom, civil and political liberties. Failure to acknowledge this inference, and also recognize black Americans as effusively vested contributors in the mutual innovativeness of American life is an invitation to racial violence and cynicism (Gooding-Williams, 2009).

Du Bois' epigraph suggests that the main issue in the 20th Century is the issue of the color-line. Fast track to the present day, and the color-line is still a sensitive and serious issue in America. His perceptions of life behind the mask of race and the subsequent double-consciousness; this aspect of continuously viewing one's self through the perceptiveness of others, have come to be benchmarks for discerning regarding race in America. The present consideration whether black lives matter offers an evaluation of the progress of the race, the hindrances to such advancement, and the prospects for future advancement as the nation is set in the 21st century at the moment (Du Bois, 1903). The black lives matter movement generates a political scope within and in the midst of our communities for political and social action that can have a firm stand on the backbones of movements that have been there before, for instance, the civil rights movement. At the same time, it also instigates the transformation of strategies, practices and attitudes to finally integrate the leadership of the individuals prevailing at the restrictions of our economy and our social order.

The recent shootings, such as those of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown are important for the reason that they comparatively remind black Americans of the preceding and prevailing failure of the American government to protect the lives of African-American citizens. As assuredly as the actuality of unequal handling in the post-civil war epoch was a basis of weighty social dissatisfaction for not only well-educated blacks, for instance, Du Bois. However, most Africans alive in those periods, the present-day lop-sided murder of black people by law
enforcement officers is rightly perceived as disheartening by all sections of the African-American people (Massey et al., 2015). Du Bois is keen on pointing out that the efforts, the creativities, the cheer of the African-American people have been given to the nation in blood through generation and generation. Therefore, black people ought to be perceived as equal. The nation is equally theirs as it is for any other racial group in the country.

When we say that black lives matter, it is fundamentally because America as a nation, has an inclination of saying otherwise. The discrimination of race does indeed have an influence on all minorities. However, police brutality and unwarranted killings, at such surpassing rates, does not. According to Craven (2014), a black person is murdered extra judicially after every twenty eight hours. More so, African-American males between the ages of 19 and 25 have the greater likelihood of being gunned down by police. In addition, statistics indicate that black Americans have a probability of being killed by police five times more compared to any other racial group or descent (Craven, 2014). America would not be the nation that it is in the present day, devoid of the determinations and efforts added by the African-American community. So, how is it their country? How is it their nation? The declaration of independence warrants freedom for all individuals in the nation. This implies equal justice for all people, irrespective of their racial group. Taking these statistics into consideration, there is greater need for the black lives matter intervention (Craven, 2014).

In response, it is imperative to point out that black lives do matter. However, more significantly, all lives matter. Indeed America would not be what she is devoid of the African-American people. Nevertheless, how can we as a community substantiate and give validation that black lives matter, yet there is incessant black on black violence? Should advocacy be pronounced only when the black individuals are wronged by the whites? It is imperative that we not damage or impair our culture, or hurt anybody else that is not a part of our culture. We all ought to have a standpoint and positively advocate for a change, and not permit our sentiments to bring about violence. This is significant because there were several criticisms surrounding the shooting of young black males, for instance, Michael Brown (The Critique, 2015). Social critics have largely reacted to the outbursts by the black community by suggesting that the main issue in these sort of instances is the increasingly high occurrences of black on black crime. Therefore, critics argue that these high rates are what necessitate the presence of the police and law enforcement in the black communities to begin with. Taking this into account, the plea then is for the African-American people to take responsibility in ensuring these rates are also highlighted. However, this does not imply that the black community should invest their combined efforts to tackle this issue and fail to focus their attention on police shootings of innocent black Americans (The Critique, 2015).

In conclusion, the 'Sorrow Songs' is a message presented by Du Bois for black Americans with hope and aspiration, that in this lifetime or the next, they will be perceived as equals. Fast track to the present moment and the issue of race is still being talked about in a heated manner. The recent shootings and killings of young and innocent African-Americans have prompted the debated issue of race and liberties in the United States. More so, black lives matter, have come into question with a movement being forged. Black lives matter can be perceived as a moral and political intercession in a society where Black lives are steadily and deliberately targeted for death (Massey et al., 2015). It is an assertion of Black folks' contributions and influences to this society, our civilization, and our resilience in spite of deadly subjugation and repression. African-Americans ought to be perceived as part of the enterprise in America and more so given the equality and liberties that they deserve. However, one aspect that is important to point out is that this can only prevail if we consider the significance of all lives. Indeed black lives matter, but this intervention shall only be taken seriously if aspects, such as black on black crime, cease. In general, the stand that we all ought to take is that all lives matter, whether black, white, Hispanic or any other racial descent (Massey et al., 2015).


Craven. J. (2014). Please don't tell me all lives matter. Huffington Post. Retrieved 30…

Sources Used in Documents:


Craven. J. (2014). Please don't tell me all lives matter. Huffington Post. Retrieved 30 November 2015 from:

Du Bois. (1903). The Souls of Black Folk; Essays and Sketches. Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., 1903.

Gooding-Williams, R. (2009). In the Shadow of Du Bois. Harvard: Harvard University Press.

Massey, J., Tenhoor, M., Korsh, S. (2015). Introduction: Black Lives Matter. Aggregate Organization. Retrieved 30 November 2015 from:

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