Black Reconstruction in America by W.E.B. Du Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Black Reconstruction in America by W.E.B. Du Bois

The Perpetuation of the "Color Caste" and Socio-economic Stratification in "Black Reconstruction in America" by W.E.B. Du Bois

William E.B. Du Bois, American writer and historian, is known for his active participation in promoting Black Power movements in American society during the early 20th century, a period wherein society is dominated and controlled by the white American race. During this period also, there is a strong sentiment of racism and prejudice against black Americans, then called Negro slaves, wherein, Du Bois himself experienced the struggles and challenges his fellow black Americans had to go through in order to achieve emancipation from the bondage of slavery and racism.

Du Bois had written numerous discourses about black American prejudice throughout his lifetime. However, the essay "Black Reconstruction in America," written in 1935, provides an insightful and fresh perspective in looking at the socio-economic factors that ultimately determine the perpetuation of black American slavery, which he terms as the "color caste." In this discourse, Du Bois talks about two important points that further reinforced slavery in America: (1) the perpetuation of socio-economic class stratification among the white American landowners, white American laborers, and black American slaves and (2) the persistence of the "color caste" as a result of a constant struggle of the white American laborers to retain their status as laborers amidst 'competition' from the black American slaves. These points are discussed thoroughly in the texts that follow, with references from Du Bois' discourse.

The first point that he expresses in "Reconstruction" is the existence of socio-economic class stratification within American society. Although America during the 1930s is on its way to establishing an Industrial and hence, capitalist society, its economic system is still agricultural in nature. Thus, the prevalence of agricultural farming has also cultivated a feudal economic system, wherein landowners hire and require its laborers to pay rent for the use of their lands. From this economic set-up, it becomes apparent that among white Americans alone, there is already evidence of class stratification -- that is, between the white American landowners and laborers.

Du Bois elucidates on this point, stating that "[t]he new labor that came to the United States, while it was poor, used to oppression and accustomed to a low standard of living, was not willing, after it reached America, to regard itself as a permanent laboring class and it is in the light of this fact that the labor movement among white Americans must be studied ... labor could become emancipated from the necessity of continuous toil and that…

Sources Used in Document:

Work cited

Du Bois, W.E.B. (1935). E-text of "Black Reconstruction in America." Available at:

Cite This Term Paper:

"Black Reconstruction In America By W E B Du" (2004, November 25) Retrieved November 15, 2018, from

"Black Reconstruction In America By W E B Du" 25 November 2004. Web.15 November. 2018. <>

"Black Reconstruction In America By W E B Du", 25 November 2004, Accessed.15 November. 2018,