O water, voice of my heart, crying in the sand, All night long crying with a mournful cry, As I lie and listen, and cannot understand The voice of my heart in my side or the voice of the sea, O water, crying for rest, is it I, is it I? All night long the water is crying to me.
He does not add to the existing arguments and scholarship of his time but does assert that Negro spirituals were created in America but can be traced back to African forests.
This points to an African home for these songs and a diaspora but does not necessarily Africanize black American culture. Similarly, he likens the black preacher to the African priest Of our spiritual strivings w e medicine man, tracing black religion back to pagan belief systems in Africa.
His identification with the preacher as well as the priest or medicine man allows him to see himself as a physician and conjurer of African culture and as an artist or bardic priest capable of preaching a social gospel and expressing the sentiments of an oppressed and disenfranchised people.
Du Bois felt the role of the black preacher was to facilitate a spiritual rebirth and reconciliation that would unite African Americans while helping them achieve self-assertion. Ultimately, he feels that achieving transcendence requires work and effort that will produce, protect, and value black culture and art.
Grounding his notion of black folk culture in the sorrow songs forces Du Bois to consider black spirituality and belief systems as he appropriates religious texts, figures, and music. One might argue, as Theophus Smith does in Conjuring Culture: A bar of music from a spiritual introduces each chapter in The Souls of Black Folk and celebrates the voices of the slaves, the folk who founded black American culture.
For Du Bois, the sorrow songs are transformative because they are capable of emotionally transcending the very sorrow that inspired them. Their mood and purpose may be religious exaltation, but they are also a medium for expressing a desire for transcendence and enfranchisement.
The songs sing of freedom in this world as well as the next as they consciously hold onto sorrow and transcend it by transforming the negative. Du Bois asserts cross-racial spiritual identity and shared humanity during a period in which racial categories emphasized separation, and many white Americans were committed to an explicit ideology of white supremacy.
Du Bois introduces the two other central metaphors of the book in this opening chapter: Double-consciousness is a psychological, political, and philosophical category of black experience for Du Bois, and the following quotation illustrates the ontological and epistemological implications of this key concept: The Negro is a sort of a seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted with second-sight in this American world,—a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself through the revelation of the other world.
It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness. One ever feels his twoness,—an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.
The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife—this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self.
In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world.
He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face.
This contextual philosophy provides an undercurrent to the detailed account of African American history that follows.
He argues simultaneously for the importance of university liberal arts education for qualified African American students and for the dignity inherent in manual labor.
Even when his focus is to provide historical detail, his writings contain an ever-present challenge to all readers to confront racism, violence, and inhumanity wherever they are revealed in American life. Washington, head of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.
In this essay, Du Bois is revealed as a social critic fully engaged with democratic political philosophy, working within the crosscurrents of political dialogue among African Americans as well as in relation to broader American debates over civil rights, race relations, suffrage, and public education.
The essay examines the tension among the emerging black leadership of the post-Reconstruction period and deals with questions as to how African Americans should deal with the tensions between immediate and gradual change and how to achieve the goals of economic progress and civil rights.
Du Bois examined how to effectively conduct black-defined political initiatives given the counterforces of white-defined social and political agendas. Du Bois was clearly at odds with Washington on all these issues, but the essay calls for open debate among African American intellectuals and advocates that action be based on careful analysis of specific social and historical conditions.
The book established him as a philosopher and social critic, just as his earlier books had established him as a scholar.W.E.B.
Du Bois (–). The Souls of Black Folk.
Chapter I. Of Our Spiritual Strivings: O water, voice of my heart, crying in the sand, All night long crying with a mournful cry, As I lie and listen, and cannot understand The voice of my heart in my side or the voice of the sea.
"Of Our Spiritual Strivings" Double Consciousness The "Veil" Journey to "Freedom" Conflict of having own identity vs. what he must conform to as.
Seresin, Indiana. "The Souls of Black Folk Chapter 1: Of Our Spiritual Strivings." LitCharts LLC, November 30, Retrieved September 23, grupobittia.com O water, voice of my heart, crying in the sand, All night long crying with a mournful cry, As I lie and listen, and cannot understand The voice of my heart in my side or the voice of the sea.
"Of Our Spiritual Strivings" serves as an introduction to the racial nuances that Du Bois will encounter throughout the rest of the work. 1 W. E. B. Du Bois – Of Our Spiritual Strivings Du Bois’ “Of Our Spiritual Strivings” was published in in his book, The Souls of Black grupobittia.com earlier version of this article was published as “Strivings of the Negro People” in the.