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The Souls of Black Folk by W. E. B. Du Bois
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The Souls of Black Folk is remembered as one of the first and most important sociological studies in history. While the subject matter deals with American society, the findings and key takeaways of the essay are applicable worldwide. Du Bois, often referred to as "The Father of Black Studies" and a leading figure during the Harlem Renaissance, outlines the discrepancies between the treatment of white Americans and black Americans, and seeks to further understand the main causes of racial inequality.
Though both informative and illuminating, The Souls of Black Folk is also remarkable for its syntax and prose. Du Bois relied heavily on poetic imagery and metaphor to convey the weight of his findings. In one particular instance, Du Bois masterfully describes the psychological and mental toll of freed slaves in Reconstruction-era America: ""They were held and pushed and dragged; they were squeezed until they could take it no more; they were beaten until they could take it no longer; but still they remained, fixed as fish in a jar.”