Annotated Bibliography: Afro-American Issues

Du Bois, William, E.B. “Returning Soldiers.” The Crisis, 1919.

The author of the article is W.E.B. Du Bois, an American history professor and civil rights activist. After the end of the First World War, numerous soldiers were returning from France to America and expressing their disdain with their homeland’s current situation. The author speaks from the perspective of an African American soldier, who has been forced to fight for the great ideals of Democracy on another continent, yet struggles to find such ideals back in America. The text criticizes the ostracizing and discrimination of African Americans, highlighting the hypocrisy of American society, which “steals, insults, promotes ignorance, lynches, and disfranchises” its own citizens.

Booker, Washington T. Booker T. Washington Papers Volume 1: Volumes 1-14. University of Illinois Press, 1972.

The speech described in the article is known as the “Atlanta Compromise.” The spokesman is Booker T. Washington, an African American president of the Tuskegee Institute. The intended audience is the predominantly white elite present at the International Exposition of Atlanta. The speech proposes a compromise between two races and insists on cooperation in mechanics, domestic services, commerce, and agriculture. However, it does not stress the equality of races and does not promote integration, rather attempts to persuade African Americans to tolerate discrimination and racial bias.

Journal of Negro History, vol. 4, 1919, pp. 417, 302, 317, 327, 307, 59.

The article is a collection of seven letters from African American migrants who are pursuing the opportunity to journey north and are looking for employment. Most of the letters cover personal details of the author, stating the number of family members as well as working experience and skills. The authors are unsure whether it is safe to migrate to northern states and ask the editor of Chicago Defender magazine for an urgent reply because their current working conditions are less than satisfactory.

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