William Edward Burghard Exhibits Higher Calling

Alternating between personal and scientific writing, DuBois successfully appeals to the white majority on the basis of facts, evidence and sound logic even while he presents emotional outbursts at the failure of this same community to recognize the many benefits his heritage has to offer. Several of his writings strive to bring attention to the fact that the causes for certain attitudes regarding black people are directly traced to the actions of white people attempting to suppress the black community. As time progressed with little or no change in the status quo, DuBois drifted more and more toward the political left in his political life and his writings, finally crossing over to communist ideology in his later years. As he became more and more disillusioned with the American system and more impressed with the actions of countries such as Russia in trying to overcome social injustice, DuBois became more emotional in his texts and articles. This drift as well as the differences in writing styles can be seen by comparing two works such as The Negro published in 1915 with Gift of Black Folk published in 1924.In The Negro (1915), DuBois presents what is commonly recognized as the first comprehensive history of African people, including those who trace their ancestry to Africa. Beginning with the lines Africa is at once the most romantic and the most tragic of continents, (DuBois, 1915), the author examines the history of Africa from the earliest cultures into his own time. In discussing early Africa before the influence of Western cultures, DuBois clearly demonstrates how the communities there included all the classic signs of development, including extensive agriculture, intellectual writing, iron working and other modern advances. However, he argues the devastation of the slave trade interrupted this progress, leading outside nations to assume the people who lived there were incapable of such knowledge.