This volume assembles essential essays by W. E. B. Du Bois from 1894 to early 1906. These show the first formulations of some of his most famous ideas, namely, “the veil,” “double-consciousness,” and the “problem of the color line.” The deep historical sense of the formation of the modern world that informed Du Bois's thought and gave rise to his understanding of “the problem of the color line” is displayed. Some of the essays were published posthumously, others are obscure, and one has only recently been translated. The essays constitute an essential companion to Du Bois's 1903 masterpiece The Souls of Black Folk. The collection presents the essays in their entirety and in strict chronological order, starting at the moment of Du Bois's return to the United States. Copious annotations are provided to enhance the reader's understanding.