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The Problem of the Color Line at the Turn of the Twentieth CenturyThe Essential Early Essays$
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W.E.B. Du Bois and Nahum Dimitri Chandler

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823254545

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823254545.001.0001

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The Relation of the Negroes to the Whites in the South

The Relation of the Negroes to the Whites in the South


(p.189) The Relation of the Negroes to the Whites in the South
The Problem of the Color Line at the Turn of the Twentieth Century


, Nahum Dimitri Chandler
Fordham University Press

This chapter presents an essay by W. E. B. Du Bois on how the black race in the South meets and mingles with the whites, in matters of everyday life. It identifies the main lines of action and communication that the contact of men and their relations to each other fall into. First, there is the physical proximity of homes and dwelling places, the way in which neighborhoods group themselves, and the contiguity of neighborhoods. Second, there are the economic relations—the methods by which individuals cooperate for earning a living, for the mutual satisfaction of wants, for the production of wealth. Third are the political relations, the cooperation in social control in group government, in laying and paying the burden of taxation. In the fourth place there are the less tangible but highly important forms of intellectual contact and commerce, the interchange of ideas through conversation and conference, periodicals and libraries, and the gradual formation for each community of that curious tertium quid called public opinion. Finally, there are the varying forms of religious enterprise, of moral teaching and benevolent endeavor.

Keywords:   W. E. B. Du Bois, Negroes, American South, blacks, whites, race relations, dwellings, economic relations, political relations, religion

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