8. The After-Thought

Hear my cry, O God the Reader; vouchsafe that this my book fall not still-born into the world-wilderness. Let there spring, Gentle One, from its leaves vigor of thought and thoughtful deed to reap the harvest wonderful. (Let the ears of a guilty people tingle with truth, and seventy millions sigh for the righteousness which exalteth nations, in this drear day when human brotherhood is mockery and a snare.) Thus in Thy good time may infinite reason turn the tangle straight, and these crooked marks on a fragile leaf be not indeed






Introduction  by Gerald Maa
Using 120-Year-Old Tools to Document Black Life in Georgia  by Janeria Easley
From “Of the Sons of Master and Man”  by W. E. B. Du Bois
selections from “The Exhibit of American Negroes” for the 1900 Paris Exposition  by W. E. B. Du Bois
spell to trace a rainbow to its apogee  by Kieth S. Wilson
From “Of the Black Belt”  by W. E. B. Du Bois
THE AXIS OF DISPOSSESSION, fig 2.  By Vanessa Angélica Villarreal
The After-Thought  by W. E. B. Du Bois


W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963) was the first African American to be awarded a Harvard PhD. He spent nearly a quarter century on the faculty of Atlanta University as professor of history and sociology (1897–1910) and head of the sociology department (1934–1944). Du Bois’ writings and his intellectual guidance as teacher, researcher, and editor at Atlanta University contributed immensely to its reputation as a preeminent resource for the study of race in America. In 1903 he published his now-classic collection of essays, The Souls of Black Folk, named as one of the Modern Library’s one hundred most influential works of the twentieth century. Du Bois spent twenty-three years as editor of Crisis, a publication of the NAACP—an organization he helped found. During his second span at Atlanta University he became the first editor-in-chief of Phylon, the University’s scholarly review of race and culture, to which he was also an ardent and frequent contributor. (Inducted as a charter member in 2000)