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"Before each chapter, as now printed, stands a bar of the Sorrow Songs,- Some echo of haunting melody from the only American music which welled up from black souls in the dark past." (Du Bois, 1994, pp. Du Bois is very careful in his introduction of the work to point out "and, finally, need I add that I who speak here am bone of the bone and flesh of the flesh of them that live within the Veil? vi) Of all the choices, Du Bois makes in his work, his choice to include quotes and a bar of the sorrow song as lead ins to the chapters is the most interesting.
v-vi) This made me wonder as I read what these songs sounded like, unfortunately, unless one has a deep understanding of sheet music hearing the notes leap off the page in a written format is not possible.It would be interesting with modern technology to see an e-book version where such audio clips played at the opening of each chapter. Perhaps a full-blown audio book would provide that same depth, although the contrast between reading and hearing would present still other issues. Du Bois insists that "the right to vote," "civic equality," and "the education of youth according to ability" are essential for African American progress.Du Bois relates his experiences as a schoolteacher in rural Tennessee, and then he turns his attention to a critique of American materialism in the rising city of Atlanta where the single-minded attention to gaining wealth threatens to replace all other considerations. Du Bois has contributed greatly to contemporary sociological thinking because he began a conversation of what it means to be “other” in this American Society.Together, these concepts not only described past experiences of blacks in American society (e.g., slavery) but also continue to remind us that the relation of whites and people of color remains complex. His concepts include “the color-line”, “the veil”, and the “double consciousness” (Appelrouth and Edles, 269). In his conversation of what it means to be other he constructed and included three major concepts that continue to resonate till this day.My hope is that the selected quotes before each bar of text tell us not only something of the tone which follows the chapter but also something of the tone of the music itself.The best that can be hoped for without a piano is to look at the quotes and the chapter that follows in hopes that if the tone between those two matches then one would see the quote and the music match as well.