The Givens Collection
After decades of obscurity, this literary jewel is presented with a new introduction written by David Levering Lewis, author of W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919 and W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919-1963; Lewis is the foremost scholar of the work of Du Bois.
"If The Souls of Black Folk achieved its singular impact through W.E.B. Du Bois's masterly interweaving of the personal and the universal in such a way that each appropriated something of the illustrative and symbolic value of the other, much of Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil was a cri de coeur in which the author's anger at the absurdities of racial prejudice crackled through the text like electric jolts that scorched, illumined, or stunned."
-- David Levering Lewis, from the Introduction
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CHAPTER I: THE SHADOW OF YEARS
I was born by a golden river and in the shadow of two great hills, five years after the Emancipation Proclamation. The house was quaint, with clapboards running up and down, neatly trimmed, and there were five rooms, a tiny porch, a rosy front yard, and unbelievably delicious strawberries in the rear. A South Carolinian, lately come to the Berkshire Hills, owned all this -- tall, thin, and black, with golden earrings, and given to religious trances. We were his transient tenants for the time.
My own people were part of a great clan. Fully two hundred years before, Tom Burghardt had come...
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