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The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife,—this longing to attain self–conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. He would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world. He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face.

EDMUND J. LEE, Clerk of the District.

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Summary of The Souls of Black Folk; Essays and

§ 8. We are further to consider concerning perception, that the ideas we receive by sensation are often in grown people altered by the judgment, without our taking notice of it. When we set before our eyes a round globe, of any uniform colour, v. g. gold, alabaster, or jet; it is certain that the idea thereby imprinted in our mind, is of a flat circle variously shadowed, with several degrees of light and brightness coming to our eyes. But we having by use been accustomed to perceive what kind of appearance convex bodies are wont to make in us, what alterations are made in the reflections of light by the difference of the sensible figures of bodies; the judgment presently, by an habitual custom, alters the appearances into their causes; so that from that which is truly variety of shadow or colour, collecting the figure, it makes it pass for a mark of figure, and frames to itself the perception of a convex figure and an uniform colour; when the idea we receive from thence is only a plane variously coloured, as is evident in painting. To which purpose I shall here insert a problem of that very ingenious and studious promoter of real knowledge, the learned and worthy Mr. Molineaux, which he was pleased to send me in a letter some months since; and it is this: Suppose a man born blind, and now adult, and taught by his touch to distinguish between a cube and a sphere of the same metal, and nighly of the same bigness, so as to tell, when he felt one and the other, which is the cube, which the sphere. Suppose then the cube and sphere placed on a table, and the blind man be made to see: quære, “whether by his sight, before he touched them, he could now distinguish and tell, which is the globe, which the cube?” to which the acute and judicious proposer answers: Not. For though he has obtained the experience of how a globe, how a cube affects his touch; yet he has not yet obtained the experience, that what affects his touch so or so, must affect his sight so or so: or that a protuberant angle in the cube, that pressed his hand unequally, shall appear to his eye as it does in the cube. I agree with this thinking gentleman, whom I am proud to call my friend, in his answer to this his problem; and am of opinion, that the blind man at first sight, would not be able with certainty to say which was the globe, which the cube, whilst he only saw them: though he could unerringly name them by his touch, and certainly distinguish them by the difference of their figures felt. This I have set down, and leave with my reader, as an occasion for him to consider how much he may be beholden to experience, improvement, and acquired notions, where he thinks he had not the least use of, or help from them: and the rather, because this observing gentleman further adds, that having upon the occasion of my book, proposed this to divers very ingenious men, he hardly ever met with one, that at first gave the answer to it which he thinks true, till by hearing his reasons they were convinced.

Lit2Go: The Souls of Black Folk

§ 9. But this is not, I think, usual in any of our ideas, but those received by sight: because sight, the most comprehensive of all our senses, conveying to our minds the ideas of light and colours, which are peculiar only to that sense; and also the far different ideas of space, figure, and motion, the several varieties whereof change the appearances of its proper object, viz. light and colours; we bring ourselves by use to judge of the one by the other. This, in many cases, by a settled habit, in things whereof we have frequent experience, is performed so constantly and so quick, that we take that for the perception of our sensation, which is an idea formed by our judgment; so that one, viz. that of sensation, serves only to excite the other, and is scarce taken notice of itself: as a man who reads or hears with attention and understanding, takes little notice of the characters, or sounds, but of the ideas that are excited in him by them.

Source: Du Bois, W. E. B. (1903). The souls of black folk. Chicago: A. C. McClurg and Co.
Du Bois, W. (1903). The Souls of Black Folk. (Lit2Go ed.). Retrieved February 20, 2018, from

Published by C. and J. Rivington and Partners. August 1823.

§ 7. Though our idea of infinity arise from the contemplation of quantity, and the endless increase the mind is able to make in quantity, by the repeated additions of what portions thereof it pleases; yet I guess we cause great confusion in our thoughts, when we join infinity to any supposed idea of quantity the mind can be thought to have, and so discourse or reason about an infinite quantity, viz. an infinite space, or an infinite duration. For our idea of infinity being as I think, an endless growing idea, by the idea of any quantity the mind has, being at that time terminated in that idea, (for be it as great as it will, it can be no greater than it is) to join infinity, to it, is to adjust a standing measure to a growing bulk; and therefore I think it is not an insignificant subtilty, if I say that we are carefully to distinguish between the idea of the infinity of space, and the idea of a space infinite: the first is nothing but a supposed endless progression of the mind, over what repeated ideas of space it pleases; but to have actually in the mind the idea of a space infinite, is to suppose the mind already passed over, and actually to have a view of all those repeated ideas of space, which an endless repetition can never totally represent to it; which carries in it a plain contradiction.

Du Bois, W. E. B.. The Souls of Black Folk. Lit2Go Edition. 1903. Web. . February 20, 2018.

Books and treatises written, or supposed to be written, by Mr. Locke.

§ 19. Fifthly, The only imaginable help in this case would be, that having framed perfect complex ideas of the properties of things, flowing from their different real essences, we should thereby distinguish them into species. But neither can this be done; for being ignorant of the real essence itself, it is impossible to know all those properties that flow from it, and are so annexed to it, that any one of them being away, we may certainly conclude, that that essence is not there, and so the thing is not of that species. We can never know what is the precise number of properties depending on the real essence of gold, any one of which failing, the real essence of gold, and consequently gold, would not be there, unless we knew the real essence of gold itself, and by that determined that species. By the word gold here, I must be understood to design a particular piece of matter; v. g. the last guinea that was coined. For if it should stand here in its ordinary signification for that complex idea, which I or any one else calls gold; i. e. for the nominal essence of gold, it would be jargon: so hard is it to show the various meaning and imperfection of words, when we have nothing else but words to do it by.

W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, Li2Go edition, (1903), accessed February 20, 2018, .

Select Books of the Old Testament and Apocrypha, paraphrased.

It was too much to be expected, that such a performance should pass without animadversion. Accordingly, there issued from Oxford, printed at the Theatre, 1690, in quarto, a small tract, intitled, ‘The Argument of the Letter concerning Toleration, briefly considered and answered.—Imprimatur, Jonathan Edwards, Vice-Can. Oxon.’