Socialism and the Struggle of Black People in America

In this speech, W.E.B Dubois discusses Socialism and the Struggle of Black People in America

00:44…..”In the little New England town where I was born, we had a high school of about 25 pupils. I entered it in 1880 at the age of 12. As I attended the town meeting annually, in the Spring, there used regularly to appear, one of the dirtiest old men I ever saw. He was fat and greasy and every year he made the fierce attack of wasting his taxes on a high school. I was always furious. I wondered why the citizens sat silent and let him rant. But they did. And then quietly they voted the money for the high school. There I learned my lesson in democracy. Listen to the other side.”

12:33……”I returned with completely changed ideas. I saw socialism as he most successful form of government today possible in the Soviet Union and in the Chinese Republic. I saw it evolving into communism to an astonishing successful degree. On the other hand, I was frightened and I am still alarmed at the degeneracy of capitalism and the possibility of it becoming a force so destructive that it cannot be endured.”

26:51…. “On the other hand, there are signs in this nation which should give us pause. There is stealing, cheating, poisoning, gambling and killing to a frightening degree. Our exports do not pay for our imports and we are settling the deficit by exporting four thousand, million dollars of our hoard of gold in the past two years. Unemployment among our workers, despite our desperate efforts to conceal the truth, is far too high. Adulteration of food and overpricing of medicines have reached alarming heights. And the cost of living is continuously rising.”

“American students must dare to study the Soviet Union and China as carefully as they study Great Britain and France. But especially, American negroes must know what is going on in the world today and learn for themselves what this has to teach them. In order that they may preserve their culture, get rid of their poverty and ignorance and disease and help America live up at least to a shadow of its vain boast of land of the free and home of the brave.”

Scroll to Top