W.E.B. Dubois on Race Hardship

Posted by admin on Friday, January 9, 2015

W.E.B. Dubois saying race plays a role in poverty where riches surround those without hope of sharing the wealth. W.E.B. Dubois said:
To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships Quote

“To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships” — W.E.B. Dubois


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This quote from W.E.B. Du Bois suggests that experiencing poverty as an individual presents difficulties, but facing systemic economic disadvantages due to one’s race in a wealthy nation compounds hardships profoundly. Some key points in interpreting his perspective:

  • Du Bois portrays socioeconomic inequalities along racial lines as creating “the very bottom of hardships” compared to being a poor person of the dominant/privileged race.
  • He implies that enduring racial discrimination and lack of equitable opportunities in addition to lacking financial means intensifies disadvantages and suffering.
  • Du Bois’ perspective conveys the viewpoint that racism not only impoverishes communities but also undermines human dignity and potential through denying equal participation in society’s prosperity.
  • A balanced interpretation acknowledges both Du Bois’ stance highlighting the compounded burdens of racism and class, and the ongoing nature of discussions around justice, equity and continued progress toward inclusive policies and mindsets that empower all communities according to their circumstances and goals over generations.

Overall, the quote conveys Du Bois’ belief that systemic racism exacerbated economic struggles facing African Americans. But the best analysis considers this perspective as one viewpoint in complex, long-term discussions, and recognizes that optimizing welfare requires ongoing care, empathy, consent and reform where possible through civic participation to strengthen communities by empowering individuals to freely pursue fulfilling lives according to their own values and situations as conditions change.

Birthday: February 23, 1868 – Death: August 27, 1963

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