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  1. The Philadelphia Negro    




    In these essays, you will have an introduction paragraph with a hook and thesis statement, one paragraph that summarizes a reading, and then you shall have two paragraphs that focus on two of the following: How does this apply to today?, What makes this an urban issue?, How does this impact women?, Is this true for other races as well?, and What are possible solutions?
    W.E.B. DuBois, The Philadelphia Negro, Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1899 pp.1-9, 32-64








Subject Essay Writing Pages 4 Style APA


Racism has gained notoriety over the years as the most potent social cancer of our time. In recent history, particularly after the Second World War, racism was elevated into the social and political platform through structural adjustments which conferred special rights and privileges on such matters as education, citizenship, immigration, and land rights, to white Anglo-Saxons at the expense of everybody else. This paper outlines the role of racism in shaping “socially-constructed” racial strata in the Seventh Ward of Pennsylvania, a materially deprived neighborhood mainly inhabited by Negroes. Additionally, a summary of William Edward Burghardt Du Bois’ Philadelphia Negro is discussed, as well as its applications in contemporary society. Further, racism as urban issue is discussed. Whereas the sociological setting of Dubois’ work was Pennsylvania, the significance of his research extends into the wider context of racism in the United States and the world at large.

The Philadelphia Negro was a sociological investigation into social problems in Philadelphia which were later recognized as characteristically black American. According to Rose-Ackerman (2015), Dubois’ piece of writing provided a plausible representation of social exclusion of the black community, and represented was a seminal study with a specific focus on African Americans, as a sociological study subject. Dubois’ study was conducted through interviewing some 5000 respondents, from which he meticulously profiled every black individual on the basis of residence, churches attended, and business ventures. He also made a successful attempt at relating occupational opportunities with family structures. Dubois’ work proved to be groundbreaking in its redefinition of race as a sociological concept. Deductively, through Dubois’ research, the Negro problem understood as synonymous with debased lifestyle, riddled with poverty, ignorance, and crime (Rose-Ackerman, 2015).

Sociologists consider Dubois’ work as a masterpiece, and a handy tool for eradication of racism. Perhaps more useful is Dubois’ vigorous rejoinder to popular racist belief that African Americans and by extension people of color are innately amorphous and disorderly (Dubois, 1899). By implication, the foregoing assertion fuels the narrative that justifies racism as impossible to eradicate. Proponents of black anarchy cite soaring crime rates and other social maladies for their racist positions. Therefore, in routing for an objective position that hold black American communities as largely “diverse and accomplished “socioeconomic entities just as their white counterparts, Dubois challenges the social, legal, and political order which perpetuates repression of the black folks (Dubois, 1899). Thus, Dubois urges the indifferently “colorblind” America to recognize racism as a potent threat to its social fabric, and economic wellbeing. Further, Rose-Ackerman posits that Dubois’ works present racism as the result of social, legal, and civic structures which alienated blacks and colored folks from all spheres of American life

The study of race relations over the years has established a menacingly worrisome relationship of racism and the urban problem. To this end, contemporary writings have to varying degrees of success attempted to provide a unified model that amalgamates racism and economic theories on land use in urban areas (Rose-Ackerman, 2015). An in depth study of indicative prices of assets in conventionally racist cities provides appalling discovery of the hitherto unchartered side of racism as an urban issue. Accordingly Rose-Ackerman (2015) avers that racist cities tend to be less concentrated at the center, and more densely inhabited in the periurban areas. In contemporary American context, the poorer neighborhoods tend to be patronized by blacks and people of color as the more opulent folks reside in sparsely populated more privileged zones.


DuBois, W.E.B. (1899).The Philadelphia Negro, Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.

Rose-Ackerman, S. (2015). Racism and urban structure. Journal of Urban Economics, 2(1), 85-103.







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