How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?

by

Moustafa Bayoumi

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W.E.B. Du Bois Term Analysis

An acclaimed African-American sociologist and civil rights activist who fought for racial equality in the early 20th century. He remains best known for the classic study The Souls of Black Folk (1903), which he opened by asking, “How does it feel to be a problem?” Bayoumi took Du Bois’s question for his title because he sees Arab and Muslim-Americans as the 21st century version of this “problem.”

W.E.B. Du Bois Quotes in How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?

The How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? quotes below are all either spoken by W.E.B. Du Bois or refer to W.E.B. Du Bois. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Racism, Discrimination, and Foreign Policy Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Penguin edition of How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? published in 2008.
Preface Quotes

The last several years have taken their toll. I ask him about life after September 11 for Arab Americans. “We're the new blacks,” he says. “You know that, right?”

Related Characters: Moustafa Bayoumi (speaker), Sade (speaker)
Page Number: 2
Explanation and Analysis:
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W.E.B. Du Bois Term Timeline in How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?

The timeline below shows where the term W.E.B. Du Bois appears in How Does It Feel to Be a Problem?. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Preface
Racism, Discrimination, and Foreign Policy Theme Icon
Justice, Activism, and the Future of American Democracy Theme Icon
...system of Jim Crow segregation more than a century ago, the black sociologist and activist W.E.B. Du Bois asked, “How does it feel to be a problem?” Throughout American history, groups from Native... (full context)
Afterword
Justice, Activism, and the Future of American Democracy Theme Icon
...law enforcement officials. Arab Americans’ fate, like that of African-Americans a century ago, is (in W.E.B. Du Bois ’s words) “a concrete test of the underlying principles of the great republic.” (full context)