The Souls of Black Folk

The Souls of Black Folk Characters

W.E.B. Du Bois

As well as being the author and narrator of the book, Du Bois also plays a prominent role as a character within his own narrative. Much of the book consists of first-person accounts of Du… (read full character analysis)

Booker T. Washington

At the time Du Bois was writing, Booker T. Washington was the most famous African-American leader in history. Born around 1856 into slavery, Washington later worked for the uplift of Southern black people through the… (read full character analysis)


Josie appears in the chapter on Du Bois’ time teaching in Tennessee. Having graduated from the Teachers’ Institute, Du Bois searches in vain for a school in need of a teacher, and it’s only… (read full character analysis)

Burghardt Du Bois

Burghardt is the infant son of W.E.B. Du Bois. He dies as a baby, and his brief life and death are chronicled in the chapter entitled “Of the Passing of the First-Born.” Although Burghardt… (read full character analysis)

Alexander Crummell

Like Booker T. Washington, Alexander Crummell also gets his own chapter in The Souls of Black Folk, although Du Bois’ presentation of Crummell is much more flattering. Indeed, Du Bois’ inclusion of… (read full character analysis)
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John Jones

Du Bois dedicates a whole chapter to the story of John Jones, a fictional character arguably representative of late 19th century Southern black men as a whole. John grows up in Altamaha in Southeast Georgia… (read full character analysis)