Du Bois dedicates Chapter 13 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, and he begins the story as a hard-working and cheerful young man unaware of the reality of racial oppression. The black community in which John grows up sends him to Wells Institute, where he struggles as a student and grows embittered as he learns the truth about racism and comes to feel the presence of the Veil. On a trip to New York City, John has a humiliating encounter with the “White John,” his old childhood playmate and the son of a powerful white Judge back in Altamaha. The White John espouses racist sentiments and has Jones thrown out of a concert hall where they're both attending a show, after which a humiliated Jones returns to his hometown with hope of helping the black community. The Judge allows him to teach at the black school but orders that the school be closed as soon as he finds out that Jones is teaching the students about revolution and equality. At the end of the story, when Jones comes upon the White John assaulting Jones’s sister, Jennie, in the woods, he beats the White John to death with a tree branch. After this, he informs his mother that he’s going north again but instead goes back into the woods and passively waits to be lynched by the Judge and his angry mob. Du Bois leaves the central message of Jones’s story deliberately ambiguous. On one level, the story is a kind of bildungsroman (coming-of-age tale), a story of a young black man moving from a place of innocence to crushing awareness of racism. It is unclear, however, what moral the reader should take away from this tale. John’s story ends in bitterness, failure, and an implied violent death, yet this narrative is arguably not a warning against pursuing knowledge and striving for justice, but rather an honest—and pessimistic—exploration of what it means to be a black person in the U.S.