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The Talented Tenth

Read the Talented Tenth (Source Collection Chapter 19)
Review the rubric: your answers must be backed up by your Chapter readings as well as on the text itself (i.e. quotes)
Answer the following questions: make sure to number your responses accordingly

1. Who is Du Bois?
  – How does the author try to get the message across? What methods does he/she use?
    -What do you know about the author? Race, sex, class, occupation, religion, age,
    -region, political beliefs? Does any of this matter? How?
    -Who constituted the intended audience? Was this source meant for one person’s
    eyes, or for the public? How does that affect the source?
    -What can a careful reading of the text (even if it is an object) tell you? How does the
      language work? What are the important metaphors or symbols? What can the
    author’s choice of words tell you? What about the silences–what does the author
    choose NOT to talk about?
2. Although Du Bois does not say so, by arguing for a leading role of a Talented Tenth of blacks, what is he implying about whites as well as blacks? Should a race or class be measured by its best and brightest or by the lowest common denominator?
3. Who was Benjamin Banneker? Why does Du Bois quote his letter to Jefferson?
4. Is there any area of agreement between Washington and Du Bois? What is essential, either to the rank and file of African Americans, or to the Talented Tenth, for blacks to achieve equality?
5. Du Bois believed education was a lever to uplift a people. Find recent statistics about the number of African-American college graduates. Then compare these figures with the number of African-American college graduates3,880in 1900.
6. Today’s relevance of the Talented Tenth

 

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