W.E.B. Du Bois said, on the launch of his groundbreaking 1903 treatise, The
Souls of Black Folk, "for the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of
the color-line", a prescient statement. Setting out to show "the strange meaning
of being black here in the dawning of the twentieth century," Du Bois explains
the meaning of the emancipation, and its effect, and his views on the roles of
the leaders of his race.