When it was published in 1903, The Souls of Black Folk revolutionized thinking about the experience of African Americans in the United States. This collection of essays on African American history, culture, and society probes fundamental issues of race and justice and documents Du Bois’s conviction that the "soul" of the black community must be preserved and revered. The text reprinted here is that of the first book edition (1903). "Contexts" presents a fascinating collection of political and biographical documents related to the text. Also included are eighteen photographs that accompanied Du Bois’s 1901 article "The Negro As He Really Is." "Criticism" offers thirteen contemporary and recent assessments of Du Bois and Souls, rounding out the picture of this enduring work.