Dwelling above the Veil

That elusive DuBois quote from last week’s class–“Wed with truth, I dwell above the Veil”–is here presented in context, from “Of the Training of Black Men” in The Souls of Black Folk:

I sit with Shakespeare and he winces not. Across the color line I move arm in arm with Balzac and Dumas, where smiling men and welcoming women glide in gilded halls. From out the caves of evening that swing between the strong-limbed earth and tracery of the stars, I summon Aristotle and Aurelius and what soul I will, and they come all graciously with no scorn or condescension. So, wed with Truth, I dwell above the Veil. Is this the life you grudge us, O knightly America? Is this the life you long to change into dull red hideousness of Georgia? Are you so afraid lest peering from this high Pisgah, between Philistine and Amalekite, we sight the Promised Land?

One thought on “Dwelling above the Veil

  1. I still wonder if Du Bois thought it possible to actually “dwell above the veil.” I don’t have the book in front of me right now, but I remember throughout his readings thinking of Goethe’s Faust, and the idea of striving without ever being able to achieve an ultimate goal… it may be a long stretch, but since Du Bois was educated through German schools of thought, he may have taken such theories into consideration.

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