W. E. B. Du Bois
This pioneering work was the first full-length study of the role black Americans played in the crucial period after the Civil War, when the slaves had been freed and the attempt was made to reconstruct American society. Hailed at the time, Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 has justly been called a classic.
The Souls of Black Folk is the seminal work by Du Bois on race in late 19th-century North America. The way we think about and examine race today stems from his ideas. He spoke of the "double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others," and of the progress and obstacles to progress of the black American.