"a vast veil. ..."
See in text (I. Of Our Spiritual Strivings)
Du Bois's experience in elementary school demonstrates the prevalence of racial discrimination in Northern communities. He sees the white world through a "vast veil"; however, he is never permitted to participate in it. He holds that world in "common contempt," opting instead to live above it—and dominate it through scholastic, athletic, and social achievements.
Subscribe to unlock »
"I saw the shadow of the Veil as it passed over my baby, ..."
See in text (XI. Of the Passing of the First-Born)
Du Bois finds a measure of hope in the birth of his firstborn son. He describes seeing his baby divided by the Veil, the separation between black and white that makes a mockery of American freedom. Still, his son represents hope in an "unhopeful" time, and this hope "stilled with an even-song the unvoiced terror" of Du Bois's life.