It was no accident that W.E.B. Du Bois called his book The Souls Of Black Folk, says Ibram X. Kendi, author of Stamped From The Beginning: The Definitive History Of Racist Ideas In America. Du Bois wasn't looking for a catchy title — he was reacting to the reality of his times.
"Racist Americans were making the case that black people did not have souls," Kendi says. "And the beings that did not have souls were beasts."