The House of Jacob


W.E.B. Du Bois


February 1, 1920

Where is the chief seat of lawlessness in this land?

The South.

Where is the highest murder rate in the land and the fewest convictions?

In the South.

Where is education at its lowest ebb, school terms shortest, teachers’ wages lowest, school children fewest?

In the South.

Where is the percentage of child labor highest and the “age of consent” lowest?

In the South.

Who has defied the Constitution of the United States, the statutes of their own states, and the decalogue?

The South.

Who has disfranchised its citizens wholesale, and for fifty years lynched, burned, and tortured them?

The South.

Who holds forty-two “rotten borough” seats in Congress, stolen from black men, and uses them to defeat the will of the voters of the land?

The South.

Who elects the President of the United States, in defiance of the number of votes cast?

The South.

Who hates racial amalgamation so bitterly that it has raised three million mulattoes?

The South.

Who is leading the fight in Congress to stop “lawlessness” and “sedition”?


What do they really want to stop?

Criticism of the South.

Who has a body of intelligent, just, men who know that these things are wrong and foul and that they must be righted?

The South.

Where are these men when they are needed for action?

God knows!

What are YOU going to do about it?

“Cry aloud and spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and shew my people their transgression and the House of Jacob their sins.”


For attribution, please cite this work as:
Du Bois, W.E.B. 1920. “The House of Jacob.” The Crisis 19 (4): 171.