W.E.B Du Bois never fails to rally his audience, luring them into a trance filled with ideas of black pride and Democracy while incorporating an overall uplifting tone for his fellow African-Americans. Returning Soldiers is no different. Speaking to an elite group of black men who managed to conquer all odds on the battlefield, he explains the relationship between blacks and America using athletic language to fuel the journey. Emotional highs and lows included, he moves you through the text teaching while inspiring you in the same breathe.
Despite America’s most tragic habits towards blacks, lynching, theft, and disfranchisement to name a few, Du Bois states that in the name of Democracy the war is far from over. The Harlem Hell Fighter’s time overseas served as a pledge of allegiance to our flag. It didn’t matter that America “organized a nation-wide and latterly a world-wide propaganda of deliberate and continuous insult and defamation of black blood wherever found” as Du Bois explained. It also didn't matter that for fifty years two Negros a week were lynched, even during the war which the lynched fought for. This is the land they called home and had no choice but to return to. These wrongs served as propellant for change. The message that W.E.B DuBois sent throughout his speech was that it’s better to accept the situation and fix it, than wallow and regress. Although easier said than done, with the momentum and inspiration from the victory in the war the impossible seemed more possible. It was a better time than ever to move the black population forward.
Equality was not something that was going to be given, if the President of the United States of America couldn’t keep his promises, no one would, the Returning Soldiers would have to take it into their own hands. His legacy lives on. The pride he instilled in young blacks can still be felt today. The fight lives on. It's important that as the sands of time sift through the hour glass, all Americans lend their hands in making this a land not only worth fighting for, but returning to.