The Immortal Child

by W. E. B. DuBois

If a man dies shall he live again? We do not Know. But this we do know, that our children's children live forever and grow and develop toward perfection as they are trained. All human problems, then, center in the Immortal Child and his education is the problem of problems.


In the treatment of the child the world foreshadows its own future and faith. All words and all thinking lead to the child,--to that vast immortality and wide sweep of infinite possibility which the child represents.


Remember, too, that ... the ... child-mind has what your tired soul may have lost faith in,--the Power and the Glory.

Out of little, unspoiled souls rise up wonderful resources and healing balm...

--a power and impulse toward good which is the mightiest thing man has...

a great, moving, guiding ideal!

With this Power there comes, in the transfiguring soul of childhood, the Glory: the vision of accomplishment, the lofty ideal. Once let the strength of the motive work, and it becomes the life task of the parent to guide and to shape the ideal; to raise it from resentment and revenge to dignity and self-respect, to breadth and accomplishment, to human service; to beat back every thought of cringing and surrender.

Here, at last, we can speak with no hesitation, with no lack of faith. For we know that as the world grows better there will be realized in our children's lives that for which we fight unfalteringly, but vainly now.


Excerpted from the chapter "The Immortal Child" in his book, Darkwater.

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