It is easy for us to lose ourselves in details in endeavoring to grasp and comprehend the real condition of a mass of human beings. We often forget that each unit in the mass is a throbbing human soul. Ignorant it may be, and poverty stricken, black and curious in limb and ways and thought; and yet it loves and hates, it toils and tires, it laughs and weeps its bitter tears, and looks in vague and awful longing at the grim horizon of its life, -- all this, even as you and I.
-- W. E. B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk, "Of the Quest of the Golden Fleece"
(I'm teaching this class again; it's week two, and this is the book we're discussing today.)