W. E. B. Du Bois was a public intellectual, sociologist, and activist on behalf of the African American community. He profoundly shaped black political culture in the United States through his founding role in the NAACP, as well as internationally through the Pan-African movement. Du Bois'ssociological and historical research on African-American communities and culture broke ground in many areas, including the history of the post-Civil War Reconstruction period. Du Bois was also a prolific author of novels, autobiographical accounts, innumerable editorials and journalistic pieces, andseveral works of history.Du Bois called his epic Black Flame trilogy a fiction of interpretation. It acts as a representative biography of African American history by following one man, Manuel Mansart, from his birth in 1876 until his death. The Black Flame attempts to use this historical fiction of interpretation to recastand revisit the African American experience. Readers will appreciate The Black Flame trilogy as a clear articulation of Du Bois's perspective at the end of his life.The first book in this profound trilogy, The Ordeal of Mansart, chronicles Mansart's early life during the time of Reconstruction through his involvement in black education in Atlanta. Written with lyrical, vivid prose and with accurate historical context, The Ordeal of Mansart offers readers a peekinto African American life and struggle through the lens of Mansart's humble life. With a series introduction by editor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and an introduction by Brent Hayes Edwards, this edition is essential for anyone interested in African American literature.