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W. E. B. Du Bois
Who2 Biography: W. E. B. Du Bois, Writer / Social Reformer
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Born: 23 February 1868
Birthplace: Great Barrington, Massachusetts
27 August 1963
Best Known As: Author of The Souls of Black Folk
Name at birth: William Edward Burghardt DuBois
Scholar and political activist W.E.B. Du Bois helped found the National Association
for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). DuBois attended Harvard University and in 1895 became the first African-American
to receive a doctorate from the school. He became a university professor, a prolific writer and a pioneering social scientist
on the topic of black culture. DuBois particularly disagreed with black leaders such as Booker T. Washington who urged integration
into white society; Du Bois championed global African unity and (especially in later years) separatism. He distilled his views
in his famous 1903 book The Souls of Black Folk. In 1909 he was a founding member of the NAACP, an organization promoting
progress and social equality for blacks. Du Bois continued for decades as a strong public voice on behalf of African-Americans.
In the 1950s he clashed with the federal government over his support for labor, his public appreciations of the Soviet Union,
and his demands that nuclear weapons be outlawed. He emigrated to Ghana in 1961 and became a citizen of that country shortly
before his death in 1963. The Autobiography of W.E.B. DuBois was published posthumously in 1968.
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Literature: W. E. B. Du Bois
Home > Library > Literature & Language > African American LiteratureDu
Bois, W. E. B. (18681963), essayist, novelist, journalist, critic, and perhaps the preeminent African American scholar-intellectual.
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, in 1868. He was born into a small community
of blacks who had settled in the region since at least the Revolutionary War, in which an ancestor had fought. His mother,
Mary Sylvina Burghardt, married a restless young visitor to the region, Alfred Du Bois, who disappeared soon after the birth
of his son. Du Bois grew up a thorough New Englander, as he recalled, a member of the Congregational Church and a star student
in the local schools, where he was encouraged to excel.
In 1885 he left Great Barrington for Nashville, Tennessee, to enter Fisk University.
The racism of the South appalled him: No one but a Negro going into the South without previous experience of color caste can
have any conception of its barbarism. Nevertheless he enjoyed life at Fisk, from which he was graduated in 1888. He then enrolled
at Harvard, where he completed another bachelor's degree in 1890 before going on to graduate school there in history.
At Harvard his professors included William James, George Santayana, and the historian
A. B. Hart. He then spent two years at the University of Berlin studying history and sociology and coming close to earning
a second doctorate. Du Bois enjoyed his stay in Europe, which greatly expanded his notions about the possibilities of culture
and civilization. Then, in 1894, he dropped back, as he himself put it, into nigger-hating America.
Despite his education, most jobs were closed to him. In the next few years Du Bois taught
unhappily at black Wilberforce University in Ohio, carried out a complex project in empirical sociology in a black section
of Philadelphia for the University of Pennsylvania, and then, in 1897, settled in to teach economics, history, and sociology
at Atlanta University.
His doctoral thesis, The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States
16381870, was published in 1896 as the first volume of the Harvard Historical Studies, to be followed in 1899 by his acclaimed
study in empirical sociology, The Philadelphia Negro. However, in 1903, as Du Bois became more disenchanted with race relations
in the South and increasingly saw social science as relatively powerless to change social conditions, he moved away from strict
scholarship to publish a landmark collection of prose pieces, The Souls of Black Folk.
This volume, which expressly attacked Booker T.Washington, the most powerful black American
of the age, brought Du Bois to controversial prominence among blacks. Brilliantly written and extraordinarily rich and complex
as a portrait of black life, it also became a sort of Bible for younger black intellectuals and artists in America.
Du Bois's growing dissatisfaction with scholarship in general led him while at Atlanta
to ventures in journalism as editor of two magazines, the Moon and the Horizon, between 1905 and 1909. He also published a
biography, John Brown (1909), about the martyr of Harpers Ferry, that underscored his growing interest in radical action.
Finally, in 1910, he gave up his professorship in Atlanta to move to New York as director of publicity of the new NAACP and
as founder and editor of its magazine, the Crisis.
Du Bois quickly made the journal a trumpet against all forms of racism, as well as a
reliable vehicle for writers young and old. Aiming consciously to stimulate artistic activity among younger blacks, he wrote
of a coming renaissance. In 1911 he himself published a novel, The Quest of the Silver Fleece, about blacks and cotton in
the South, that suggested the influence of Frank Norris. In 1915, reflecting a deepening knowledge of Africa, came The Negro,
his Pan-Africanist account of the history of blacks in Africa and around the world. In 1920 he published his second collection
of fugitive pieces, this time including some verse, Dark-water: Voices from within the Veil. This volume showed him starkly
alienated and embittered, especially as compared to the self-portrait in The Souls of Black Folk, with which the new volume
Between 1919 and 1926, Jessie Redmon Fauset served as literary editor of the Crisis
and helped to attract early work by Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, and other young writers of the Harlem Renaissance. In
1926, however, in a Crisis symposium called The Negro in Art, Du Bois attacked many of the younger writers for failing to
recognize their political responsibilities. All art is propaganda, he insisted, in a reversal of an earlier position, and
ever must be, despite the wailing of the purists. To illustrate his point, he contributed a novel, Dark Princess (1928), about
a black American man, the beautiful Indian princess with whom he falls in love, and a plot among representatives of the darker
nations of the world to rid themselves forever of white domination.
In 1934, with the Crisis circulation greatly reduced and the Renaissance exhausted by
the Great Depression, Du Bois resigned from the NAACP after years of tension with other leaders. He returned to Atlanta University
to teach there. The next year he published Black Reconstruction in America, a massive treatise built largely on secondary
material, about the post-Civil War period in the South. The work was highly colored by Du Bois's renewed interest in Marxism,
to which he had been drawn earlier, and by his sometimes overwhelming dramatic sense. In 1940 his autobiography Dusk of Dawn:
An Essay Toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept explored the relationship between his life and the evolution of theories
of race in America and elsewhere.
In 1944 Du Bois rejoined the NAACP in New York as director of special research. Before
long, however, he was again in conflict with the Association leaders over his growing interest in Communism and what he saw
as their conservatism. In 1948 the Association fired him, this time for good. He joined forces with Paul Robeson and others
in the Council of African Affairs, an anticolonialist organization, but also associated himself openly with other elements
of the international Left. In 1950 he ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate on the Labor Party ticket. In 1951 he was indicted
by a grand jury and arrested for operating as the unregistered agent of a foreign power because of his involvement with a
group called the Peace Information Center, of which he was chairman. After the trial judge threw out the case, Du Bois wrote
about his experiencesin In Battle for Peace: The Story of My Eighty-Third Birthday (1952).
In the 1950s he consolidated his links to Communism. He was prominent in the outcry
against the execution of the Rosenbergs and took part in their funeral service. The government retaliated by seizing his passport
and holding it for several years. Still Du Bois continued to write. In his last years he published The Black Flame, a trilogy
of novels: The Ordeal of Mansart (1957), Mansart Builds a School (1959), and Worlds of Color (1961). These novels offered
an encyclopedic account of modern African American and world history seen from a radical perspective, mainly through the experiences
of a stalwart though intellectually mediocre African American educator, Manuel Mansart. The trilogy was ignored by virtually
all American critics and reviewers, black or white.
In 1959, after much travel following the restoration of his passport, he emigrated to
Ghana. He did so at the invitation of its president, Kwame Nkrumah, to begin work on an Encyclopedia Africana, in which Du
Bois had taken an almost lifelong interest. At the same time, he publicly applied for membership in the U.S. Communist Party.
In Africa, he renounced his U.S. citizenship and became a citizen of Ghana. He died in Accra in August 1963.
Merely as the author of five novels and enough poems for a slender volume, Du Bois deserves
a place in African American literary history. However, his impact on black literature went well beyond his efforts as a poet
or writer of fiction. The Souls of Black Folk revolutionized African American self-perception by locating the black personality
and character in the context of history, sociology, religion, music, and art as it had never been located before. Du Bois's
concept of double consciousness and his image of black Americans as living behind a veil in America, which he developed in
harmony with astute critical analyses of history and sociology, opened up the representational world for black artists responding
to the crisis in which African Americans have been forced to live.
His many brilliant essays, backed by a rare command of black history and social complexity,
were a resource on which generations of black intellectuals and artists drew. The grand tribute given Du Bois by Arthur Spingarn
of the NAACP when Du Bois resigned from the organization in 1934 is hardly off the mark: He created, what never existed before,
a Negro intelligentsia, and many who have never read a word of his writings are his spiritual disciples and descendants.
[See also Graham, Shirley.]
Francis L. Broderick W. E. B. Du Bois: Negro Leader in a Time of Crisis, 1959.
Rudr, wick, W. E. B. Du Bois: Propagandist of the Negro Protest, 1968.
Shirley Graham Du Bois, His Day Is Marching On:
A Memoir of W. E. B. Du Bois, 1971.
Herbert Aptheker, ed., Annotated Bibliography of the Published Writings of W. E. B.
Du Bois, 1973.
William L. Andrews, ed., Critical Essays on W. E. B. Du Bois, 1985.
Herbert Aptheker, ed., The Complete
Published Works of W. E. B. Du Bois, 35 vols., 19731985.
Nathan I. Huggins, ed. W. E. B. Du Bois: Writings, 1990.
Rampersad, The Art and Imagination of W. E. B. Du Bois, 1990.
David Levering Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race,
Shamoon Zamir, Dark Voices: W.E.B. Du Bois and American Thought, 18881903, 1996
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Britannica Concise Encyclopedia: W. E. B. Du Bois
Top Home > Library
> Miscellaneous > Britannica Concise EncyclopediaWilliam Edward Burghardt Du Bois
(born Feb. 23, 1868, Great Barrington, Mass., U.S. died Aug. 27, 1963, Accra,
Ghana) U.S. sociologist and civil-rights leader. He received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1895. Two years later he accepted
a professorship at Atlanta University, where he conducted empirical studies on the social situation of African Americans (1897
1910). He concluded that change could be attained only through agitation and protest, a view that clashed with that of Booker
T. Washington. His famous book The Souls of Black Folk appeared in 1903. In 1905 Du Bois founded the Niagara Movement, the
forerunner of the NAACP. In 1910 he left teaching to become the NAACP's director of research and editor of its magazine, Crisis
(1910 34). He returned to Atlanta University in 1934 and devoted the next 10 years to teaching and scholarship. After
a second research position with the NAACP (1944 48), he moved steadily leftward politically. In 1951 he was indicted
as an unregistered agent of a foreign power (the Soviet Union); though a federal judge directed his acquittal, he was by then
completely disillusioned with the U.S. In 1961 he joined the Communist Party, moved to Ghana, and renounced his U.S. citizenship.
more information on William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, visit Britannica.com.
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US Military History Companion: W. E. B. Du Bois
Top Home > Library > History,
Politics & Society > US Military History Companion
(18681963), civil rights leader and author
Born in Great
Barrington, Massachusetts, W. E. B. Du Bois earned undergraduate degrees at Fisk University (1885) and Harvard (1890), and
a doctorate in history from Harvard in 1895. Du Bois taught history and economics at Atlanta University in 18971910 and 193444.
From 1910 to 1934, he served as founding editor of the Crisis, the official organ of the new National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
When his most influential book, The Souls of Black Folk, was published in 1903, Du Bois
became the premier architect of the civil rights movement in the United States and among the first thinkers to grasp the international
implications of the struggle for racial justice. The problem of the twentieth century, he wrote then, was the problem of the
Du Bois's legacy is complex. A severe critic of racial segregation, he still enjoined
other African Americans to accept, if temporarily, the segregated units and officer training facilities of the U.S. Army in
191718in the hope that wartime military service would lead to full civil rights. An elitist who emphasized the leadership
role of a talented tenth in the liberation of black people, Du Bois moved increasingly to the Left after World War II, denouncing
U.S. Cold War policies as imperialistic and espousing Communist solutions to problems of race and class. He joined the U.S.
Communist Party in 1961 and spent the last two years of his life in Ghana.
[See also Civil Liberties and War; Race Relations and War.]
David Levering Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race. Vol. 1, 1993
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William Edward Burghardt Du Bois
Top Home > Library > Miscellaneous > Biographies
William Edward Burghardt
Du Bois (1868-1963) was a major African American scholar, an early leader in the 20th-century African American protest movement,
and an advocate of pan-Africanism.
On Feb. 23, 1868, W. E. B. Du Bois was born in Great Barrington, Mass., where he grew
up. During his youth he did some newspaper reporting. In 1884 he graduated as valedictorian from high school. He got his bachelor
of arts from Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn., in 1888, having spent summers teaching in African American schools in Nashville's
rural areas. In 1888 he entered Harvard University as a junior, took a bachelor of arts cum laude in 1890, and was one of
six commencement speakers. From 1892 to 1894 he pursued graduate studies in history and economics at the University of Berlin
on a Slater Fund fellowship. He served for 2 years as professor of Greek and Latin at Wilberforce University in Ohio.
In 1891 Du Bois got his master of arts and in 1895 his doctorate in history from Harvard.
His dissertation, The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870, was published as
No. 1 in the Harvard Historical Series. This important work has yet to be surpassed. In 1896 he married Nina Gomer, and they
had two children.
In 1896-1897 Du Bois became assistant instructor in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.
There he conducted the pioneering sociological study of an urban community, published as The Philadelphia Negro: A Social
Study (1899). These first two works assured Du Bois's place among America's leading scholars.
Du Bois's life and work were an inseparable mixture of scholarship, protest activity,
and polemics. All of his efforts were geared toward gaining equal treatment for black people in a world dominated by whites
and toward marshaling and presenting evidence to refute the myths of racial inferiority.
As Racial Activist
In 1905 Du Bois was a founder and general secretary of the Niagara movement, an African
American protest group of scholars and professionals. Du Bois founded and edited the Moon (1906) and the Horizon (1907-1910)
as organs for the Niagara movement. In 1909 Du Bois was among the founders of the National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People (NAACP) and from 1910 to 1934 served it as director of publicity and research, a member of the board of
directors, and editor of the Crisis, its monthly magazine.
In the Crisis, Du Bois directed a constant stream of agitation - often bitter and sarcastic
- at white Americans while serving as a source of information and pride to African Americans. The magazine always published
young African American writers. Racial protest during the decade following World War I focused on securing antilynching legislation.
During this period the NAACP was the leading protest organization and Du Bois its leading figure.
In 1934 Du Bois resigned from the NAACP board and from the Crisis because of his new
advocacy of an African American nationalist strategy: African American controlled institutions, schools, and economic cooperatives.
This approach opposed the NAACP's commitment to integration. However, he returned to the NAACP as director of special research
from 1944 to 1948. During this period he was active in placing the grievances of African Americans before the United Nations,
serving as a consultant to the UN founding convention (1945) and writing the famous "An Appeal to the World" (1947).
Du Bois was a member of the Socialist party from 1910 to 1912 and always considered
himself a Socialist. In 1948 he was cochairman of the Council on African Affairs; in 1949 he attended the New York, Paris,
and Moscow peace congresses; in 1950 he served as chairman of the Peace Information Center and ran for the U.S. Senate on
the American Labor party ticket in New York. In 1950-1951 Du Bois was tried and acquitted as an agent of a foreign power in
one of the most ludicrous actions ever taken by the American government. Du Bois traveled widely throughout Russia and China
in 1958-1959 and in 1961 joined the Communist party of the United States. He also took up residence in Ghana, Africa, in 1961.
Du Bois was also active in behalf of pan-Africanism and concerned with the conditions
of people of African descent wherever they lived. In 1900 he attended the First Pan-African Conference held in London, was
elected a vice president, and wrote the "Address to the Nations of the World." The Niagara movement included a "pan-African
department." In 1911 Du Bois attended the First Universal Races Congress in London along with black intellectuals from Africa
and the West Indies.
Du Bois organized a series of pan-African congresses around the world, in 1919, 1921,
1923, and 1927. The delegations comprised intellectuals from Africa, the West Indies, and the United States. Though resolutions
condemning colonialism and calling for alleviation of the oppression of Africans were passed, little concrete action was taken.
The Fifth Congress (1945, Manchester, England) elected Du Bois as chairman, but the power was clearly in the hands of younger
activists, such as George Padmore and Kwame Nkrumah, who later became significant in the independence movements of their respective
countries. Du Bois's final pan-African gesture was to take up citizenship in Ghana in 1961 at the request of President Kwame
Nkrumah and to begin work as director of the Encyclopedia Africana.
Du Bois's most lasting contribution is his writing. As poet, playwright, novelist, essayist,
sociologist, historian, and journalist, he wrote 21 books, edited 15 more, and published over 100 essays and articles. Only
a few of his most significant works will be mentioned here.
From 1897 to 1910 Du Bois served as professor of economics and history at Atlanta University,
where he organized conferences titled the Atlanta University Studies of the Negro Problem and edited or coedited 16 of the
annual publications, on such topics as The Negro in Business (1899), The Negro Artisan (1902), The Negro Church (1903), Economic
Cooperation among Negro Americans (1907), and The Negro American Family (1908). Other significant publications were The Souls
of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches (1903), one of the outstanding collections of essays in American letters, and John Brown
(1909), a sympathetic portrayal published in the American Crisis Biographies series.
Du Bois also wrote two novels, The Quest of the Silver Fleece (1911) and Dark Princess:
A Romance (1928); a book of essays and poetry, Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil (1920); and two histories of black people,
The Negro (1915) and The Gift of Black Folk: Negroes in the Making of America (1924).
From 1934 to 1944 Du Bois was chairman of the department of sociology at Atlanta University.
In 1940 he founded Phylon, a social science quarterly. Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 (1935), perhaps his most
significant historical work, details the role of African Americans in American society, specifically during the Reconstruction
period. The book was criticized for its use of Marxist concepts and for its attacks on the racist character of much of American
historiography. However, it remains the best single source on its subject.
Black Folk, Then and Now (1939) is an elaboration of the history of black people in
Africa and the New World. Color and Democracy: Colonies and Peace (1945) is a brief call for the granting of independence
to Africans, and The World and Africa: An Inquiry into the Part Which Africa Has Played in World History (1947; enlarged ed.
1965) is a major work anticipating many later scholarly conclusions regarding the significance and complexity of African history
and culture. A trilogy of novels, collectively entitled The Black Flame (1957, 1959, 1961), and a selection of his writings,
An ABC of Color (1963), are also worthy.
Du Bois received many honorary degrees, was a fellow and life member of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters. He was the outstanding
African American intellectual of his period in America.
Du Bois died in Ghana on Aug. 27, 1963, on the eve of the civil rights march in Washington,
D.C. He was given a state funeral, at which Kwame Nkrumah remarked that he was "a phenomenon."
Indispensable starting points for an understanding of Du Bois's life are his autobiographical
writings (the dates are of the most recent editions): The Autobiography of W. E. B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life
from the Last Decades of Its First Century (1968); Dusk of Dawn: An Essay toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept (1968);
Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil (1969); and The Souls of Black Folk (1969). Two critical biographies are Francis L.
Broderick, W.E. B. Du Bois: Negro Leader in a Time of Crisis (1959), and Elliott M. Rudwick, W. E. B. Du Bois: A Study of
Minority Group Leadership (1960; 1968). Also of importance is the W. E. B. Du Bois memorial issue of Freedomways magazine
(vol. 5, no. 1, 1965). This was expanded and published in book form as Black Titan: W. E. B. Du Bois (1970). Arna Bontemps,
100 Years of Negro Freedom (1963), has a biographical sketch. Meyer Weinberg, Walter Wilson, Julius Lester, and Andrew G.
Paschal edited Du Bois readers. Philip S. Foner edited W. E. B. Du Bois Speaks (1970), two volumes of speeches and addresses.
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Black Biography: W. E. B. Du Bois
Top Home > Library > History, Politics &
Society > Black Biographiessocial scientist; activist; writer; editor; educator
Born William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (surname pronounced "du boyce"), February 23,
1868, in Great Barrington, MA; emigrated to Ghana, c. 1960, naturalized citizen, 1963; died August 27, 1963, in Accra, Ghana;
buried in Accra; son of Alfred and Mary Silvina (Burghardt) Du Bois; married Nina Gomer, May 12, 1896 (died July 1, 1950);
married Shirley Graham (an author), February 14, 1951 (died, 1977); children: (first marriage) Burghardt Gomer (died, c. 1903),
Nina Yolande (deceased), David Graham (stepson from second marriage).
Education: Fisk University, B.A., 1888; Harvard University,
B.A. (cum laude), 1890, M.A., 1891, Ph.D., 1895; attended University of Berlin, 1892-94.
Politics: Joined Communist party,
Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, OH, professor of classics, 1894-96; University
of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, assistant professor in sociology, 1896-97; Atlanta University, Atlanta, GA, professor of history
and economics, 1897-1910, professor and chairman of department of sociology, 1934-44; National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People (NAACP), New York City, director of publicity and editor of Crisis, 1910-34, director of special research,
1944-48; Peace Information Center, New York City, director, 1950. Founder, 1897, and vice-president of the American Negro
Academy; vice-chairman of Council of African Affairs, 1949; candidate for U.S. Senate (NY), American Labor Party, 1950.
From the late 1890s through the 1940s, W. E. B. Du Bois was one of the leading black
intellectuals and the foremost champion of equal rights for blacks in the United States. At a time when many black Americans
sought to improve their status by adapting to the ideals of white society and tolerating discrimination and segregation, Du
Bois was a tireless proponent of unconditional equal and civil rights for all blacks. As a social scientist, he was also a
pioneer in documenting historical and social truths about blacks in the United States. In eloquent and forceful writings in
a variety of genres, he was the first to write of a distinct black consciousness, which he described as the peculiar "two-ness"
of being both a black and an American. Du Bois's legacy has served as the intellectual foundation of the modern-day black
protest movement. He is regarded by many as a prophet, whose words inspire oppressed people throughout the world in their
struggle for civil rights.
A partial list of Du Bois's career accomplishments gives testimony to his varied gifts
as political scientist, organizer, author, educator, and inspirational figure. Du Bois was one of the founders of the Niagara
Movement, a black protest organization that pressed for equal rights in the early 1900s. He was later a founder of the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and an editor for over thirty years of the association's journal,
the Crisis. An early proponent of Pan-Africanism (the idea of self-government for oppressed blacks around the world), he organized
several Pan-African conferences in Europe and the United States. As a highly prolific scholar and writer, Du Bois produced
a vast number of monographs, essays, memoirs, poems, novels, and plays, all of which gave eloquent testimony to his life and
various political beliefs. A professor of classics, economics, history, and sociology, he was also a frequent lecturer throughout
Du Bois (pronounced "du boyce") was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, in 1868,
a descendant of French Huguenot, Dutch, and black ancestry. By the time he was fifteen, he was a correspondent for two black
newspapers, the Springfield Republican and New York Globe, reporting on local community news. After graduating from high school
in 1884, he received a scholarship to all-black Fisk University in Nashville. There he edited the Fisk Herald and studied
classical literature, German, Greek, Latin, philosophy, chemistry, and physics. During summers, Du Bois taught school in a
small town in eastern Tennessee, where he was profoundly influenced by the dismal social and economic conditions endured by
rural blacks. At Fisk, Du Bois solidified his goals for improving the status of blacks and came to believe that higher education
was an important means of combating racial oppression.
After graduating with a B.A. from Fisk in 1888, Du Bois enrolled at Harvard University,
where he excelled as a student. He became acquainted with some of the leading intellectuals of the day, including William
James, George Palmer, George Santayana, and Albert Bushnell Hart, and was encouraged to direct his studies toward history
and the social sciences. At his Harvard commencement in 1890, he was one of five students selected to deliver an address.
Du Bois's speech on Confederate president Jefferson Davis and the issue of slavery in the United States gained him national
attention, including a prominent review in the Nation. Graduating cum laude in philosophy, Du Bois was accepted into graduate
school in political science as Harvard's Henry Bromfield Rogers Fellow and began work on his dissertation, which was on the
suppression of the African slave trade. After being awarded his master's degree in 1891, he received a Slater Fund grant,
which allowed him to study and travel overseas from 1892 to 1894. Du Bois studied history, economics, politics, and political
economy at the University of Berlin and completed a thesis on agricultural economics in the American South.
Du Bois's European travels allowed him to more fully comprehend the racially based social
structure of the United States. On the eve of his twenty-fifth birthday, he composed a journal entry that set forth his commitment
to pursuing intellectual endeavors in the service of his race. As quoted by Rayford W. Logan and Michael R. Winston in Dictionary
of American Negro Biography, Du Bois wrote of himself as "either a genius or a fool," and declared his intention to "make
a name in science, to make a name in literature and thus to raise my race. Or perhaps to raise a visible empire in Africa
thro' England, France, or Germany."
Du Bois returned to the United States and began a prolific career as a writer and scholar.
He accepted a teaching position as professor of classics at Wilberforce University in Ohio, where he also met his first wife,
Nina Gomer. In 1895, he became the first black to ever receive a Ph.D. from Harvard. His doctoral thesis, The Suppression
of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870, was published by Longmans, Green as the first volume
in the "Harvard Historical Monograph Series." In 1896, Du Bois was named assistant professor of sociology at the University
of Pennsylvania and was hired by the university to conduct a sociological study of the black population of Philadelphia. Published
in 1899, The Philadelphia Negro was the first in-depth analysis of a black community. According to Elliot Rudwick in an essay
in Black Leaders of the Twentieth Century, Du Bois "at this point in his career passionately believed that social science
would provide white America's leaders with the knowledge necessary to eliminate discrimination and solve the race problem."
As a professor of economics and history at Atlanta University from 1897 to 1910, Du
Bois supervised a series of studies on urban blacks. One of his most influential books, The Souls of Black Folk , was published
in 1903. A collection of fourteen essays, The Souls of Black Folk explores not only the damaging effects of racism, but also
the strength and endurance of black people in the United States. In the essay "Of Our Spiritual Strivings," Du Bois provided
one of the first depictions of a distinct black identity: "[T]he Negro is a sort of seventh son, born with a veil, and gifted
with second-sight in this American world,--a world which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets him see himself
through the revelation of the other world.... One ever feels his two-ness,--an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts,
two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder."
Between 1898 and 1914, Du Bois also edited and annotated reports on such subjects as black business, education, health, crime,
family life, and the church. However, these reports were virtually ignored, prompting Du Bois to conclude, as Rudwick noted,
"that only through agitation and protest could social change ever come."
Du Bois's activism stood in sharp contrast to the accommodationist stance of Booker
T. Washington, a black leader of international prominence who supported vocational education for blacks, rather than higher
education, and who held that a gradual assumption of economic power was the pathway for blacks to attain the rights of full
citizenship. Washington was widely accepted by whites as the principal spokesman for the black community and commanded the
support of wealthy white philanthropists, political figures, and members of both the black and white press. Du Bois was highly
critical of Washington's position, maintaining staunchly that full and equal civil rights were the birthright of every American
and demanding that full political rights be granted to all blacks. He envisioned an elite corps of black leaders--the "Talented
Tenth"--who, through higher education, would be prepared to further the welfare of their race. The rift between Washington
and Du Bois began a profound division of the black protest movement into two factions. In 1904, the two leaders and their
supporters attempted to resolve their differences at a conference at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Washington and Du Bois,
along with Hugh Browne (a Washington supporter), were selected to form a Committee of Twelve for the Advancement of the Negro
Race. Du Bois, however, later resigned in protest of what he claimed was Washington's pervasive control of the committee.
Failing to reconcile differences with the Washington faction and unable to tap the wealthy
white financial backers who supported Washington, Du Bois set out on a different course. In 1905, he organized a meeting of
black leaders who shared an uncompromising goal of full economic and political rights for blacks. On July 11, 1905, this group
met in Fort Erie, Ontario, to organize what became known as the "Niagara Movement," thus effectively splitting the black movement
into two major camps. Washington's "Tuskegee Machine" favored elementary and industrial education as the means for blacks
to become economically productive and, hence, eligible for full equality as citizens. Leaders of the Niagara Movement, as
Herbert Aptheker noted in Afro-American History: The Modern Era, held for an "unequivocal rejection of racism and insistence
upon the fundamental equality of mankind." Holding meetings for the next five years, the Niagara Movement vigorously denounced
white America for the "Negro problem" and held that protest was the only means to confront the roots of oppression.
However, the practical advantages of the Tuskegee group--its influence over the black
press, backing by white financiers, Washington's skills as a tactician--coupled with fragmentation within the Niagara movement
itself--helped bring about the demise of Du Bois's group in 1910. Some critics contend that the Niagara's failure was inevitable
because of the overwhelmingly racist beliefs of American society at that time. "The movement's basic problem," according to
Rudwick, "was the nation's virulent racism that had catapulted a leader like Washington into power. Even if Du Bois had demonstrated
superlative leadership skills, Niagara's program of uncompromising protest for equal treatment was too far ahead of white
public opinion, and this fact damaged the movement's public opinion."
Assessing the failures of Niagara, Du Bois became convinced that an interracial organization--one
that could also draw the support of prominent whites who disagreed with Washington's policies--was essential to the success
of protests against racial discrimination. In 1910, he became the leading black founder of the interracial NAACP, which aimed
to fight discrimination through court litigation, political lobbying, and nationwide publicity. Du Bois, as Director of Publications
and Research, became editor of the Crisis, the NAACP's official publication. He edited the Crisis for nearly twenty-five years,
during which time the journal became widely influential among blacks for its frank and eloquent discussions of racial issues
in the United States.
At the same time, the views Du Bois expressed in the Crisis often ran afoul of official
NAACP positions, causing friction between him and the organization's board of directors. One such conflict was in the area
of racial segregation. Although Du Bois supported desegregation during World War I, he later began to see segregation as a
favorable means of allowing blacks to exert power in areas such as economics and education, which were dominated by whites
in the larger society. His views, expressed in the Crisis, came into direct conflict with the NAACP board and many black leaders,
who believed, as Taylor Branch noted in Parting the Waters, that his comments "would bolster the old white racist argument
that Negroes fared better under segregation." Under intense criticism, Du Bois resigned from his editorship of the Crisis
and returned to Atlanta University as chairman of the department of sociology.
Throughout Du Bois's career, he was often criticized for having an arrogant personality
and elitist views, which, coupled with his seemingly wavering positions on a variety of political issues, brought him into
continual conflict with other black leaders. Rudwick, however, depicts Du Bois's varying positions--such as his changing views
on the issue of segregation--as understandable responses to the racial climate in the United States. "Given the persistent
and intransigent nature of the American race system, which proved quite impervious to black attacks," noted Rudwick, "Du Bois
in his speeches and writings moved from one proposed solution to another, and the salience of various parts of his philosophy
changed as his perceptions of the needs and strategies of black America shifted over time. Aloof and autonomous in his personality,
Du Bois did not hesitate to depart markedly from whatever was the current mainstream of black thinking when he perceived that
the conventional wisdom being enunciated by black spokesmen was proving inadequate to the task of advancing the race."
Pan-Africanism was another major focus of Du Bois's political career. Beginning in 1905,
he organized a series of Pan-African conferences, the first in Paris, with subsequent conferences in Lisbon, Brussels, and
Paris (1921), London and Lisbon (1923), and New York City (1927). In these conferences, Du Bois put forth his ideas of self-government
for oppressed black people under colonial powers. Ideological and personal differences led to acrimonious debate between Du
Bois and Marcus Garvey, a black nationalist leader who strove to construct--through economic enterprise and mass education--a
unified empire of people of African descent. Du Bois rejected many of Garvey's policies and mounted a campaign to expose corruption
and mismanagement of Garvey's famous Black Star Shipping Line (a black cross-continental trade venture).
In his later years, Du Bois's political views came to align him increasingly with socialist
forms of government, and, at the same time, distance him from the mainstream U.S. civil rights movement. A series of visits
to the Soviet Union and China led him to publicly praise those countries' Communist governments and to urge African nations
to seek Communist support in their drive for self-government. In 1951, Du Bois was tried in U.S. federal court on the charge
that he was an unregistered agent of a foreign power. Although he was eventually acquitted, Du Bois and his second wife, writer
Shirley Graham, were denied travel visas from the U.S. State Department. This ban was lifted in 1958, and the couple conducted
additional tours of Africa and the Soviet Union. In the early 1960s, Du Bois officially joined the Communist party and moved
to the West African country of Ghana, of which he became a citizen in 1963. Regarding his application to the Communist party,
Du Bois wrote in a public statement: "I have been long and slow in coming to this conclusion, but at last my mind is settled....
Capitalism cannot reform itself; it is doomed to self-destruction. No universal selfishness can bring social good to all."
Du Bois died in Accra, Ghana, in 1963, on the eve of the historic civil rights march
on Washington, D.C. Although the popularity of his political philosophies had waned among American blacks, he had come to
be revered in his former country as a prophet who had presaged the modern black protest movement. His writings found a new
audience in a generation of blacks--led by Martin Luther King, Jr.--who had come to see protest as the only legitimate means
to press for social change and the end of oppression. Upon his death, the NAACP journal Crisis proclaimed the former leader
"the prime inspirer, philosopher and father of the Negro protest movement."
Spingarn Medal, NAACP, 1932; elected to National Institute of Arts and Letters, 1943;
Lenin International Peace Prize, 1958; Knight Commander of Liberian Human Order of African Redemption; Minister Plenipotentiary
and Envoy Extraordinary conferred by President Calvin Coolidge; numerous honorary degrees.
The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870,
Longmans, Green, 1896.
The Philadelphia Negro: A Special Study, University of Pennsylvania, 1899.
The Souls of Black
Folk: Essays and Sketches, A. C. McClurg, 1903.
John Brown (biography), G. W. Jacobs, 1909.
The Negro, Holt, 1915.
Voices from within the Veil, Harcourt, 1920.
The Gift of Black Folk: The Negroes in the Making of America, Stratford Co.,
Black Reconstruction: An Essay toward a History of the Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct
Democracy in America, 1860-1880, Harcourt, 1935.
Black Folk, Then and Now: An Essay in the History and Sociology of the
Negro Race, Holt, 1939.
Dusk of Dawn: An Essay toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept, Harcourt, 1940.
Democracy: Colonies and Peace, Harcourt, 1945.
The World and Africa: An Inquiry into the Part Which Africa Has Played in
World History, Viking, 1947.
In Battle for Peace: The Story of My 83rd Birthday, Masses and Mainstream, 1952.
of Color: Selections from Over Half a Century of the Writings of W. E. B. Du Bois, Seven Seas Publishers (Berlin), 1963.
Autobiography of W. E. B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of Its First Century, edited by Herbert
Aptheker, International Publishers, 1968.
The Seventh Son: The Thought and Writings of W. E. B. Du Bois, edited by Julius
Lester, Random House, 1971.
The Correspondence of W. E. B. Du Bois, University of Massachusetts, edited by Aptheker, Volume
1: 1877-1934, 1973, Volume 2: 1934-1944, Volume 3: 1944-1963, 1978.
The Quest of the Silver Fleece, A. C. McClurg,
Dark Princess: A Romance, Harcourt, 1928.
The Ordeal of Mansart (first novel in trilogy), Mainstream Publishers,
Mansart Builds a School (second novel in trilogy), Mainstream Publishers, 1959.
Worlds of Color (third novel in
trilogy), Mainstream Publishers, 1961.
The Black Flame (contains The Ordeal of Mansart, Mansart Builds a School, and Worlds
of Color ), Kraus Reprint, 1976.
"Haiti" (play), included in Federal Theatre Plays, edited by Pierre De Rohan,
Works Progress Administration, 1938.
Selected Poems, Ghana University Press, c. 1964.
Editor of over fifteen monographs
published in conjunction with the "Annual Conference for the Study of Negro Problems," Atlanta University Press, 1896-1914.
Columnist for newspapers, including Chicago Defender, Pittsburgh Courier, New York Amsterdam News, and San Francisco Chronicle.
Contributor to periodicals, including Atlantic Monthly and World's Work. Editor, Crisis, 1910-34; founder and editor of numerous
other periodicals, including Moon, 1905-06, Horizon, 1908-10, Brownies' Book, 1920-21, and Phylon Quarterly, 1940. Editor-in-chief,
Encyclopedia of the Negro, 1933-46. Director, Encyclopaedia Africana.
Author of several pageants.
Works translated into
numerous foreign languages.
Aptheker, Herbert, Afro-American History: The Modern Era, Citadel Press, 1971.
Taylor, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954-63, Simon & Schuster, 1988.
Du Bois, W. E. B., The Souls
of Black Folk: Essays and Sketches, Library of America edition, Vintage Books, 1990.
Du Bois, W. E. B., The Autobiography
of W. E. B. Du Bois, International Publishers, 1968.
Franklin, John Hope, and August Meier, editors, Black Leaders of the
Twentieth Century, University of Illinois Press, 1982.
Logan, Rayford W., and Michael R. Winston, editors, Dictionary of
American Negro Biography, Norton, 1982.
Marable, Manning, W. E. B. Du Bois: Black Radical Democrat, Twayne Publishers,
Rampersad, Arnold, The Art and Imagination of W. E. B. Du Bois, Harvard University Press, 1976.
Michael E. Mueller
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US History Companion: Du Bois, W. E. B.
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& Society > American History Companion
(1868-1963), historian, sociologist, writer, and civil rights activist. Du
Bois was the foremost African-American intellectual of the twentieth century. Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Du
Bois knew little of his father, who died shortly after his birth, but he was socialized into an extended family network that
left a strong impression on his personality and was reflected in his subsequent work. Educated at Fisk University (1885-1888),
Harvard University (1888-1896), and the University of Berlin (1892-1894), Du Bois studied with some of the most important
social thinkers of his time and then embarked upon a seventy-year career that combined scholarship and teaching with lifelong
activism in liberation struggles.
Interspersed with his teaching career at Wilberforce and Atlanta University were two
stints as a publicist for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (naacp), of which he was a founding
officer and for whom he edited the monthly magazine, the Crisis. He resigned from the naacp in June 1934 in a dispute over
organizational policy and direction. He believed the depression dictated a shift from the organization's stress on legal rights
and integration to an emphasis on black economic advancement, even if this meant temporarily "accepting" segregation. But
after teaching at Atlanta University, he returned in 1944 as head of a research effort aimed at collecting and disseminating
data on Africans and their diaspora and putting issues affecting them before the world community. Renewed disputes with the
naacp caused him to be dismissed in 1948.
During the 1950s Du Bois was drawn into leftist causes, including chairing the Peace
Information Center. The center's refusal to comply with the Foreign Agents Registration Act led to his indictment with four
others by a federal grand jury in 1951. All five were acquitted after a highly publicized trial, but the taint of alleged
communist association caused him to be shunned by colleagues and harassed by federal agencies (including eventual revocation
of his passport) throughout the 1950s. In 1961, Du Bois settled in Ghana and began work on the Encyclopedia Africana, a compendium
of information on Africans and peoples of African descent throughout the world. Shortly thereafter he joined the American
Communist party and became a citizen of Ghana, where he died in 1963.
During Du Bois's prolific career he published nineteen books, edited four magazines,
coedited a magazine for children, and produced scores of articles and speeches. Perhaps his most outstanding work was Souls
of Black Folk (1903), a poignant collection of essays in which he defined some of the key themes of the African-American experience
and the dominant motifs of his own work.
He clashed on occasion with other black leaders over appropriate strategies for black
advancement, notably Booker T. Washington (whose strategy of accommodation and emphasis on industrial education for blacks
he rejected) and Marcus Garvey (whom he considered a demagogue, although they shared a commitment to Pan-Africanism and the
liberation of Africa). Du Bois's own approach was an eclectic mix of scientific social analysis, which led him eventually
to Marxism, and a romantic evocation of the poetry of black folk culture, which is reflected in his nationalist sympathies
and Pan-Africanist organizational efforts. Above all Du Bois sought to place African-American experience in its world historical
context. Out of this mix evolved his dual projects of building an African socialism and publishing a unifying work of scholarship
on the African diaspora.
Manning Marable, W. E. B. Du Bois: Black Radical Democrat (1986); Arnold Rampersad,
The Art and Imagination of W. E. B. Du Bois (1976).
Thomas C. Holt
See also Anticommunism; Black Nationalism; Literature; National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People; Niagara Movement; Washington, Booker T.
Spotlight: W. E. B. Du Bois
Top Home > Library > Miscellaneous >
Spotlight of the DayFrom our Archives: Today's Highlights, February 23, 2006
One of the founders of the NAACP, W. E. B. Du Bois was born on this date in 1868. Du
Bois was an academic and a writer whose books include The Souls of Black Folk (1903) and Color and Democracy (1945). The first
African American to receive a doctorate from Harvard University (1895), Du Bois's strongly held belief in equality for blacks
eventually caused him to advocate for black separatism. He lived the last two years of his life in Ghana, where he became
a naturalized citizen a short time before he died in 1963. (February is Black History Month in the US.)
Encyclopedia: W. E. B. Du Bois
Top Home > Library > Miscellaneous > Columbia Encyclopedia - PeopleDu Bois, W.
E. B. (William Edward Burghardt Du Bois) (dbois'), 1868-1963, American civil-rights leader and author, b. Great Barrington,
Mass., grad. Harvard (B.A., 1890; M.A., 1891; Ph.D., 1895). Du Bois was an early exponent of full equality for African Americans
and a cofounder (1905) of the Niagara Movement, which became (1909) the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
People (NAACP). Unlike Booker T. Washington, who believed that unskilled blacks should focus on economic self-betterment,
and Marcus Garvey, who advocated a "back to Africa" movement, Du Bois demanded that African Americans should achieve not only
economic parity with whites in the United States but full and immediate civil and political equality as well. Also, he introduced
the concept of the "talented tenth," a black elite whose duty it was to better the lives of less fortunate African Americans.
1897 to 1910, Du Bois taught economics and history at Atlanta Univ. In 1910 he became editor of the influential NAACP magazine,
Crisis, a position he held until 1934. That year he resigned over the question of voluntary segregation, which he had come
to favor over integration, and returned to Atlanta Univ. (1934-44). His concern for the liberation of blacks throughout the
world led him to organize the first (Paris, 1919) of several Pan-African Congresses. In 1945, at the Fifth Congress in Manchester,
England, he met with the African leaders Kwame Nkrumah and Jomo Kenyatta. In 1961 he became a member of the American Communist
party, and shortly thereafter he renounced his American citizenship. In the last two years of his life Du Bois lived in Ghana.
His books include The Souls of Black Folks (1903), The Negro (1915), Black Reconstruction in America (1935), Color and Democracy
(1945), The World and Africa (1947), and In Battle for Peace: The Story of My 83rd Birthday (1952).
See his autobiography, ed. by H. Aptheker (1968); selected writings, ed. by N. Huggins
(1986); correspondence, ed. by H. Aptheker (3 vol., 1973-78); biography by D. L. Lewis (2 vol., 1993-2000); studies by G.
Horne (1985), M. Marable (1987), and A. Reed, Jr. (1997).
Education Encyclopedia: W. E. B. Du Bois
> Library > History, Politics & Society > Education Encyclopedia(18681963)
Scholar, educator, philosopher,
and social activist, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois is among the most influential public intellectuals of the twentieth
century. A pioneer of the civil rights movement, Du Bois dedicated his life to ending colonialism, exploitation, and racism
worldwide. Experiencing many changes in the nation's political history, he served as a voice for generations of African Americans
seeking social justice.
The Formative Years
Du Bois was born the only child of Alfred and Mary Burghardt Du Bois in Great Barrington,
Massachusetts. In the period following the Civil War, Great Barrington was a small town with fewer than 50 African Americans
among its 5,000 residents. Du Bois's father, of French and African descent, left home soon after William was born. His mother,
of Dutch and African descent, encouraged Du Bois in his educational studies. Aunts, uncles, and close friends gave poverty-stricken
Du Bois adequate clothing, food, and finances for schooling.
Attending an integrated grammar school, Du Bois had little direct experience with color
discrimination; much of what he did learn came from the visible social divisions within his community as he discovered the
hindrances that African Americans faced. Du Bois, however, was quite aware of his intellectual acuity. He excelled and outperformed
his white contemporaries, receiving a number of promotions throughout his public schooling.
By the age of seventeen, Du Bois had already served as a correspondent for newspapers
in both Great Barrington and New York. He was the first African American to graduate as valedictorian from Great Barrington
High School. Influential community members arranged for Du Bois to attend Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he
began studies in 1885. While on a partial scholarship at Fisk University, Du Bois had far greater exposure to African-American
culture. In the white South, Du Bois encountered firsthand the oppression faced by the sons and daughters of former slaves,
whom he taught in country schools during the summer. As Du Bois witnessed politicians and businessmen destroy the gains of
Reconstruction, and African Americans struggle against social, political, and economic injustice, he formed his stance on
race relations in America. He began to speak out against the atrocities of racism as a writer and chief editor of the Fisk
Herald, until his graduation in 1888.
After receiving his first baccalaureate, Du Bois entered Harvard University in 1888
as a junior. Two years later, he earned a second B.A. in a class of 300 and was one of six commencement speakers. In the fall
of 1890, Du Bois began graduate work at Harvard. He studied under legendary professors William James, Josiah Royce, George
Santayana, and Albert Bushnell Hart. His studies focused primarily on the subjects of philosophy and history and then gradually
shifted into the areas of economics and sociology.
Du Bois acquired his master's degree in the spring of 1891 and chose to further his
studies at the University of Berlin (1892 - 1894), observing and comparing race problems in Africa, Asia, and America. After
two years in Berlin, Du Bois became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard. His doctoral thesis, approved
in 1895, was published in the first volume of the Harvard Historical Studies series as The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade
to the United States of America, 1638 to 1870.
In 1896 Du Bois married Nina Gomer; they had two children, Yolande and Burghardt (who
died at the age of three). After teaching Greek and Latin at Wilberforce University (1894 - 1896), Du Bois accepted an assistant
professorship at the University of Pennsylvania to conduct a research project in Philadelphia. For two years, Du Bois and
his wife lived in the heart of Philadelphia's seventh ward, where the no-table work The Philadelphia Negro, A Social Study
(1899) took form.
The Philadelphia Negro marked the first major study of American empirical sociology
and represented Du Bois's quest to expose racism as a problem of ignorance. Du Bois personally interviewed several thousand
residents, and his study documented the living conditions of poor African Americans enduring dilapidated housing, inadequate
health care, disease, and violence. In this body of work, Du Bois contended that crime and poverty were manifestations of
institutional and structural racism.
In 1897 Du Bois and his family moved to Atlanta, where he taught economics and history
at Atlanta University. Here Du Bois witnessed racism, lynching, Ku Klux Klan cross burnings, race riots, and disfranchisement.
To challenge these acts, he published papers in the Atlantic Monthly and other journals that explored and confronted discriminatory
A compilation of unpublished papers led to what many consider Du Bois's greatest work,
The Souls of Black Folk (1903). In it Du Bois wrote, "The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line"
(p. 54). The Souls of Black Folk provided a philosophical framework by which Du Bois addressed the problem of race and the
distressing realities of African-American life in America. Within its pages, he challenged the prominent African-American
leader, Booker T. Washington. Du Bois firmly opposed Washington's policies of accommodation, calling instead for more social
agitation to break the bonds of racial oppression. In addition to his writings, publications, teachings and public speeches,
Du Bois served as secretary for the first pan-African congress in London in 1900. He would later go on to organize subsequent
sessions in 1919, 1921, 1923, and 1945.
In 1905, Du Bois took on the leadership role in organizing a group of African-American
leaders and scholars in what became known as the Niagara Movement. The group was opposed to the conservative platform of Booker
T. Washington and the Tuskegee Machine. Despite the failure of the Niagara Movement, it would later serve as a model for another
of Du Bois's initiatives in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
The Crisis Years
Upon leaving his professorship at Atlanta University, Du Bois joined the central staff
of the NAACP in November 1910. Having been instrumental in that group's formation, he became the only African American on
its executive board, and, more importantly, director of publications and research. In that position, he assumed control of
the Crisis, the official journal of the NAACP.
While the expanding economy provided former slaves with moderate economic and educational
gains, discrimination, violence, and lynching were rampant. Black anger, impatience, and heightened consciousness, combined
with expanding literacy, provided a growing audience for the Crisis. This journal expanded Du Bois's influence and audience
beyond academia to the public. By 1913 its regular circulation reached 30,000.
The Crisis informed people about important events, offered analysis, and sowed themes
of uplift and civil rights. Du Bois's voice dominated as though it were his own personal journal. His authoritative editorials
spoke against injustice, discriminatory practices, lynching, miseducation, and the widespread mistreatment of African Americans.
Du Bois was not hesitant to confront those whom he believed misled his people.
World War I was significant for Du Bois. He believed the enthusiastic participation
of black soldiers would lead to returned favors from white America. He traveled to France in 1919 reporting the heroism of
black soldiers to the Crisis directly from the front.
Du Bois was optimistic that the new generations of African Americans would advance the
struggles for civil rights and racial justice. His magazine produced articles and pictures about young people. In 1920 he
launched the short-lived Brownies Book, a Crisis- type publication for children.
Crisis came to be seen as an authoritative and informative resource by many in black
America. Beyond ideological commentary, it published and supported black artistic expression. Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen,
Jean Toomer, Claude McKay, and Alain Locke were among the core group of the "Harlem Renaissance" supported by the Crisis.
Columbus Salley (1999) asserts that Du Bois deserves as much credit as anyone in giving birth to the Harlem Renaissance.
While editing the Crisis, Du Bois continued to write books and essays that explained
his theories and fueled antagonism. In 1920 he examined global race issues and conflict in Darkwater: Voices from within the
Veil. Over the years the internationalist and radical Du Bois clashed regularly with the leadership of the NAACP who were
committed to gradualism and legalism. In 1934, under fierce pressure, Du Bois retired from the executive board and the Crisis.
After the Crisis
Du Bois lost his national platform in the midst of economic depression, international
fascism, and political uncertainty. With no resources or base from which to operate, in 1934 he accepted and invitation to
return to Atlanta University as chair of the sociology department.
Since his study of the Philadelphia Negro (1899), Du Bois was drawn to big research
projects. He adhered to the new school of social science, arguing that knowledge of social problems could lead to social change.
He proposed that his university along with others undertake large studies of black life including employment, education, family
life, and so forth. Additionally, he was hopeful for the eventual publication of an Encyclopedia Africana. Lack of funds,
changes in university administration, and a changing political climate all worked against Du Bois.
This period found Du Bois refining his views on pan-Africanism and Marxian socialism.
He wrote Black Reconstruction in America (1935), Black Folk Then and Now (1939), Dusk of Dawn (1940), and Color and Democracy
(1945). In 1940 he began Phylon, a journal of social science, published at Atlanta University.
Undermined by the new school administration, Du Bois retired from the faculty of Atlanta
University in 1943. Declining offers at Howard and Fisk universities, he would never return to academia. As the nation's largest
and most recognized civil rights organization, the integrationist NAACP was increasingly drawn into public dialogue. Its leaders,
believing that Du Bois could be useful in their research activities, offered him the position of director of special research.
Du Bois, fiercely independent and outspoken, challenged American capitalism, imperialism, racial inequality, and the legal
system that supported privilege. His linking of pan-Africanism to socialism, and then to democracy, offered an interesting
and provocative position. He was denounced by some as a bourgeois intellectual, and by others as a radical extremist.
Although pan-Africanists had gathered since the turn of the century, until 1945 those
meetings did little more than unleash indignation from middle-class intellectuals. The 1945 fifth pan-African congress held
in Manchester, England, was different. Revolutionary students and activists from throughout colonized sub-Saharan Africa gathered
to confront the colonial masters. They resolved to "control their own destiny. All colonies must be free from imperialist
control whether political or economic. We say to the peoples of the colonies that they must fight for these ends by all means
at their disposal" (Lemelle and Kelley, p. 352). A "third world" movement for independence and social justice now accompanied
the modern civil rights movement slowly emerging in the United States. By 1948, Du Bois's support of the Soviet Union, revolution
in Africa, strident criticism of American apartheid, and support of Progressive candidate Henry Wallace in the United States
alienated him from the NAACP leadership, especially its moderate chairperson, Walter White. He was dismissed from his position
in 1948 leading to a final break with the organization.
The Final Years
Once again without funds or an organizational base, Du Bois continued his critique of
American capitalism and racial inequality. At the end of World War II and the beginning of the cold war, the nation's political
climate moved decidedly to the right. Du Bois's Africanist and prosocialist sentiment placed him at odds with the unfolding
hysteria. His social circle now consisted of avant-garde intellectuals, internationalists, and left-leaning cultural workers
such as Paul Robeson and Shirley Graham. Amid the new jingoism, Du Bois was drawn to the "peace" community. By 1950 he was
chair of the Peace Information Center, drawing the antagonism of federal authorities.
In July 1950 Du Bois's first wife, Nina, died, and later that year he ran for the U.S.
Senate in New York on the ticket of the American Labor Party. Surprisingly he received 210,000 votes - equivalent to 4 percent
of the vote. In early 1951 Du Bois and his Peace Information Center were ordered by the Justice Department to register as
foreign agents. Refusing, Du Bois was indicted and jailed but soon exonerated.
Now remarried to Shirley Graham, Du Bois was both vilified and celebrated during the
difficult McCarthy period. He watched as friends, associates, and notables such as poet Langston Hughes, actress Lena Horne,
Africanist Alphaeus Hunton, actor William Marshall, black professors Forrest Wiggins and Ira Reid, Harlem politician Benjamin
Davis, and black Marxists Claude Lightfoot, Claudia Jones, and Henry Winston and others were discredited. Du Bois and his
wife were also frequent targets of communist-baiters. As the hysteria escalated, so did Du Bois's defense of those victimized.
Du Bois continued to speak out against the cold war, capitalist exploitation, colonialism,
and the international mistreatment of African people. He fore-saw a new period of socialistic pan-Africanism, writing in 1955,
"American Negroes, freed of their baseless fear of communism, will again begin to turn their attention and aim their activity
toward Africa"(p. 5). Denounced at home, Du Bois was regarded as a champion of human rights around the world.
As the civil rights movement began, Du Bois attended the Stockholm Peace Conference
where he delivered an address. After visiting Czechoslovakia and Germany, the Du Boises spent five months in the Soviet Union.
Having visited the Soviet Union on several previous occasions, Du Bois marveled at the country's continued progress in employment,
housing, education, the status of women, and race relations. During this visit, he lobbied endlessly for increased Soviet
interactions with Africans and for more research on that continent. Du Bois's visit to the People's Republic of China profoundly
influenced him since China served as a reminder that people of color could successfully engage socialism. He noted that a
majority of the world's people lived under socialism and declared that egalitarian socialism was the economic system of the
future. He believed that African Americans, given their history of mistreatment, could benefit from this type of social system.
Upon returning to America, Du Bois expressed grave pessimism that black Americans could
ever achieve economic and political justice under corporate monopoly capitalism, and continued to advocate connection with
Africa. He now had a special relationship with Kwame Nkrumah and the revolution in Ghana.
In 1960 Du Bois had one longstanding unfilled objective, to publish his Encyclopedia
Africana, which would explore every aspect of black life. He had contacted scholars, funding agencies, and anyone who would
listen to him to accomplish this project. On October 1, 1961, Du Bois joined the U.S. Communist Party and made a statement
that began "Capitalism cannot reform itself; it is doomed to self-destruction. No universal selfishness can bring social good
to all. this is the only way of human life. In the end communism will triumph."(Manning, p. 212). Four days later he and his
wife moved to Ghana. Working on his encyclopedia to the very end, Du Bois died one day before the famous March on Washington.
Du Bois, W. E. B. 1899. The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study. Boston: Ginn.
Du Bois, W. E. B. 1935. Black Reconstruction in America: An Essay toward a History of
the PartWhich Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, 1860 - 1880. Philadelphia: Saifer.
Du Bois, W. E. B. 1939. Black Folk Then and Now: An Essay in the History and Sociology
of the Negro Race. New York: Holt.
Du Bois, W. E. B. 1940. Dusk of Dawn: An Essay toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept.
New York: Harcourt Brace.
Du Bois, W. E. B. 1945. Color and Democracy: Colonies and Peace. New York: Harcourt
Du Bois, W. E. B. 1955. "American Negroes and Africa." National Guardian February 14.
Du Bois, W. E. B. 1968. The Autobiography of W. E. B. Du Bois: A Soliloquy on Viewing
My Life from the Last Decade of its First Century. New York: International.
Du Bois, W. E. B. 1969. Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil (1920). New York: AMS.
Du Bois, W. E. B. 1995. The Souls of Black Folks: Essays and Sketches (1903). New York:
Lemelle, Sidney J., and Kelley Robin D. G. 1994. Imagining Home: Class, Culture and
Nationalism in the African Diaspora. London: Verso.
Marable, Manning. 1986. W. E. B. Du Bois: Black Radical Democrat. Boston: Hall.
Patrick, John J. 1969. The Progress of the Afro-American. Winchester, IL: Benefic.
Salley, Columbus. 1999. The Black 100: A Ranking of the Most Influential African Americans,
Past and Present. Secaucus, NJ: Citadel.
WILLIAM H. WATKINS, HORACE R. HALL
Works: Works by W.E.B. Du Bois
Top Home > Library > Literature & Language > Works by Authors(William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, 1868-1963)
1896 The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870.
Du Bois, the first African American to receive a doctorate in history at Harvard, publishes his dissertation.
Philadelphia Negro. Du Bois conducts the first systematic study of a large group of blacks in a major American city. The book
shares his findings on the social conditions of blacks in Philadelphia's Seventh Ward.
1903 The Souls of Black Folk. Du
Bois's important collection of essays and sketches portrays black culture and history in its various aspects, including the
views of sharecroppers, the music of black churches, a history of the Freedman's Bureau, and a portrait of Booker T. Washington.
1909 John Brown. This sympathetic biographical portrait of the abolitionist leader is chiefly significant for what it
reveals about Du Bois's views on militancy in combatting white supremacy.
1911 The Quest of the Silver Fleece. Du Bois's
first novel is a romantic melodrama that features a detailed examination of the cotton industry.
1915 The Negro. Du Bois's
influential compendium of facts about black people around the world includes interpretations of African culture and African
American history, serving as "the Bible of Pan-Africanism."
1920 Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil. Du Bois's sketches,
essays, and poems reflect the perspective of black America and Du Bois's contention that subjugation by whites is the dominating
feature of the African American experience.
1928 The Dark Princess: A Romance. Du Bois's novel concerns the love affair
between an African American and an Indian princess and the effort by people of color to resist white domination.
Black Reconstruction: An Essay Toward a History of the Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy
in America, 1860-1880. Du Bois chronicles the role of African Americans during the Civil War and Reconstruction in a groundbreaking
reevaluation of American history.
1939 Black Folk: Then and Now. Subtitled "An Essay in the History and Sociology of the
Negro Race," Du Bois's outline history of blacks in Africa and America underscores racial kinship and the sources of pride
in a black heritage.
1940 Dusk of Dawn: An Essay Toward an Autobiography of a Race Concept. Du Bois's memoir attempts
to connect his development with the history of African Americans.
1957 The Ordeal of Mansart. Volume one of Du Bois's
The Black Flame trilogy offers his version of American history from Reconstruction to the present. It would be followed by
Mansart Builds a School (1959) and Worlds of Color (1961).
1973 Correspondence. The first volume of a three-volume set
of Du Bois's letters appears, edited by the Marxist historian Herbert Aptheker. Subsequent volumes would appear in 1976 and
History Dictionary: DuBois, W. E. B.
Top Home > Library > History,
Politics & Society > History Dictionary(dooh boys)
A black author and teacher of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. A radical
thinker on racial questions, he helped to found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). DuBois
criticized the position of Booker T. Washington that blacks should accept their inferior status in American society and accommodate
to white people. Later in his life, DuBois joined the American Communist party. His best-known book is The Souls of Black
Folk, a collection of essays.
Legal Encyclopedia: Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt
Top Home > Library
> Law & Legal Issues > Legal Biographies
W.E.B. Du Bois was an African American intellectual, sociologist, poet, and activist
whose fierce commitment to racial equality was the seminal force behind important sociopolitical reforms in the twentieth-century
Although Du Bois may not have the same name recognition as Frederick Douglass or Martin
Luther King, Jr., he is regarded by most historians as an influential leader. King himself praised Du Bois as an intellectual
giant whose "singular greatness lay in his quest for truth about his own people." Reflecting on Du Bois's legacy, playwright
Lorraine Hansberry noted that "his ideas have influenced a multitude who do not even know his name."
Born February 23, 1868, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, during the Reconstruction
period following the U.S. Civil War, Du Bois was of African, French, and Dutch descent. His tremendous potential was apparent
to his fellow townspeople, who raised money in the local churches to send him to Tennessee's Fisk University, a predominantly
African American school. Du Bois earned a bachelor of arts degree from Fisk in 1888. He then attended Harvard University,
where his professors included George Santayana and William James. An outstanding student, Du Bois received three degrees from
Harvard: a bachelor's in 1890, a master's in 1891, and a doctor's in 1895.
Du Bois traveled extensively in Europe during the early 1890s and did postdoctoral work
at the University of Berlin, in Germany. It was there that he pledged his life and career to the social and political advancement
of African Americans. When Du Bois returned to the United States, he accepted his first teaching position at Ohio's Wilberforce
University. He later taught at the University of Pennsylvania and at Atlanta University.
Du Bois made his mark as an accomplished sociologist and historian, publishing groundbreaking
studies on African American culture. In The Philadelphia Negro (1899), he interviewed five thousand people to document the
social institutions, health, crime patterns, family relationships, and education of African Americans in northern urban areas.
In his 1903 book The Souls of Black Folk, he published a beautifully written collection of essays on the political history
and cultural conditions of African Americans.
Although his success in academe was well recognized, Du Bois chose to cut a bolder swath
as a passionate social activist. He became a symbol of principled social protest on behalf of African Americans. Du Bois combined
his scholarly endeavors with the profound outrage he felt over racial injustice and the South's discriminatory Jim Crow laws.
He used his position as a respected intellectual to decry the unequal treatment of African Americans and to push for fundamental
change. According to King, Du Bois knew it was not enough to be angry. The task was to organize people so that the anger became
a transforming power. As a result, King said, "It was never possible to know where the scholar Du Bois ended and the organizer
Du Bois began. The two qualities in him were a single unified force."
Du Bois was a contemporary of Booker T. Washington, the head of Alabama's famed Tuskegee
Institute and the undisputed leader of the African American community at the turn of the twentieth century. A former slave,
Washington was a powerful figure who favored the gradual acquisition of civil rights for African Americans. He believed that
the best route for African Americans was agricultural or industrial education, not college. Although Du Bois agreed with some
of Washington's ideas, he eventually lost patience with the slow pace and agenda of Washington's program.
To Du Bois, Washington's Tuskegee Machine was much too accommodating to the white power
structure. Du Bois favored a more militant approach to achieving full social and political justice for African Americans.
Because of Du Bois's talent as a writer, he became an effective spokesperson for the opponents of Washington's gradualism.
He became the unambiguous voice of indignation and activism for African Americans. Du Bois insisted on the immediate rights
of all people of color to vote; to obtain a decent education, including college; and to enjoy basic civil liberties.
His beliefs led to the creation of the Niagara movement in 1905. This organization was
formed by like-minded African Americans to protest Washington's compromising approach to the so-called Negro problem. Du Bois
preached power through achievement, self-sufficiency, racial solidarity, and cultural pride. He came up with a plan called
the Talented Tenth, whereby a select group of African Americans would be groomed for leadership in the struggle for equal
rights. The Niagara movement lasted until 1910 when Du Bois became involved in a new national organization.
In 1910, Du Bois helped launch the biracial National Association for the Advancement
of Colored People (NAACP). He became the group's director of research and the editor of the NAACP publication The Crisis.
Du Bois's work on The Crisis provided a wide audience for his views on racial equality and African American achievement. His
writings influenced scores of African Americans who eventually made their demands for full citizenship heard in the nation's
legislatures and courtrooms. Du Bois was a guiding force in the NAACP until 1934 when his interest in communism led him to
leave the organization.
On September 9, 1963, the NAACP Board of Directors recognized Du Bois's contributions
to the civil rights movement in the following resolution: "It was Dr. Du Bois who was primarily responsible for guiding the
Negro away from accommodation to racial segregation to militant opposition to any system which degraded black people by imposing
upon them a restricted status separate and apart from their fellow citizens."
Du Bois was also a proponent of Pan-Africanism, a movement devoted to the political,
social, and economic empowerment of people of color throughout the world. Later, he became active in trade unionism, women's
rights, and the international peace movement. Never one to shy away from controversy, Du Bois also embraced socialism and
communism at a time when they were especially unpopular in the United States. He joined the American Communist party in 1961,
after winning the Lenin Peace Prize in 1959 from the former Soviet Union.
Du Bois became increasingly disenchanted with the United States, and emigrated to Ghana
in 1961. He was a citizen of that country at the time of his death in 1963.
Du Bois's influence on U.S. law was indirect but powerful. He spoke out eloquently against
injustice and inspired generations of African Americans to work for racial equality. With twenty-one books to his credit and
a zeal for organizing social protest, he helped plant the seeds for the civil rights and black power movements in the United
States during the 1950s and 1960s. His unswerving commitment to equal rights helped bring about changes in the laws governing
education, voting, housing, and public accommodations for racial minorities.
In 1900, Du Bois wrote Credo, a statement of his beliefs and his desire for social change.
The poet in him was revealed when he wrote,
I believe in Liberty for all men: the space to stretch their arms and their souls, the
right to breathe and the right to vote, the freedom to choose their friends, enjoy the sunshine, and ride on the railroads,
uncursed by color; thinking, dreaming, working as they will in a kingdom of beauty and love.
Quotes By: W. E.
B. Du Bois
Top Home > Library > Literature & Language > Quotes ByQuotes:
"To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom
"The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line -- the relation
of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea. It was a phase of this
problem that caused the Civil War."
"There are certain books in the world which every searcher for truth must know: the
Bible, the Critique of Pure Reason, the Origin of Species, and Karl Marx's Capital."
Wikipedia: W. E. B. Du Bois
Top Home > Library > Miscellaneous
> WikipediaW. E. B. Du Bois
W. E. B. Du Bois, in 1918
Born February 23, 1868(1868-02-23)
Died August 27, 1963 (aged 95)
Occupation Academic, Scholar, Activist, Journalist,
Alma mater Fisk University, Harvard University
Spouse(s) Nina Gomer Du Bois, Shirley Graham Du Bois
Bayard Rustin, Cornel West, Roland G. Fryer, Jr., Barack Obama
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (pronounced /dubs/ doo-BOYSS) (February 23, 1868
August 27, 1963) was an American civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, historian, author, and editor. Historian
David Levering Lewis wrote, "In the course of his long, turbulent career, W. E. B. Du Bois attempted virtually every possible
solution to the problem of twentieth-century racism scholarship, propaganda, integration, national self-determination, human
rights, cultural and economic separatism, politics, international communism, expatriation, third world solidarity."
1 Early life
1.1 Family history
1.2 University education
3 Civil rights activism
3.2 American Historical Association
Japan and Nazi Germany
4 On scientific racism and eugenics
5 Later life
5.1 Communism and activism
7 Pronunciation and spelling
8 Works published
W.E.B. Du Bois "Credo"
9 Published as
11 Honors and Legacy
12 See also
15 External links
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born
on February 23, 1868, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, to Alfred Du Bois and Mary Silvina Burghardt Du Bois. He grew up
in Great Barrington, a predominately Anglo American town. Mary Silvina Burghardt's family was part of the very small free
black population of Great Barrington, having long owned land in the state. Their family descended from Dutch and African ancestors,
including Tom, a West African-born man who served as a private for Captain John Spoor's company in 1780, a service which likely
won him his freedom. According to Du Bois, several of his maternal ancestors were notably involved in regional history.
Alfred Du Bois, from Haiti, was of French Huguenot and African descent. His grandfather
was Dr. James Du Bois of Poughkeepsie, New York. Dr. Du Bois's family was rewarded extensive lands in the Bahamas for its
support of King George III during the American Revolution. On Long Cay, Bahamas, James Du Bois fathered several children with
slave mistresses. When he returned to New York in 1812, James brought with him John and Alexander, two of his sons, to be
educated in Connecticut. After James Du Bois died, his black sons were disowned by his family and forced to give up schooling
for work. Alexander became a merchant in New Haven and married Sarah Marsh Lewis, with whom he had several children. In the
1830s Alexander went to Haiti to try to salvage his inheritance. His son Alfred was born there in about 1833. Alexander returned
to New Haven without the boy and his mother.
It is unknown how Alfred Du Bois and Mary Silvina Burghardt met, but they married on
February 5, 1867, in Housatonic, Massachusetts. Alfred deserted Mary by the time their son William was two. The boy was very
close to his mother. When he was young, Mary suffered a stroke which left her unable to work. The two of them moved frequently,
surviving on money from family members and Du Bois's after-school jobs. Du Bois wanted to help his mother and believed he
could improve their lives through education. Some of the neighborhood whites noticed him, and one rented Du Bois and his mother
a house in Great Barrington. Growing up Du Bois attended the First Congregational Church of Great Barrington.
While living in Great Barrington, Du Bois performed chores and worked odd jobs. He did
not feel separate because of his skin color while he was in school. He has suggested that the only times he felt out of place
were when out-of-towners visited Great Barrington. One such incident occurred when a white girl who was new in school refused
to take one of his "calling cards" during a game; the girl told him she would not accept it because he was black. Du Bois
then realized that there would always be a barrier between some whites and non-whites.
Du Bois faced some challenges growing up, as the precocious, intellectual, mixed-race
son of an impoverished single mother. Nevertheless, he was very comfortable academically, as many of his teachers recognized
his academic gifts and encouraged him to further his education with classical courses while in high school. His scholastic
success led him to believe that he could use his knowledge to empower African Americans.
In 1888 Du Bois earned a degree from Fisk University, a historically
black college in Nashville, Tennessee. During the summer following graduation from Fisk, Du Bois managed the Fisk Glee Club.
The club was employed at a grand luxury summer resort on Lake Minnetonka in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota. The resort was
a favorite spot for vacationing wealthy American Southerners and European royalty. In addition to providing entertainment,
Du Bois and the other club members worked as waiters and kitchen help at the hotel. The drinking, crude behavior, and sexual
promiscuity of the rich white guests at the hotel left a lasting impression on the young Du Bois.
Du Bois entered Harvard College in the fall of 1888, having received a $250 scholarship.
He earned a bachelor's degree cum laude from Harvard in 1890. In 1892, he received a fellowship from the John F. Slater Fund
for the Education of Freedmen to attend the University of Berlin for graduate work. While a student in Berlin, he traveled
extensively throughout Europe. He came of age intellectually in the German capital, while studying with some of that nation's
most prominent social scientists, including Gustav von Schmoller, Adolph Wagner, and Heinrich von Treitschke.
In 1895, Du Bois became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University.
After teaching at Wilberforce University in Ohio, he worked at the University of Pennsylvania. He taught while undertaking
field research for his study The Philadelphia Negro. Next he moved to Georgia, where he established the Department of Social
Work at Atlanta University (now Clark Atlanta University Whitney M. Young school of Social Work). He also taught at The New
School in Greenwich Village, New York City.
Title page of the second edition of The Souls of Black FolkDu
Bois wrote many books, including three major autobiographies. Among his most significant works are The Philadelphia Negro
(1899), The Souls of Black Folk (1903), John Brown (1909), Black Reconstruction (1935), and Black Folk, Then and Now (1939).
His book The Negro (1915) influenced the work of several pioneer Africanist scholars, such as Drusilla Dunjee Houston and
William Leo Hansberry.
In the New York Times review of The Souls of Black Folk, the anonymous book reviewer
wrote, "For it is the Jim Crow car, and the fact that he may not smoke a cigar and drink a cup of tea with the white man in
the South, that most galls William E. Burghardt Du Bois of the Atlanta College for Negroes."
[I]t is the thought of a negro of Northern education who has lived long among his brethren
of the South yet who can not fully feel the meaning of some things which these brethren know by instinct and which the
Southern-bred white knows by a similar instinct: certain things which are by both accepted as facts not theories
fundamental attitudes of race to race which are the product of conditions extending over centuries, as are the somewhat parallel
attitudes of the gentry to the peasantry in other countries.
While prominent white scholars denied African-American cultural, political and social
relevance to American history and civic life, in his epic work Black Reconstruction, Du Bois documented how black people were
central figures in the American Civil War and Reconstruction, and also showed how they made alliances with white politicians.
He provided evidence to disprove the Dunning School theories of Reconstruction, showing the coalition governments established
public education in the South, as well as many needed social service programs. He demonstrated the ways in which Black emancipation
the crux of Reconstruction promoted a radical restructuring of United States society, as well as how and why the country
failed to continue support for civil rights for blacks in the aftermath of Reconstruction. This theme was taken up later
and expanded by Eric Foner and Leon F. Litwack, the two leading late twentieth century scholars of the Reconstruction era.
In 1940, at Atlanta University, Du Bois founded Phylon magazine. In 1946, he wrote The
World and Africa: An Inquiry into the Part That Africa Has Played in World History. In 1945, he helped organize the historic
Fifth Pan-African Conference in Manchester, Great Britain. In total, Du Bois wrote 22 books, including five novels. He
helped establish four academic journals.
Du Bois began writing about the sociology of crime in 1897, shortly after
receiving his Ph.D. from Harvard (Zuckerman, 2004, p. 2). His first work involving crime, A Program of Social Reform, was
shortly followed by a second, The Study of the Negro Problems (Du Bois, 1897; Du Bois, 1898). The first work that involved
in-depth criminological study and theorizing was The Philadelphia Negro, in which a large section of the sociological study
was devoted to analysis of the black criminal population in Philadelphia (Du Bois, 1899).
Du Bois (1899) set forth three significant parts to his criminology theory. The first
was that Negro crime was caused by the strain of the 'social revolution' experienced by black Americans as they began to adapt
to their newfound freedom and position in the nation. This theory was similar to Durkheim's (1893) Anomie theory, but it applied
specifically to the newly freed Negro. Du Bois (1900a, p. 3) credited Emancipation with causing the boom in crime in the black
population. He explained, "[T]he appearance of crime among the southern Negroes is a symptom of wrong social conditions--of
a stress of life greater than a large part of the community can bear." (Du Bois, 1901b, p. 745). He distinguished between
the strains on southern Negroes and those on northern Negroes because the problems of city life in the North were different
from those of the Southern rural sharecroppers.
Secondly, Du Bois (1904a) believed that black crime declined as the African-American
population moved toward a more equal status with whites. This idea, referred to later as "stratification," was developed in
a similar manner later in the twentieth century by Merton in his 1968 structure-strain theory of deviance. In The Philadelphia
Negro and later statistical studies, Du Bois found direct correlations between low levels of employment and education and
high levels of criminal activity.
Thirdly, Du Bois held that the Talented Tenth or the "exceptional men" of the black
race would be the ones to lead the race and save it from its criminal problems (Du Bois, 1903, p. 33). Du Bois saw the evolution
of a class system within black American society as necessary to carry out the improvements necessary to reduce crime (Du Bois,
1903). He set forth a number of solutions to crime that the Talented Tenth had to enact (Du Bois, 1903, p. 2).
He was perhaps the first criminologist to combine historical fact with social change
and used the combination to postulate his theories. He attributed the crime increase after the Civil War to the "increased
complexity of life," competition for jobs in industry (especially with the recent Irish immigrants), and the mass exodus of
blacks from the farmland and immigration to cities (Du Bois, 1899). Du Bois (1899, p. 64) states in The Philadelphia Negro:
Naturally then, if men are suddenly transported from one environment to another, the
result is lack of harmony with the new conditions; lack of harmony with the new physical surroundings leading to disease and
death or modification of physique; lack of harmony with social surroundings leading to crime.
Civil rights activism
W. E. B. Du Bois in 1904Du Bois was the most prominent
intellectual leader and political activist on behalf of African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century. A contemporary
of Booker T. Washington, he carried on a dialogue with the educator about segregation, political disfranchisement, and ways
to improve African American life. He was labeled "The Father of Pan-Africanism."
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Along with Washington, Du Bois helped organize the "Negro exhibition" at the 1900 Exposition
Universelle in Paris. It included Frances Benjamin Johnston's photos of Hampton Institute's black students. The Negro
exhibition focused on African Americans' positive contributions to American society.
In 1905, Du Bois, along with Minnesota attorney Fredrick L. McGhee and others, helped
found the Niagara Movement with William Monroe Trotter. The Movement championed freedom of speech and criticism, the recognition
of the highest and best human training as the monopoly of no caste or race, full male suffrage, a belief in the dignity of
labor, and a united effort to realize such ideals under sound leadership.
The alliance between Du Bois and Trotter was, however, short-lived, as they had a dispute
over whether or not white people should be included in the organization and in the struggle for civil rights. Believing that
they should, in 1909 Du Bois with a group of like-minded supporters founded the National Association for the Advancement of
Colored People (NAACP).
In 1910, Du Bois left Atlanta University to work full-time as Publications Director
at the NAACP. He also wrote columns published weekly in many newspapers, including the Hearst-owned San Francisco Chronicle
as well as the African American Chicago Defender, the Pittsburgh Courier and the New York Amsterdam News. For 25 years, Du
Bois worked as editor-in-chief of the NAACP publication, The Crisis, then subtitled A Record of the Darker Races. He commented
freely and widely on current events and set the agenda for the fledgling NAACP. The journal's circulation soared from 1,000
in 1910 to more than 100,000 by 1920.
W. E. B. Du Bois and Mary White Ovington, co-founders of NAACPDu Bois published
Harlem Renaissance writers Langston Hughes and Jean Toomer. He encouraged black fiction, poetry and dramas. As a journal of
black thought, the Crisis was initially a monopoly, David Levering Lewis observed. In 1913, Du Bois wrote The Star of Ethiopia,
a historical pageant, to promote African-American history and civil rights.
Du Bois thought blacks should seek higher education, preferably liberal arts. He also
believed blacks should challenge and question whites on all grounds. Booker T. Washington believed assimilating and fitting
into the "American" culture was the best way for blacks to move up in society. While Washington stated that he did not receive
any racist insults until his later years, Du Bois said blacks have a "Double-Conscious" mind in which they have to know when
to act "white" and when to act "black". Booker T. Washington believed that teaching was a duty, but Du Bois believed it was
Du Bois became increasingly estranged from Walter Francis White, the executive secretary
of the NAACP. He began to question the organization's opposition to all racial segregation. Du Bois thought that this policy
undermined those black institutions that did exist. He believed that such institutions should be defended and improved rather
than attacked as inferior.
Du Bois seated with college members of the Beta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha
at Howard University in 1932By the 1930s, the NAACP had become more institutional and Du Bois increasingly radical, sometimes
at odds with leaders such as Walter White and Roy Wilkins. In 1934, Du Bois left the magazine to return to teaching at Atlanta
University, after writing two essays published in the Crisis suggesting that black separatism could be a useful economic strategy.
During the 1920s, Du Bois engaged in a bitter feud with Marcus Garvey. They disagreed
over whether African Americans could be assimilated as equals into American society (the view held by Du Bois). Their dispute
descended to personal attacks, sometimes based on ancestry. Du Bois wrote, "Garvey is, without doubt, the most dangerous enemy
of the Negro race in America and in the world. He is either a lunatic or a traitor." Garvey described Du Bois as "purely
and simply a white man's nigger" and "a little Dutch, a little French, a little Negro ... a mulatto ... a monstrosity."
Du Bois became an early member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter
fraternity established by African Americans, and one that had a civil rights focus.
Du Bois circa 1911W. E. B. Du Bois was involved in religion, studied
Baptist churches, and contributed to the sociological study of religion. He believed that the capacity of religion could
be either good or evil. In the context of the black community, Du Bois suggested that religion gives people strength and pride;
African Americans could derive comfort from one another by sharing their common struggles and experiences. On the other hand,
Du Bois contended that religion maintained the status quo of America in regards to racial injustice and class disparity.
Du Bois believed that religious organizations serve as communal centers. In The Philadelphia
Negro, Du Bois argued that blacks who attended church went for a social gathering first and religion second. Du Bois said
that church introduces the stranger to the community, it serves as a lyceum, library, and lecture bureauit is, in fine, the
central organ of the organized life of the American Negro.
Susan Jacoby writes that Du Bois was "raised as a liberal New England Congregationalist...contrary
to the majority of blacks, who were brought up in the Baptist evangelical tradition"  He "became a self-described freethinker
in Europe."  Returning to the United States in 1894 to teach at the Wilberforce University in Ohio, Du Bois' polemical
stance on prayer in school and his critical views on the church set him at odds with contemporary Booker T. Washington.
American Historical Association
In 1909, W. E. B. Du Bois addressed the American
Historical Association (AHA) at its annual conference, the first African American to do so. According to David Levering Lewis,
"His would be the first and last appearance of an African American on the program until 1940."
In a review of the second volume of Lewis's biography of Du Bois, Michael R. Winston
observed that, in understanding American history, one must question "how black Americans developed the psychological stamina
and collective social capacity to cope with the sophisticated system of racial domination that white Americans had anchored
deeply in law and custom." Winston continued, "Although any reasonable answer is extraordinarily complex, no adequate
one can ignore the man (Du Bois) whose genius was for 70 years at the intellectual epicenter of the struggle to destroy white
supremacy as public policy and social fact in the United States."
Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany
Du Bois became impressed by the growing strength
of Imperial Japan following the Japanese victory in the Russo-Japanese War. He saw the victory of Japan over Tsarist Russia
as an example of "colored pride." Hikida Yasuichi ran Japan's "Negro Propaganda Operations." After traveling to the United
States to speak with students at Howard University, Scripps College, and Tuskegee University, Yasuichi influenced Du Bois's
opinions of Imperial Japan. In 1936, Yasuichi and the Japanese ambassador arranged a trip to Japan for Du Bois and a small
group of academics. The trip was to include stops in Japan, China, and the Soviet Union. The Soviet stop was canceled
after Karl Radek, Du Bois's diplomatic contact, was swept up in Stalin's purges. While on the Chinese leg of the trip, Du
Bois commented that the source of Chinese-Japanese enmity was China's "submission to white aggression and Japan's resistance."
He asked the Chinese people to welcome the Japanese as liberators. Du Bois joined a large group of African-American academics
who cited the Mukden Incident to justify Japan's occupation and annexation of the formerly European-held southern Manchuria.
During 1936 Du Bois also visited Nazi Germany. He later noted that he had received more
respect from German academics than he had from white American colleagues. On his return to the United States, he voiced his
ambivalence about the Nazi regime. While admiring how the Nazis had improved the German economy, he was horrified by their
treatment of the Jews, which he described as "an attack on civilization, comparable only to such horrors as the Spanish Inquisition
and the African slave trade".
On scientific racism and eugenics
Du Bois was an outspoken opponent of scientific
racism. Along with cultural anthropologist Franz Boas, and in the pages of Crisis magazine, and in debates with advocates
of a biological basis for white superiority Du Bois opposed the notion that African-Americans are biologically inferior to
Du Bois opposed scientific justifications for racism and he spoke out against the eugenics
experiments at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory; he advocated the use of birth control in conjunction with what has been called
his "elitist" encouragement of a "talented tenth" among gifted African-Americans.
In 1904, Du Bois wrote that black people show no physical variation from Europeans sufficient
to base any theory of essential human difference. In 1910, Du Bois challenged eugenicist opposition to racial mixing and
lent his support to racial intermarriage; he said gradations exist within all races: I believe that there are human stocks
with whom it is physically unwise to intermarry, but to think that these stocks are all colored or that there are no such
white stocks is unscientific and false.
In his 1932 essay on birth control in Margaret Sangers Birth Control Review, Du Bois
accepted the conventional wisdom that the more intelligent class uses birth control; he wrote that The mass of ignorant Negroes
still breed carelessly and disastrously, so that the increase among Negroes, even more than the increase among whites, is
from that part of the population least intelligent and fit, and least able to rear their children properly. He suggested that
African Americans learn that among human races and groups, as among vegetables, quality and not mere quantity really counts.
Du Bois in 1946, photo by Carl Van VechtenCommunism and activism
Bois was one of a number of African-American leaders investigated by the FBI, which claimed in May 1942 that "his writing
indicates him to be a socialist". He was chairman of the Peace Information Center at the start of the Korean War, and
among the signers of the Stockholm Peace Pledge, which opposed the use of nuclear weapons.
In 1950, at the age of 82, Du Bois ran for U.S. Senator from New York on the American
Labor Party ticket and polled a little over 200,000 votes, about 4 % of the total. Although he lost, Du Bois remained committed
to the progressive labor cause. In 1958, he would join with Trotskyites, ex-Communists and independent radicals in proposing
the creation of a united left-wing coalition to challenge for seats in elections for the New York State Senate and Assembly.
In the March 16, 1953, upon the death of Joseph Stalin, Du Bois controversially wrote
of him in The National Guardian:
Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature.
He was simple, calm and courageous. He seldom lost his poise; pondered his problems slowly, made his decisions clearly and
firmly; never yielded to ostentation nor coyly refrained from holding his rightful place with dignity. He was the son of a
serf but stood calmly before the great without hesitation or nerves. But also - and this was the highest proof of his greatness
- he knew the common man, felt his problems, followed his fate.
While Stalin had fallen into disfavor among most of the American left of that era, and
Communism had come to be regarded as "the god that failed" in the eyes of such African-American luminaries as Ralph Ellison
and Richard Wright, Du Bois, apparently not believing reports of Stalin's purges and dismissing them as propaganda, persisted
in his admiration for Stalin. He was frequently challenged for his support of Stalin, particularly after Khrushchev's
1956 "Cult of Personality" speech which seemed to further evidence Stalin's purges. Having once, after a 1920s visit to Russia,
observed that "Russia is the victim of a determined propaganda of lies", he remained persistently skeptical of American media
reports regarding the USSR; when challenged as to his beliefs on Stalin in 1956, in one instance he conceded that "[Stalin]
was probably too cruel; but... he conquered Hitler."
In regards to Soviet intervention in Hungary in 1956, the 88-year old Du Bois defended
the USSR, suggesting that the Hungarian Revolution was a plot of "landlords and fascists". For this he has been criticized,
by some historians, for allegedly succumbing to dogmatism; while he was "one of the great pioneers of anti-colonialist scholarship",
he was "a headstrong idealist: he idealized Stalinism... He saw what he wished and needed to see, and thus he replicated the
hard, domineering consciousness he condemned."
Du Bois visited Communist China during the Great Leap Forward. He was questioned before
the House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) about his alleged communist sympathies. He was indicted in the United
States under the Foreign Agents Registration Act and acquitted for lack of evidence. In 1959, Du Bois received
the Lenin Peace Prize. In 1961, at the age of 93, he joined the Communist Party USA, at a time when it was long past its peak
Just forty days before he was assassinated, Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke at an event
marking the hundredth anniversary of Du Bois' birth, at Carnegie Hall in New York City:
We cannot talk of Dr. Du Bois without recognizing that he was a radical all of his life.
Some people would like to ignore the fact that he was a Communist in his later years. It is worth noting that Abraham Lincoln
warmly welcomed the support of Karl Marx during the Civil War and corresponded with him freely. In contemporary life, the
English speaking world has no difficulty with the fact that Sean O'Casey was a literary giant of the twentieth century and
a Communist, or that Pablo Neruda is generally considered the greatest living poet though he also served in the Chilean Senate
as a Communist. It is time to cease muting the fact that Dr. Du Bois was a genius and chose to be a Communist. Our irrational
obsessive anti-communism has led us into too many quagmires to be retained as if it were a mode of scientific thinking. Dr.
Du Bois' greatest virtue was his committed empathy with all the oppressed and his divine dissatisfaction with all forms of
Du Bois was invited to Ghana in 1961 by President Kwame Nkrumah to direct the
Encyclopedia Africana, a government production, and a long-held dream of his. When, in 1963, he was refused a new U.S. passport,
he and his wife, Shirley Graham Du Bois, became citizens of Ghana. Contrary to some opinions (including David Levering Lewis's
Pulitzer Prize winning biography of Du Bois), he never renounced his US citizenship, even when denied a passport to travel
to Ghana. Du Bois' health had declined in 1962, and on August 27, 1963, he died in Accra, Ghana at the age of ninety-five,
one day before Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. At the March on Washington, Roy Wilkins informed the
hundreds of thousands of marchers and called for a moment of silence.
Du Bois is buried at Christiansborg Castle Grounds in Accra.
Du Bois was married twice: first to Nina Gomer Du Bois (m. 1896, d.
1950) with whom he had two children, Burghardt (who died as a baby) and Yolande; then to the author, playwright, composer,
and activist Shirley Graham Du Bois (m. 1951, d. 1977) with whom he emigrated to Ghana. The second volume of David Levering
Lewis's Pulitzer-winning biography controversially presented evidence for extramarital relationships, describing Du Bois as
"a priapic adulterer", though a subsequent biography, Dubois and His Rivals by Raymond Wolters, cast doubt on this, based
on the lack of direct corroboration from Du Bois's alleged lovers.
Pronunciation and spelling
Du Bois's name is sometimes misspelled "DuBois," "du Bois,"
or "duBois"; the correct spelling separates the two syllables and capitalizes each.
Although the name is of French origin, Du Bois himself pronounced it /dubs/, unlike
the French [dybwa].
Molefi Kete Asante
Ahmed Sékou Touré
W. E. B. Du Bois
C. L. R. James
Cheikh Anta Diop
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Du Bois wrote and published more than 4,000 articles, essays, and books over the course
of his 95-year life. Most of these are out of print and hard to find even in their original publications. No edition of his
complete works has yet been published. In 1977, Paul G. Partington published a bibliography of Du Bois's published works,
titled W. E. B. Du Bois: A Bibliography of His Published Writings. (Whittier, CA: c.1977, 1979 (rev. ed.)) (privately published).
ISBN 0960253815. A supplement was published in 1984, titled W. E. B. Du Bois: A Bibliography of His Published WritingsSupplement.
(Whittier, CA: c. 1984), 20 pages. The supplement represented Partington's research in the Du Bois papers owned by the University
of Massachusetts Amherst.
Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 by W. E. Burghardt Du Bois, with
introduction by Du Bois biographer David Levering Lewis, 768 pages. (Free Press: 1995, reissued from 1935 original) ISBN 0684856573.
Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America: 16381870 Ph.D. dissertation, 1896, (Harvard Historical
Studies, Longmans, Green, and Co.: New York) Full Text
The Study of the Negro Problems (1898)
The Philadelphia Negro
The Negro in Business (1899)
The Evolution of Negro Leadership. The Dial, 31 (July 16, 1901).
The Souls of
Black Folk. 1999 [[[1903 in literature|1903]]]. ISBN 0-393-97393-X.
The Talented Tenth, second chapter of The Negro Problem,
a collection of articles by African Americans (September 1903).
Voice of the Negro II (September 1905)
John Brown: A
Efforts for Social Betterment among Negro Americans (1909)
Atlanta University's Studies of the Negro
The Quest of the Silver Fleece 1911
The Negro (1915) (entire text)
Darkwater: Voices From Within
the Veil (1920)
The Gift of Black Folk (1924)
Dark Princess: A Romance (1928)
Africa, Its Geography, People and Products
Africa: Its Place in Modern History (1930)
Black Reconstruction: An Essay toward a History of the Part Which
Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, 1860-1880 (1935)
What the Negro Has Done for the
United States and Texas (1936)
Black Folk, Then and Now (1939)
Dusk of Dawn: An Essay Toward an Autobiography of a Race
Color and Democracy: Colonies and Peace (1945)
The Encyclopedia of the Negro (1946)
The World and
Peace Is Dangerous (1951)
I Take My Stand for Peace (1951)
In Battle for Peace (1952)
Flame: A Trilogy
The Ordeal of Mansart (1957)
Mansart Builds a School (1959)
Africa in Battle Against Colonialism,
Racialism, Imperialism (1960)
Worlds of Color (1961)
An ABC of Color: Selections from Over a Half Century of the Writings
of W. E. B. Du Bois (1963)
The World and Africa, an Inquiry into the Part Which Africa Has Played in World History (1965)
Autobiography of W. E. Burghardt Du Bois (International publishers, 1968)
The American Negro Academy Occasional
Papers, 1897, No. 2 "The Conservation Of Races" full text
Socialism and the American Negro (1960)
DuBois A Recorded Autobiography, Interview with Moses Asch (1961)
Every Tone a Testimony (2001)
W.E.B. Du Bois "Credo"
Bois is viewed by many as a modern day prophet . This is highlighted by his "Credo" - a prose-poem written in 1900 when
he was just 23 and first published in The Independent in 1904. It was written in style similar to a Christian creed and was
his statement of faith and vision for change (his "I Have A Dream" essay). . Credo was widely read and recited and revered
by many during his timeand still is today, over 100 years later.
I believe in God who made of one blood all races that dwell on earth. I believe that
all men, black and brown and white, are brothers, varying, through Time and Opportunity, in form and gift and feature, but
differing in no essential particular, and alike in soul and in the possibility of infinite development.
Especially do I
believe in the Negro Race; in the beauty of its genius, the sweetness of its soul, and its strength in that meekness which
shall yet inherit this turbulent earth.
I believe in pride of race and lineage and self; in pride of self so deep as to
scorn injustice to other selves; in pride of lineage so great as to despise no man's father; in pride of race so chivalrous
as neither to offer bastardy to the weak nor beg wedlock of the strong, knowing that men may be brothers in Christ, even though
they be not brothers-in-law.
I believe in Service -- humble reverent service, from the blackening of boots to the whitening
of souls; for Work is Heaven, Idleness Hell, and Wage is the "Well done!" of the Master who summoned all that labor and are
heavy laden, making no distinction between the black sweating cotton-hands of Georgia and the First Families of Virginia,
since all distinction not based on deed is devilish and not divine.
I believe in the Devil and his angels, who want only
work to narrow the opportunity of struggling human beings, especially if they be black; who spit in the faces of the fallen,
strike them that cannot strike again, believe the worst and work to prove it, hating the image which their Maker stamped on
a brother's soul.
I believe in the Prince of Peace. I believe that War is Murder. I believe that armies and navies are
at bottom the tinsel and braggadocio of oppression and wrong; and I believe that the wicked conquest of weaker and darker
nations by nations whiter and stronger but foreshadows the death of that strength.
I believe in Liberty for all men; the
space to stretch their arms and their souls; the right to breathe and the right to vote, the freedom to choose their friends,
enjoy the sunshine and ride on the railroads, uncursed by color; thinking, dreaming, working as they will in a kingdom of
God and love.
I believe in the training of children black even as white; the leading out of little souls into the green
pastures and beside the still waters, not for pelf or peace, but for Life lit by some large vision of beauty and goodness
and truth; lest we forget, and the sons of the fathers, like Esau, for mere meat barter their birthright in a mighty nation.
I believe in Patience -- patience with the weakness of the Weak and the strength of the Strong, the prejudice of the ignorant
and the ignorance of the Blind; patience with the tardy triumph of Joy and the mad chastening of Sorrow -- patience with God.
Writings: The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade, The Souls of Black Folk, Dusk of Dawn (Nathan I. Huggins, ed.)
(Library of America, 1986) ISBN 978-0-94045033-2
David Levering Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois: Biography of a
Race, 1868-1919, (Owl Books 1994). Winner of the 1994 Pulitzer Prize for Biography , the 1994 Bancroft Prize and the 1994
Francis Parkman Prize.
David Levering Lewis, W. E. B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century 1919-1963,
(Owl Books 2001). Covers the second half of the life of W. E. B. Du Bois, charting 44 years of the culture and politics of
race in the United States. Winner of the 2001 Pulitzer Prize for Biography 
Eugene Victor Wolfenstein, A Gift of the
Spirit: Reading THE SOULS OF BLACK FOLK, NY: Cornell University Press, 2007.
Emma Gelders Sterne, His Was The Voice, The
Life of W. E. B. Du Bois, New York: Crowell-Collier Press, 1971
Sarah Ann McGill, W. E. B. Du Bois
Keith Johnson and
Elwood Watson, "The W. E. B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington Debate:Effects upon African American Roles in Engineering and
Engineering Technology"', Journal of Technology Studies, Fall 2004
Brown, Theodore M., Fee, and Elizabeth; "William Edward
Burghardt-Historian, Social Critic, Activist", American Journal of Public Health, Feb 2003.
Edward J. Blum. W. E. B. Du
Bois, American Prophet. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007, 288 pp. (Politics and Culture in Modern America).
In 1958 Du Bois was awarded an honorary doctoral degree from the University of Prague. His honorary dissertation
was entitled The Negro and Communism.
In 1959 the USSR awarded him the International Lenin Peace Prize.
After his death in 1963, the Ghanaian government honored Du Bois with a state funeral,
and his coffin was carried on a gun carriage in a ceremony held in Accra. His remains were kept at Christiansborg Castle until
1985, when Ghana's then-leader, J.J. Rawlings, opened Du Bois's former residence as a memorial center, and he was re-interred
with the remains of his second wife, Shirley Graham Du Bois. The W.E.B. Du Bois Memorial Centre is located in the Cantonments
district of Accra, and visitors can see personal effects and photographs of Du Bois and visit his memorial grave.
In 1992, the United States Postal Service honored W. E. B. Du Bois with his portrait
on a postage stamp.
On October 5, 1994, the main library at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst was
named after him.
In 1973 there was a residence hall constructed on the campus of Morehouse College named
after Du Bois. It is now The W.E.B Du Bois International house.
A dormitory was named after Du Bois at the University of Pennsylvania, where he conducted
field research for his sociological study "The Philadelphia Negro."
Africana: The Encyclopedia of the African and African-American Experience was inspired
by and dedicated to W. E. B. Du Bois by its editors Kwame Anthony Appiah and Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Du Bois lectures are held monthly at Humboldt-University Berlin.
In 2002, scholar Molefi Kete Asante listed W. E. B. Du Bois on his list of the 100 Greatest
African American portal
African American literature
Maud Cuney Hare
W. E. B. Du Bois Institute
List of African American philosophers
a b c "Du Bois - How to Spell It, How to Say It". W. E. B. Du Bois Global Resource Collection. Berkshire Publishing Group.
http://www.duboisweb.org/. Retrieved 2007-11-13. "My name is pronounced in the clear English fashion: Du with u as in Sue; Bois,
as oi in voice. The accent is on the second syllable."
2.^ W. E. B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century
3.^ The Souls of Black Folk, pg.2
4.^ Moore, Jaqueline (2003). M. Booker T. Washington, W. E. B. Du Bois,
and the Struggle for Racial Uplift. Wilmington: Scholarly Resources.
5.^ A play about Du Bois' summer of 1888 in Minnesota
was written and performed in 2002 in St. Paul, Minnesota, titled Summer in the Shadows, (2002) by Kim Hines. See http://www.illusiontheater.org/season/archives/index.asp?sid=145&id=36&p=8.
6.^ James Neyland, W. E. B. Du Bois, p. 60 (Melrose Square Publishing Company, June 1993) ISBN 0870675885
Peggy Brooks-Bertram. "Houston, Drusilla Dunjee (1876-1941)". Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Oklahoma Historical
Society via Electronic Publishing Center (at Oklahoma State University). http://digital.library.okstate.edu/encyclopedia/entries/H/HO038.html. Retrieved 2008-05-18.
8.^ "Biographical Profile of William Leo Hansberry". Africawithin.com. 1965-11-03.
http://www.africawithin.com/hansberry/hansberry_profile.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
9.^ "William Leo Hansberry". Africawithin.com. http://www.africawithin.com/hansberry/wlhansberry.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
10.^ a b "The Negro Question: Essays and Sketches Touching Upon It by a Colored
Writer". New York Times: p. BR7. April 25, 1903. http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9C04E2DE1F30E733A25756C2A9629C946297D6CF.
11.^ http://web.archive.org/web/20031212083153/http://www.brechtforum.org/janmar2003/2-5c2.htm12.^ ""Dr. William Edward Burghardt Du Bois", African American Literature Book Club, accessed 12 Nov
2008". Authors.aalbc.com. http://authors.aalbc.com/dubois.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
13.^ a b Anne Maxell, "Montrer l'Autre: Franz Boas et les soeurs Gerhard",
in Zoos humains. De la Vénus hottentote aux reality shows, Nicolas Bancel, Pascal Blanchard, Gilles Boëtsch, Eric Deroo, Sandrine
Lemaire, edition La Découverte (2002), p.331-339, in part. p.338
14.^ See Paul D. Nelson and David Levering Lewis, Fredrick
L. McGhee: A Life on the Color Line, 1861-1912 (Minnesota Historical Society 2002).
15.^ "A New and Changed NAACP Magazine"',
'The Baltimore Sun, June 8, 1997
16.^ Dubois, "A Lunatic or a Traitor", The Crisis, Vol. 28 (May 1924), pp. 8-9.
Colin Grant, Negro with a Hat: The Rise and Fall of Marcus Garvey and His Dream of Mother Africa, Oxford University Press,
18.^ a b Zuckerman "Du Bois on Religion"
19.^ Freethinkers: A History of American Secularism. 191
22.^ http://silverdialogues.fas.nyu.edu/docs/CP/301/leveringlewis.pdf23.^ a b November 5, 2000, The Washington Post
24.^ Gallicchio, Marc S.. The African American encounter
with Japan and China : Black internationalism in Asia, 1895-1945. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. p. 104.
ISBN 9780807825594. OCLC 43334134. http://books.google.com/books?id=oh3Cn3YQ0UQC&pg=PA104&lpg=PA104&dq=hikida+%22du+bois%22+or+dubois&source=web&ots=sI7nbHF8m9&sig=3AMkrGOvbU5_qnH2U3GtQg7JkAk&hl=en#PPA104,M1. Retrieved 2008-05-29.
25.^ Ishmael Reed, "Eminent Contrarian", Voice Literary Supplement, October-November
26.^ Derryn E. Moten. "Racial Integrity or 'Race Suicide': Virginia's Eugenic Movement, W. E. B. Du Bois, and the
Work of Walter A. Plecker." Negro History Bulletin, April-September 1999.
27.^ Matthew Pratt Guterl. The Color of Race
in America, 1900-1940. 2001 Harvard University Press.
28.^ Carl N. Degler. In Search of Human Nature: The Decline and Revival
of Darwinism in American Social Thought. (New York: Oxford University), 1991.
29.^ Carol M. Taylor "W.E.B. DuBois's Challenge
to Scientific Racism." Journal of Black Studies. Vol. 11, No. 4 (Jun., 1981):449-460.
30.^ Laura Doyle. Bordering on the
Body: The Racial Matrix of Modern Fiction and Culture. (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1994), 10.
31.^ Julia E. Liss. "Diasporic
Identities: The Science and Politics of Race in the Work of Franz Boas and W. E. B. Du Bois, 1894-1919". Cultural Anthropology.
Vol. 13 Issue 2 Page 127 May 1998.
32.^ Daylanne English. Unnatural Selections: Eugenics in American Modernism and the
Harlem Renaissance. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.
33.^ David Levering Lewis. W.E.B. Du Bois: Biography
of a Race, 1868-1919 (Owl Books 1994).
34.^ W. E. B. Du Bois, Heredity and the Public Schools, in Aptheker, Pamphlets and
35.^ W. E. B. Du Bois, The Marrying of Black Folk, The Independent 69 (October 13, 1910): 812-813; reprinted
in Herbert Aptheker, ed., Writings by W. E. B. Du Bois in Periodicals Edited by Others vol. 2 (1910-1934), (Kraus-Thomson
Organization Limited, 1982), 33.
36.^ W. E. B. Du Bois, Black Folk and Birth Control, Birth Control Review 16 (June 1932):
37.^ Du Bois, W. E. B (April 19, 1999) . Gates, Henry Louis and Oliver, Terri Hume. ed. The Souls of Black
Folk (New ed.). New York City: W. W. Norton. ISBN 039397393X.
38.^ "DuBois on Stalin". Mltranslations.org. 1953-03-16.
http://www.mltranslations.org/Miscellaneous/DuBoisJVS.htm. Retrieved 2009-06-23.
39.^ a b Blum, Edward J. W. E. B. Du Bois. 2007, page 196
40.^ a b Kaplan,
Amy, and Pease, Donald E. Cultures of United States Imperialism, 1993, p471
41.^ Jackson, Esther Cooper, Editor (2001).
Freedomways Reader: Prophets in Their Own Country. Basic Books. ISBN 9780813367699. http://isbn.nu/9780813367699.
42.^ Freedomways Reader: Prophets in Their Own Country pp. 36-37, 38
43.^ "W. E. B. Du Bois Dies
in Ghana; Negro Leader and Author, 95". New York Times. August 28, 1963. http://www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0223.html. Retrieved 2007-07-21. "W. E. B. Du Bois, the American Negro philosopher and writer, who settled in Ghana
a few years ago, died last night, the Government announced. He was 95 years old."
44.^ Aptheker, Herbert (December 1993).
"On Du Bois's move to Africa - W.E.B. Du Bois". Monthly Review. http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1132/is_n7_v45/ai_14693264. Retrieved 2008-01-25.
45.^ Soul on Fire (review of The Fight for Equality and the American Century,
1919-1963), Richard Lingeman, New York Times November 5, 2000.
46.^ "Raymond Wolters. Du Bois and His Rivals", Mitchell,
Verner D., African-American Review, June 22, 2006 online at articlearchives.com
47.^ Edward J. Blum. W. E. B. Du Bois,
American Prophet. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2007, 288 pp
48.^ http://foia.fbi.gov/dubois/dubois5.pdf49.^ Asante, Molefi Kete (2002). 100 Greatest African Americans: A Biographical Encyclopedia. Amherst,
New York. Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-57392-963-8.
W. E. B. Du Bois, American Prophet. Edward J. Blum.
"W. E. B. Du Bois Between Worlds: Berlin, Empirical Social Research, and the Race Question." Barrington S. Edwards.
Du Bois Review 3:2 (September 2006): 395-424.
"W. E. B. Du Bois Horizon: Documenting Movements of the Color Line." Susanna
M. Ashton. MELUS (Multi-Ethnic Literatures of the United States) 26.4 (Winter 2002): 3-23.
Reconsidering The Souls of Black
Folk. Stanley Crouch and Playthell Benjamin. Running Press, Philadelphia, PA. 2002.
The Oxford W. E. B. Du Bois Reader.
Eric J. Sundquist, ed. Oxford University Press. 1996
Black and Red: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Afro-American Response to
the Cold War, 1944-1963. Gerald Horne. State University of New York Press. 1986.
The Art and Imagination of W. E. B. Du
Bois. Arnold Rampersad. Harvard University Press. 1976.
Negro Thought in America, 1880-1915: Racial Ideologies in the Age
of Booker T. Washington. August Meier. University of Michigan Press. 1963.
W. E. B. Du Bois: Propagandist of the Negro
Protest. Elliott M. Rudwick. New York: Atheneum. 1960.
W. E. B. Du Bois: Negro Leader in a Time of Crisis. Francis L. Broderick.
Stanford University Press. 1959.
The Souls of Black Folk: One Hundred Years Later. Dolan Hubbard, ed. University of Missouri
The Professor and the Pupil: The Politics and Friendship of W.E.B. Du Bois and Paul Robeson. Murali Balaji,
Nation Books, 2007.
The Socialist Analysis of W.E.B. Du Bois. W. D. Wright, Ann Arbor, MI.: University Microfilms Intl'
A Small Nation of People: W. E. B. Du Bois and African American Portraits of Progress, by David Levering Lewis and
Deborah Willis, HarperCollins, 2005, ISBN 0060817569.
In the Shadow of Du Bois: Afro-Modern Political Thought in America.
Robert Gooding-Williams. Harvard University Press, 2009.
W. E. B. Du Bois: Online Resources, from the
Library of Congress
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