- NAME: W.E.B. Du Bois
- OCCUPATION: Educator, Civil Rights Activist, Journalist
- BIRTH DATE: February 23, 1868
- DEATH DATE: August 27, 1963
- EDUCATION: Fisk University, University of Berlin, Harvard University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Great Barrington, Massachusetts
- PLACE OF DEATH: Accra, Ghana
- Full Name: William Edward Burghardt Du Bois
- AKA: W.E.B. Du Bois
- AKA: William Du Bois
Best Known For
W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most important African-American activists during the first half of the 20th century. He co-founded the NAACP and supported Pan-Africanism.
In 1895, W.E.B. Du Bois became the first African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard. He fought for African American rights and cofounded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, discusses the conflict between W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington over how to advance the African-American race.
Dr. Khalil Gibran Muhammad, the Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, discusses the life and impact of civil rights pioneer W.E.B. DuBois.
W.E.B. Du Bois and other activists started the Niagara Movement to end racial segregation and to lead the charge against Jim Crow laws.
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Scholar and activist W.E.B. Du Bois was born on February 23, 1868, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He studied at Harvard University and, in 1895, became the first African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard. He wrote extensively and was the best known spokesperson for African American rights during the first half of the 20th century. Du Bois co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909. He died in Ghana in 1963.
"There is but one coward on earth, and that is the coward that dare not know."
"The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression."
"To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships."
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, better known as W.E.B. Du Bois, was born on February 23, 1868, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. While growing up in a mostly European American town, W.E.B. Du Bois identified himself as "mulatto," but freely attended school with whites and was enthusiastically supported in his academic studies by his white teachers. In 1885, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to attend Fisk University. It was there that he first encountered Jim Crow laws. For the first time, he began analyzing the deep troubles of American racism.
After earning his bachelor's degree at Fisk, Du Bois entered Harvard University. He paid his way with money from summer jobs, scholarships and loans from friends. After completing his master's degree, he was selected for a study-abroad program at the University of Berlin. While a pupil in Germany, he studied with some of the most prominent social scientists of his day and was exposed to political perspectives that he touted for the remainder of his life. In 1895, Du Bois became the first African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard University.
A year later, Du Bois published his landmark study, The Philadelphia Negro, marking the beginning of his expansive writing career. In the study, he coined the phrase "the talented tenth," a term that described the likelihood of one in 10 black men becoming leaders of their race.
While working as a professor at Atlanta University, W.E.B. Du Bois rose to national prominence when he very publicly opposed Booker T. Washington's "Atlanta Compromise," an agreement that asserted that vocational education for blacks was more valuable to them than social advantages like higher education or political office. Du Bois criticized Washington for not demanding equality for African Americans, as granted by the 14th Amendment. Du Bois fought what he believed was an inferior strategy, subsequently becoming a spokesperson for full and equal rights in every realm of a person's life.
In 1903, Du Bois published his seminal work, The Souls of Black Folk, a collection of 14 essays. In the years following, he adamantly opposed the idea of biological white superiority and vocally supported women's rights. In 1909, he co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and served as editor of its monthly magazine, The Crisis.
A proponent of Pan-Africanism, Du Bois helped organize several Pan-African Congresses to free African colonies from European powers.
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