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William Edward Burghardt DuBois (1868 - 1963). Born : 23 February 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts Died: 27 August 1963 While in high school Du Bois showed a keen concern for the development of his race. At age fifteen he became the local correspondent for the New York Globe.

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William Edward Burghardt DuBois (1868 - 1963)

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Born: 23 February 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts
  • Died: 27 August 1963
  • While in high school Du Bois showed a keen concern for the development of his race.
  • At age fifteen he became the local correspondent for the New York Globe.
  • Attended Fisk College in Tennessee & received his bachelor's degree & later completed a doctorate from Harvard.
  • Du Bois chose to study at the University of Berlin in Germany will there, he began to see the racial problems.
  • After the completion of the study, Du Bois accepted a position at Atlanta University to further his teachings in sociology.
Controversy grew between Du Bois and Booker T. Washington, which later grew into a bitter personal battle.
  • Du Bois was not opposed to Washington's power, but rather, he was against his ideology/methodology of handling the power.
  • Washington argued the Black people should temporarily forego "political power, insistence on civil rights, and higher education of Negro youth. They should concentrate all their energies on industrial education." Du Bois believed in the higher education of a "Talented Tenth" who through their knowledge of modern culture could guide the American Negro into a higher civilization.
Among the greatest scholars in American history stands Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois. A towering figure, a brilliant scholar and a prolific writer.
In 1909merged with some white liberals and thus the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was born.
  • World War I had dramatic affects on the lives of Black folks. Firstly, the Armed Forces refused Black inductees, but finally relinquished and put the "colored folks" in subservient roles. Secondly, while the war was raging, Blacks in the southern states were moving North where industry was desperately looking for workers. Ignorant, frightened whites, led by capitalist instigators, were fearful that Blacks would totally consume the job market. Thus, lynching ran rampant. Finally, after the war, Black veterans returned home to the same racist country they had fought so heroically to defend.
striving of the negro people
Striving of the Negro People

The August 1897 issue of the Atlantic Monthly introduced Du Bois to a national audience when it published his article "The Striving of the Negro People. In his article, Du Bois argued that, given the opportunity to cultivate and educate themselves, American blacks would demonstrate that they have their own distinctive and worthy contributions to make to American life and culture. 


Memphis, Tennessee. October 1939. Marion Post Wolcott, photographer. Secondhand clothing stores and pawn shop on Beale street. (Sign: "Hotel Clark, The Best Service for Colored Only.")

Main Points
  • For Dubois, this double-consciousness both gives blacks a "second sight" and hinders their progress toward a simple access to identity. Blacks can never see themselves directly, but only through the eyes of contemptuous white men who are watching for them to fail or to behave foolishly.
  • Americans, including white Americans, should appreciate the Negro race for its contribution.
A people thus handicapped ought not to be asked to race with the world, but rather allowed to give all its time and thought to its own social problems.
  • The training of the schools we need to-day

more than ever,-the training of deft (skillful) hands, quick eyes, and ears, and the broader, deeper, higher culture of gifted minds. Negros should have access to all levels of education including the highest.

  • Negros shouldn’t be left at the bottom to climb their way up.
Freedom of life and limb, freedom to work and think. All of these we need, not singly, but together…
  • The idea of fostering the traits and talents of the Negro, not in opposition to, but in conformity with, the greater ideals of the American republic, in order that some day, on American soil, two world races may give each to each those characteristics which both so sadly lack.
Some of the Major Offerings of W.E.B. DuBois

The Philadelphia Negro (1896)The Suppression of the African Slave Trade (Harvard Ph.D. thesis, 1896)Atlanta University's Studies of the Negro Problem (1897–1910)Souls of Black Folks (1903)John Brown (1909)Quest of the Silver Fleece ( 1911)The Negro (1915)Darkwater (1920)The Gift of Black Folk (1924)Dark Princess (1924)Black Reconstruction (1935)Black Folk, Then and Now (1939)Dusk of Dawn (1940)Color and Democracy (1945)The Encyclopedia of the Negro (1931–1946)The World and Africa (1946)The Black Flame (a trilogy)______I. Ordeal of mansart (1957)_____II. Mansart Builds a School (1959)____III. Worlds of Color (1961) The Autobiography of W.E.B. DuBois (1968)The Education of Black People: Ten Critiques, 1906–1960