W. E. B. DuBois Essay

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W. E. B. DuBois was born on February 23, 1868. According to Hynes, William Edward Burghardt DuBois, to his admirers, was by spirited devotion and scholarly dedication, an attacker of injustice and a defender of freedom. Stating simply, he was a combination of a civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, educator, sociologist, editor, poet, scholar, historian, writer and a great leader. Hardships began for DuBois early on in his childhood. His biological father left himand DuBois never got a chance to meet him.

His mother suffered a stroke and was left unable to work. Their main source of income came from family members and DuBoiss after school jobs. He lived in Great Barrington a white majority area. Children from his neighbourhood often refused to play with him because he was different than them. However, it was while attending Fisk University that he understood the depth of racial discrimination enrooted in American Society. DuBois achieved many sucesses early in his career. He earned a bachelors degree cum laude from Harvard College in 1890.

He also received a scholarship to attend the University of Berlin. While in Berlin, he studied with renowned social scientist Gustav von Schmoller. He was also the first African American who received a Ph. D. from Harvard University. He wrote three autobiographies and many other signicficant works such as The Philadelphia Negro in 1896, The Souls of Black Folk in 1903, John Brown in 1909, Black Reconstruction in 1935, and Black Folk, Then and Now in 1939. At Atlanta Univeristy he established the sociology department and founded a magazine known as Phylon.

He also helped in organizing the fifth Pan-African Conference in Manchester, England. The goal of his epic work, Reconstruction Du Bois was to document the participation of black people in the American Civil War and Reconstruction. He also explained how and why African Americans were not given equal human rights after the Reconstruction. A year after receiving a PhD from Harvard, he started writing about crime. His criminology theory dealt mostly with African American crime. It was presented in three significant parts.

In the first part DuBois blamed Negro crime on the social revolution. The second part claimed that as the American Negro population moved towards status, negro crime declined. In the final part, he theorized that the exceptional men of the black race will lead the race and save it from criminal problems. DuBois soon became known as a Pan-Africanist for his work as a prominent political activist and leader for the plight of African Americans in the twentieth century. He was amongst the founders of the Niagara Movement in 1905.

This movement was later renamed as the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He wrote weekly columns in many well-known newspapers such as the Chicago Defender, the Pittsburgh Courier, the New York Amsterdam News and the San Francisco Chronicle. At the age of 93 he joined the Communist Party. Two years later he became a citizen of Ghana and gave up his U. S citizenship. Although DuBois died on August 27, 1963, his influence remains till today. History cannot ignore W. E. B. DuBois because history has to reflect truth and Dr.DuBois was a tireless explorer and a gifted discoverer of social truths. His singular greatness lay in his quest for truth about his own people.

There were very few scholars who concerned themselves with honest study of the black man and he sought to fill this immense void. The degree to which he succeeded disclosed the great dimensions of the man. (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. )


¢ W. E. B. Du Bois. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. 12 Feb 2007, 21:02 UTC. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 13 Feb 2007 http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=W.E.B._Du_Bois&oldid=107649669

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