Life of W.E.B. Du Bois

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Dubois was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. W.E.B. Du Bois was born on February 23, 1868 as William E. Dubois. Du Bois died as Ghana citizen on August 27, 1963 at the age of 95 of natural causes. Born in lower, middle, or upper class circumstances? W.E.B. Du Bois’s mother, Mary Silvina Burghardt was a domestic worker and his father, Alfred Dubois was a barber. His father left the family when William was just 2 years old. When his mother died in 1884, Du Bois was 16 years old and penniless. To make ends meet, he worked as a timekeeper in a local mill. What was their childhood like? WEB Dubois managed to become the first African American to graduate from his high school. Du Bois went on to attend Fisk University, a school for black students in Nashville, Tennessee, for three years and then went on to earn his B.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard University.

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Du Bois began to write articles for papers like the New York Globe and the Freeman in 1883. His tuition was paid by several churches in Great Barrington. Du Bois became an editor for the Herald, the student magazine. After graduation, Du Bois attended Harvard University, starting in 1888 and eventually receiving advanced degrees in history. In 1892, Du Bois worked towards a Ph.D. at the University of Berlin until his funding ran out. He returned to the United States without his doctorate but later received one from Harvard while teaching classics at Wilberforce University in Ohio. His doctoral thesis, The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America, 1838-1870, became his first book and a standard in American education covering slavery. 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, he became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University and went on to enroll as a doctoral student at Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universití¤t. Du Bois wrote extensively and was the best known spokesperson for African-American rights during the first half of the 20th century. He co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (N.A.A.C.P.) in 1909. A proponent of Pan-Africanism, Du Bois helped organize several Pan-African Congresses to free African colonies from European powers. What happened to energize them/mobilize them to advocate for change? Was there a moment of truth? DuBois’s was greatly affected while he attended Fisk University in Nashville as he saw firsthand the effects of racism. Growing up in Great Barrington, where there were less than 50 blacks among the 4,000 residents, he had little exposure to African American culture.

Things were different in Nashville. when people treat others differently because of the color of their skin or the way they look. This period in his life had a great influence in shaping his beliefs and ideas on race relations that would last for the rest of his life. What was their cause? What was their advocacy all about? Tell us little bit about their journey and failures and successes. Du Bois and family moved to Atlanta University, where he taught sociology and worked on his additional Bureau of Labor Statistics studies. Among the books written during this period was The Souls of Black Folk, a collection of sociological essays examining the black experience in America. The book also introduced the idea of double consciousness, in which African Americans are required to consider not only their view of themselves but also the view that the world, particularly whites, has on them during all parts of life. It also expressly differentiated Du Bois from more conservative black voices like Booker T. Washington.

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 1899, Du Bois’ son Burghardt contracted diphtheria and died after Du Bois spent the night looking for one of three black doctors in Atlanta, since no white doctor would treat the child. A resulting essay, The Passing of the First Born, appeared in The Souls of Black Folk. DuBois’ radicalism continued in the public sphere, running as the Progressive Party’s candidate for Senate in 1950 and losing. He and other members of the Peace Information Center were charged as agents of a foreign principal, inspired by the organization’s Soviet leanings, but were acquitted in a trial in 1951.

Following the death of his wife in 1950, Du Bois married Shirley Graham the following year. Graham’s interest led Du Bois further into exploring communism, delving into the American Communist community and becoming known for his apologetic view of Joseph Stalin. During his final years in Ghana, Du Bois focused on the concept of Pan-Africanism and tried to complete his Encyclopedia Africana. Du Bois first conceived of the Encyclopedia Africana in 1908, a compendium of history and achievement of people of African descent designed to bring a sense of unity to the African diaspora. Unable to raise the needed funds, Du Bois wasn’t able to revisit the project until 1935, but it was disrupted by professional battles.

The years following, Du Bois published some entries from the proposed encyclopedia and even editions of research material, but it wasn’t until 1962 that a further promise was made to complete the encyclopedia. After Du Bois was invited to move to Ghana, he pledged to finally publish the work, but it was never realized before his death. Du Bois died in Ghana in 1963 and was given a state funeral. How did they mobilize followers? During the same period, Du Bois wrote The Strivings of the Negro People for the Atlantic Monthly, a groundbreaking essay that explained to white readers how it feels to be a victim of racism. It is considered the general public’s introduction to Du Bois.

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Life Of W.E.B. Du Bois. (2019, Dec 31). Retrieved January 31, 2023 , from
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