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W.E.B. Dubois
Sociologist, Author & Civil Rights Leader

1868 -1963

Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.

                                                                                                   —WEB Dubois, 1897

W.E.B. (William Edward Burghardt) Dubois was born on February 23, 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He was one of the most influential black leaders of the first half of the 20th Century. Dubois shared in the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, or NAACP, in 1909. He served as its director of research and editor of its magazine, "Crisis," until 1934.

Dubois was the first African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1896. Between 1897 and 1914 Dubois conducted numerous studies of black society in America, publishing 16 research papers. He began his investigations believing that social science could provide answers to race problems. Gradually he concluded that in a climate of virulent racism, social change could only be accomplished by agitation and protest.

At the turn of the century Dubois had been a supporter of black capitalism. Throughout his career he moved steadily to the political left. By 1905 he had been drawn to socialist ideas and remained sympathetic to Marxism throughout his life. Dubois acted in support of integration and equal rights for everyone regardless of race, but his thinking often exhibited a degree of black separatist-nationalist tendencies. In 1961 Dubois became completely disillusioned with the United States. He moved to Ghana, joined the Communist Party, and a year later renounced his American Citizenship.

August 27, 1963, on the eve of the March On Washington, Dubois died in Accra, Ghana, shortly after becoming a Ghanan citizen.

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•  Other Civil-Rights Leaders in the Lucidcafé Library
•  Books By Dubois
•  Books About Dubois
•  W.E.B. Dubois Images
•  Related Websites
•  eTexts of Dubois


  Other Civil-Rights Leaders in the Lucidcafé Library

  Books By Dubois

  • The Souls of Black Folk - Author: W.E.B. Dubois

    Penned by Dubois in 1903, "The Souls of Black Folk" remains his most studied and popular work. The book's largely autobiographical chapters take the reader through the momentous and moody maze of Afro-American life after the Emancipation Proclamation: from poverty, the neoslavery of the sharecropper, to the heights of humanity reached by the spiritual "sorrow songs" that birthed gospel and the blues.

    CLICK HERE to purchase this Hardcover edition of "The Souls of Black Folk"

  • The Oxford W.E.B. Du Bois Reader - Author: W.E.B. Dubois

    A compendium of works by Dubois including "The Souls of Black Folk" (1903), and his landmark work on colonialism, "Darkwater" (1920). Key chapters are drawn from full-length studies, including "The Philadelphia Negro," "The Gift of Black Folk," "In Battle for Peace," and Du Bois's posthumous autobiography are supplemented by dozens of shorter essays covering topics in literature, education, African politics, urban studies, and American foreign policy.

    CLICK HERE to purchase this Paperback edition of "The Oxford W.E.B. Du Bois Reader"

  • Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil - Author: W.E.B. Dubois

    After an opening autobiographical essay, Dubois launches a series of critical commentaries on some of the most important issues pertaining to White-Black relations, including white bigotry, black voting rights, and black-white labor relations.

    CLICK HERE to purchase this Paperback edition of "Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil"

  • The Negro - Author: W.E.B. Dubois

    "The whole is written with an intellectual force, a breadth of learning, and a judicial poise that compel respect.—New York Times

    CLICK HERE to purchase this Paperback edition of "The Negro"

  Books About Dubois

  eTexts of Dubois

  Related Websites

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Copyright © 1995-2016 Robin Chew
Article written by Robin Chew - February 1996