W.E.B. DuBois: Hall of Fame
W.E.B. DuBois was an educator, writer, scholar, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, and later in his life a communist, whose life goal was to gain equal rights for all African Americans around the world. DuBois’ writings were mostly forgotten till the late 1960s, because of his involvement in communism and his absence during the civil rights movement in America. Even though his writings were temporarily forgotten because of his tarnished reputation, his legacy has since been restored allowing for his writings to be reprinted becoming a major influence for both academics and activists. DuBois’ accomplishments include his part in the creation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and his support for the civil rights movement advocating for equal social and economic rights for all African Americans. His accomplishments and efforts in order to gain equal treatment for African Americans outweigh his shortcomings and failures.
William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) DuBois was born February 23, 1863 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, a town with about 5000 inhabitants with only fifty African Americans. In his youth, Dubois did some newspaper reporting for his small town. Dubois graduated valedictorian from his high school. Following high school, DuBois attended Fisk University, a black liberal college in Nashville. After two years at Fisk University, DuBois transferred to Harvard his junior year. In 1890, he gradated cum laude from Harvard and was one of the six graduation speakers. He continued his education by pursuing graduate studies at the University of Berlin in history and economics. DuBois received his master of arts in 1891 and in 1895 received his doctorate in history from Harvard. Dubois married Nina Gomer in 1896 and they had two children together.
DuBois’ most important long-lasting contribution to the academic world was his writing. After graduating from Harvard with his doctorate in 1985, his dissertation, The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870, was published in 1896. DuBois wrote 21 books, edited 15, and published over 100 articles and essays. DuBois became a professor of economics and history at Atlanta University in 1897. Dubois believed that the solution for racial injustice could be found through social science. He published the first case study of a black community in the U.S. called, The Philadelphia Negro. This case study examined the lives of African American farmers and businessmen. This case study came out during a very heated time in the south were racial justice was prevalent and the Jim Crow segregation laws were in full affect. He began to investigate race issues hoping to get knowledge from social science as he had originally thought to fix the problems but instead realized only protests and politics would achieve social change. He strongly disagreed with Booker T. Washington would advocated for blacks to...