William Edward Burghardt DuBois
Great Barrington, Mass.
Death: Aug. 27, 1963
Famous Works: “Of the Training of Black Men,” “A Negro Schoolmaster in the South,” “The Freedom Bureau,” “The Evolution of Negro Leadership” and “The Soul of Black Folk.”
Where It Started: DuBois was a young man with great character and a strong passion for the development of his race. At the age of 20, DuBois received his Bachelor’s of Arts at Fisk University.
That same year, he enrolled in Harvard University as a junior. Later, he wrote his dissertation entitled, “The Supression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870.” It was published as number one in Harvard’s Historical Series. DuBois married Nina Gomer in 1896, later having two children.
Years of Activism: DuBois was the founder of the Niagara movement in 1905. This was a group of professionals and scholars who protested racial inequality. During this time, he also edited “The Moon” in 1906 and “The Horizon” from 1907 to 1910. In 1909, DuBois was among the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). He served as the director of publicity and research, a member of the board of directors, and editor of The Crisis, a monthly magazine.
Conflict Arises: Controversy between DuBois and Booker T. Washington, grew into a bitter and personal battle. DuBois was not opposed to Washington’s power and influence, rather he was against his ideology and methodology of handling that power. DuBois believed in the higher education of a “talented tenth” who, through their knowledge and education, could guide the black Americans into a higher civilization. DuBois published his most famous book work, “The Souls of Black Folks,” in 1903. DuBois dedicated a negative chapter to Washington entitled, “Of Booker T. Washington and Others.”
However, DuBois decided to remain professional in the novel and left the bitter remarks out.