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10 Things You Didn’t Know About W.E.B. Du Bois

10 Things You Didn’t Know About W.E.B. Du Bois

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W.E.B. Du Bois was born on Feb. 23, 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and was famous for starting the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The NAACP played a large part in advancing career and educational opportunities for black Americans, and fighting for equal rights for all. But Du Bois’ work went beyond U.S. borders. He led movements and conferences to advance equal rights for blacks not only in the U.S., but around the world. Du Bois wrote for The Atlantic Monthly and was the editor for the NAACP journal, The Crisis. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about W.E.B. Du Bois.

Source: Wikipedia.org

studyinboston.com
studyinboston.com

First African American Harvard Ph.D. grad

Du Bois was the first African American to graduate with a Ph.D. from Harvard, serving as a model for the advancement of educational opportunities for African Americans.

news.lib.uchicago.edu
news.lib.uchicago.edu

He published “The Souls of Black Folk”

Du Bois published “The Souls of Black Folk,” a philosophical and poetic body of work that reveals how different the African American experience is when you’re living it compared to the way it looks to the rest of society.

neworleansnaacp.org
neworleansnaacp.org

He co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

The NAACP is an African American civil rights organization that fought for equal rights for blacks in education, politics, society and economy. It also fought to eliminate racial discrimination and acts of hatred.

wblk.com
wblk.com

He lead the Niagara Movement

The Niagara Movement was made up of activists pushing for equal rights for blacks. They combated the Atlanta Compromise, which stated Southern blacks would have to submit to white political leadership. Through the movement, Du Bois pushed for more black representation in politics.

stripes.com
stripes.com

 

He revealed bigotry in the military

Du Bois interviewed black American soldiers about their treatment in the military, as well as racial segregation in the military, and documented these interviews in the publication The Crisis. He showed that bigotry was happening in the U.S. military, from racial hatred to restricting African-Americans from certain military ranks.

wikimedia.org
wikimedia.org

He protested racist films

Du Bois and several members of the NAACP worked to ban the racist film “The Birth of a Nation.” Their attempts at banning were unsuccessful, but the fight drew many new members to the NAACP.

americaslibrary.gov
americaslibrary.org

He worked to expose and punish lynching

Du Bois published several essays opposing lynching, and even used undercover reporting to expose those partaking in the brutal practice in the Southern states.

vellastrations.wordpress.com
vellastrations.wordpress.com

He was a proponent of The Great Migration

With his already popular political platform and political writings, Du Bois encouraged the migration of blacks from the Southern states to Northeast, Midwest and Western states where they could escape racism and find more career and educational opportunities.

reconstructionhistory.weebly.com
reconstructionhistory.weebly.com

He defended African Americans against accusations that they negatively affected the Reconstruction era

The Reconstruction era refers to a reconstruction of state and society in the Southern states after their defeat in the American Civil War, as mandated by Congress. Legal rights of freedom, labor contracts and educational systems were being re-worked but it all collapsed when a depression hit. Many blamed African Americans for this collapse, but Du Bois disproved their claims in his work, “Black Reconstruction in America.”

library.umass.edu
library.umass.edu

 

He supported Pan-Africanism

Du Bois fought imperialism and colonialism, heading up several pan-African conferences to help release African colonies from European colonialism. He was one of the leaders of a Pan-African Congress that insisted Africa be ruled by Africans and insisted on racial equality. Du Bois fought the concepts of Marcus Garvey — the leader of the Universal Negro Improvement Association — who was pushing for racial separation and wanted African Americans to go back to Africa.