The early life and times of william edward du bois

Early in his life some people knew him as 'Willie'.

The early life and times of william edward du bois

He received a Ph. Although Du Bois took an advanced degree in history, he was broadly trained in the social sciences; and, at a time when sociologists were theorizing about race relations, he was conducting empirical inquiries into the condition of blacks.

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For more than a decade he devoted himself to sociological investigations of blacks in America, producing 16 research monographs published between and at Atlanta University in Georgiawhere he was a professor, as well as The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Studythe first case study of a black community in the United States.

Library of Congress, Washington, D. Although Du Bois had originally believed that social science could provide the knowledge to solve the race problem, he gradually came to the conclusion that in a climate of virulent racismexpressed in such evils as lynchingpeonagedisfranchisement, Jim Crow segregation lawsand race riots, social change could be accomplished only through agitation and protest.

In this view, he clashed with the most influential black leader of the period, Booker T. Washingtonwho, preaching a philosophy of accommodation, urged blacks to accept discrimination for the time being and elevate themselves through hard work and economic gain, thus winning the respect of whites.

This attack crystallized the opposition to Booker T. Two years later, inDu Bois took the lead in founding the Niagara Movementwhich was dedicated chiefly to attacking the platform of Booker T.

But it was significant as an ideological forerunner and direct inspiration for the interracial NAACPfounded in In this role he wielded an unequaled influence among middle-class blacks and progressive whites as the propagandist for the black protest from until Both in the Niagara Movement and in the NAACP, Du Bois acted mainly as an integrationist, but his thinking always exhibited, to varying degrees, separatist-nationalist tendencies.

One ever feels his twoness—an American, a Negro ; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.

Du Bois was a leader of the first Pan-African Conference in London in and the architect of four Pan-African Congresses held between and Second, he articulated a cultural nationalism.

This doctrine became especially important during the economic catastrophe of the s and precipitated an ideological struggle within the NAACP. He resigned from the editorship of The Crisis and the NAACP inyielding his influence as a race leader and charging that the organization was dedicated to the interests of the black bourgeoisie and ignored the problems of the masses.

At the turn of the century, he had been an advocate of black capitalism and black support of black business, but by about he had been drawn toward socialist doctrines. Although he joined the Socialist Party only briefly inhe remained sympathetic with Marxist ideas throughout the rest of his life.

Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt | Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

He also produced two major books during this period. An Essay Toward a History of the Part Which Black Folk Played in the Attempt to Reconstruct Democracy in America, — was an important Marxist interpretation of Reconstruction the period following the American Civil War during which the seceded Southern states were reorganized according to the wishes of Congressand, more significantly, it provided the first synthesis of existing knowledge of the role of blacks in that critical period of American history.

In this brilliant book, Du Bois explained his role in both the African and the African American struggles for freedom, viewing his career as an ideological case study illuminating the complexity of the black-white conflict.

The early life and times of william edward du bois

This brief connection ended in a second bitter quarrel, and thereafter Du Bois moved steadily leftward politically.Born February 23, , William Edward Burghardt DuBois in Great Barrington, Massachusettes.

DuBois became one of the most successful social activist, scholar and writer of the twentieth century. He descended of African, French, and Dutch lineage, hence his name.

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (—) W. E. B. Du Bois was an important American thinker: a poet, philosopher, economic historian, sociologist, and social critic.


For more than half a century, William Edward Burghardt DuBois was a monumental and often controversial, leader of Negro thought. As a sociologist, educator and writer, he frequently disagreed not only with whites but with members of his own race.

W.E.B. DuBois is on the second row, second from the right. William Edward Burghardt DuBois was very angry with Booker T. Washington. Although he admired Washington's intellect and accomplishments, he strongly opposed the position set forth by Washington in his Atlanta Exposition Address.

Watch video · 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. Co-Founder of the N.A.A.C.P. W.E.B. Du Bois, in full William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, (born February 23, , Great Barrington, Massachusetts, U.S.—died August 27, , Accra, Ghana), American sociologist, historian, author, editor, and activist who was the most important black protest leader in the United States during the first half of the 20th century.

W.E.B. Du Bois - HISTORY