William Du Bois

William Du Bois

American social activist, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, historian and writer.
Date of Birth: 23.02.1868
Country: USA

  1. Biography of William Du Bois
  2. Opposition to Booker T. Washington
  3. Founding of the Niagara Movement and NAACP
  4. Pan-Africanism and International Recognition
  5. Notable Works

Biography of William Du Bois

William Du Bois was an American civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, historian, and writer. He was born in 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts to parents of mixed race. In 1895, he became the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University, and two years later he became a professor of history and economics at Atlanta University, where he focused on studying the social conditions of African Americans.

Opposition to Booker T. Washington

Du Bois's views were in opposition to those of another prominent African American rights activist of the time, Booker T. Washington. While Washington advocated for social integration between blacks and whites, Du Bois believed in the importance of building a black elite that would work towards the progress and development of African Americans.

Founding of the Niagara Movement and NAACP

In 1905, Du Bois co-founded the Niagara Movement, a civil rights organization that aimed for freedom and equality for African Americans. In 1909, he, along with a group of like-minded individuals, founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Du Bois left his position at Atlanta University in 1910 to focus on his role as editor of the NAACP's journal, "The Crisis."

Pan-Africanism and International Recognition

Du Bois also organized a series of Pan-African Congresses around the world. In 1958, he was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize. However, in 1961, he joined the American Communist Party, moved to Ghana, and renounced his American citizenship. He died in Ghana on August 27, 1963.

Notable Works

Du Bois was a prolific writer and author of numerous books, including three autobiographies. In his book "The Souls of Black Folk" (1903), he spoke out against social inequality, and in his work "John Brown" (1909), he described the activities of the abolitionist who fought for the emancipation of slaves. In 1911, Du Bois published his first novel, "The Quest of the Silver Fleece."