The Influence of W.E.B. DuBois

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Civil Right Activist encouraged many African Americans to join the fight of inequality. W.E.B. DuBois, educator, sociologist and activist, pushed many blacks and white to fight for the equal rights of African Americans. W.E.B DuBois left a positive mark on history during the Civil Rights activist by advocating for social issues for African Americans, writing books fighting for sociology, and co founded the NAACP.

W.E.B. DuBois childhood and educational background was very influential to the positive changes he brought to society. William Edward Burghardt Dubois is the name his parents gave him but, he is better known as W.E.B. DuBois. DuBois was born on February 23, 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. By the age of two he had been abandoned by his father. W.E.B. DuBois grew up in a mostly white neighborhood. With being the first person in his extended family to attend high school, DuBois saw himself as mulatto.Not only did he grow up in a mostly white neighborhood but he could freely go to school with whites as well. Unlike you would expect, his white teachers supported and encouraged his educational path. DuBois also became an influencer at a young age in high school. He encouraged others in reading and solicited scholarship aid With the passing of his mother, he was left in disarray with only being sixteen years old. He was left with no money and had to work at a local mill to support himself. Without letting this stop his educational path, DuBois found it in himself to finish high school and graduate.

W.E.B DuBois didn’t end his education there. He was able to go on to college with the help of several churches in his hometown paying for his tuition. He had set off to Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Moving from the north to the south for the first time, DuBois was faced with many Jim Crow laws for the first time. It was there where he really experienced the deep troubles of racism. After graduating from Fisk University with his bachelor’s degree, DuBois moved on to attend Harvard University in Cambridge ,Massachusetts.During his years of study there, DuBois wrote a study about the history of the slave trade, “The Suppression of the African Slave Trade in America”. Later on DuBois finished off with his master’s degree.

After finishing his education DuBois was offered a job at Wilberforce University in Ohio to teach. This was his first teaching job where he taught English, French, and literature. In 1896 DuBois was offered another job position at the University of Pennsylvania. DuBois published his study of the African American community in 1899, The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study. It was then when he began to get recognized for his writing ability for the study of sociology of African American. With the ending of the 19th century DuBois accepted his last job as a professor at Atlanta University teaching sociology. In Atlantic from himself to be publicly opposing Booker T. Washington’s “Atlanta Compromise”. The “Atlanta Compromise” was the speech Booker T. Washington gave, telling African Americans to accept racism for now and that their rights would eventually come down the road. However, In 1903 DuBois wrote his now famous book, “The Souls of Black Folk”, opposing Washington. DuBois said that African Americans should be fighting for their Civil Right now. They were already suppose to to be equal from the 14th Amendment. Du Bois opposition to Washington led to the creation of The Niagara Movement in 1905. This was a group of civil rights activist dedicated to fight for an end to segregation, discrimination, and equal educational opportunities. Although the Niagara Movement had little impact on society at the time, it led to the development of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909.

Many People have been inspired by W.E.B. DuBois for his work. With becoming the director of research and editor of “The Crisis”, DuBois influenced African Americans to continue to protest for equalism. He was also encouraging his readers to see the “ Beauty in Black” W.E.B. Dubois next influence for African Americans was Pan-Africanism. “ Pan-Africanism is idea that peoples of African descent have common interests and should be unified”(Kuryla 1). DuBois was a strong advocator for Pan-Africanism.

W.E.B DuBois started off with nothing but his mother. However, he took it upon himself to take of advantage of his interacial school and get a quality education. DuBois began to study the injustice of African Americans and didnt stay quiet. He began speaking his opinion in many books he wrote to influence others. He had made many positive influences on history.

Work Cited

“Background Information of W.E.B. DuBois.” Reconstructed Memory Experiment – War of the Ghosts, msu.edu/user/h/a/harri283/web/112/dubois.htm.

Kuryla, Peter. “Pan-Africanism.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 29 Apr. 2016, www.britannica.com/topic/Pan-Africanism.

Mack, Dwayne. “William Edward Burghardt DuBois (1868–1963) • BlackPast.” Redlining (1937- ) | The Black Past: Remembered and Reclaimed, 29 Jan. 2019, www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/dubois-william-edward-burghardt-1868-1963/.

“NAACP History: W.E.B. Dubois.” NAACP, www.naacp.org/naacp-history-w-e-b-dubois/.

“The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow . Jim Crow Stories . People . W.E.B. Du Bois | PBS.” Legendary Violinists. Fritz Kreisler, MetroFocus, www.thirteen.org/wnet/jimcrow/stories_people_dubois.html.

“W. E. B. Du Bois.” The Hutchins Center for African & African American Research, hutchinscenter.fas.harvard.edu/web-dubois.

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