Black History Month Spotlight: W.E.B Du Bois


Tylissa Arnold, Reporter

W.E.B Du Bois was born William Edward Burghardt Du Bois on February 23, 1868 in Massachusetts. In 1888, Du Bois graduated from Fisk university; a historically Black university or HBU, then went on to attend Harvard, which earned him his doctorate in 1895. Du Bois was a lot like Malcom X, who became a civil rights activist later. Du Bois ‘competitor’, Booker T. Washington, was a lot like MLK. Both MLK and Washington wanted to make peace with white people and work their way up to being seen as equal to them while Malcolm X and Du Bois didn’t want to wait.

During his life, Du Bois was a writer, editor, historian and activist as well as a self proclaimed socialist. He believed in Pan-Africanism: the belief where all people of African descent had similar goals, therefore they should work together. Du Bois edited for the Crisis Magazine and while he was an editor there, he used his power to draw attention to the lynchings of black people. This is very similar to what similar to Ida B Wells, another prominent civil rights activist, did during her life. He published articles in favor of unionized labor and called out union leaders for discriminating against black laborers.

Du Bois lived until he was 95 and he accomplished many things during his long life. For starters, he was a very important figure in the creation of the NAACP. Later on though, he left the NAACP, BUT he came back in 1944 until 1948. During those four years, Du Bois went to the United Nations conventions and shed light on suffering Black Americans. He’s ALSO written several books, such as The Souls of Black Folk and Black Reconstruction in America.

“Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year.”

-W.E.B Du Bois