Tuesday, October 23

W.E.B. Du Bois: Challenger of Oppression

W.E.B. Du Bois was born in western Massachusetts in 1868. As a child, Du Bois experience very little racism and this led to him flourishing in education. His immense education ensured his eventual doctorate from Harvard, where he was the first African-American to ever do so. Some of his life achievements include being a professor at Atlanta University of history, sociology, and economics, helping co-found the NAACP, being the leader of the Niagara Movement, his extensive and prolific publishing career, as well as active fight against racism, colonialism, imperialism, and various other world issues.

The Niagara Movement and the NAACP
This movement, which got its start in southern ontario right outside of Buffalo, NY, was the stepping stone for the creation of the NAACP. What the Niagara Movement did was get many African-American men and women, as well as White men and women together to discuss and oppose racial segregation and disenfranchisement. Beyond this, their principles included suffrage for women, civil and economic opportunities, as well as decent housing and education access. Due to lack of funds this group could only sustain itself for about six years (1905-1911) where they then joined with white progressives to for the NAACP.
The NAACP credits Du Bois' writing as "[directing] a constant stream of agitation--often bitter and sarcastic--at white Americans while serving as a source of information and pride to African Americans".

Notable Works and Awards

Du Bois and Mao Zedong in 1959,
after having his passport returned to him
Du Bois is seen as influential through not only advocacy, but also through his extensive writings. His most notable works include The Souls of Black Folk and Black Reconstruction in AmericaThe Souls of Black Folk is recognized as a cornerstone in African-American literature and one of the earliest works dealing with sociology. Black Reconstruction in America deals with the Reconstruction after the Civil War and documents how unfairness in race was one of the main causes to economic disparity and the eventual rise of the Jim Crow laws and other horrible inequalities. 
Further Du Bois is recognized for his socialist and peaceful ties. Du Bois was anti-war and remained that way for his life. This ideology made him firm and a thinker. He helped Pan-Africanism and many other colored nations throughout the world, not all African, many Asian. 
Some award include the Spingarn Medal from the NAACP, Lenin Peace Prize from the USSR, and many other posthumously for his contribution to world politics and especially African American advancement. 


Seth_R said...

Out of all of the people that this week’s course blog posts were on, I think that the only person that I recognized was W.E.B. Du Bois. While, I am not too sure why this is, I do, however, think that this is somewhat concerning. This is because; all of the other people, that the course blog posts were on, did some really impressive stuff. I am not saying that W.E.B. Du Bois did not do impressive stuff, because he did. All I am saying is that the other people did some really impressive stuff too, and as a result, I should have learned about them in high school. But, I did not, and that is a problem that needs to be fixed.

Isaac Ruiz said...

W.E.B. Du Bois was more than just a civil rights leader, he was also a well recognized author who advocated for the betterment and advancement of the African American community. He was well known for all his work with the creation of the NAACP, and his non violent work. What I thought it was interesting as well was the fact that he also served as an editor for the magazine "The Crisis", making him an active journalist as well. By the time he passed away, he had written 17 books and 4 journals which all advocated and empowered the African American community.