WEB Du Bois: A Civil Rights Leader

Background on Du Bois
WEB Du Bois grew up in Massachusetts and experienced very little racism in his childhood. He became the first African American to earn his doctorate and later co-founded the NAACP in 1909. Du Bois played an integral role in the civil rights movement. He protested against lynchings, Jim Crow Laws, and discrimination in education and employment.

Du Bois and Journalism
In the early 1900s, American journalism virtually ignored African Americans. Eventually, the "American negro" became a symbol of democracy gone wrong, crime, and various monstrous acts. Du Bois had to overcome these racist stereotypes in order to make a difference as a journalist and civil rights leader. In 1906, when riots broke out in Atlanta and 25 blacks were killed, WEB Du Bois wrote articles/essays that influenced African Americans throughout the country. He urged them to no longer support the Republican Party because he did not agree with the actions of Republican politicians Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft.

Lasting Effect
Du Bois was an effective leader and had a large influence on black culture in the early 1900s. He expressed his opinions through journalism so that his ideas could reach the masses. He was an activist for peace and civil rights, and his actions and writings affected generations of Americans.

2 comments:

Marti Reiff said...

WEB Du Bois is the perfect example of a journalist of the 20th century who endured countless struggles throughout his career. He is still well known to this day and had an influential voice on both the African American community and Americans in general. One of his most memorable pieces, The Souls of Black Folk, helped in supporting women’s rights as well as rights for the black community. In addition to his writing, as stated in this post, he also co-founded the NAACP, which was one of the biggest factors in the fight to end segregation. This proves that he was very well rounded and a prime spokesperson for full and equal rights for all people.

Chris said...

Tommy,

Your spotlight on the life of W.E.B. DuBois and his struggles reminded me of how many great civil rights leaders there truly was. Having recently taken American history classes, I can recall a significant amount of time learning about DuBois during the civil rights movement. Specifically, I recall his "Atlanta Compromise" speech in which you touched briefly on. This 1895 agreement allowed whites to politically rule blacks if blacks were given basic education and due process in law. However, at the turn of the century, after the riots you mentioned, W.E.B. DuBois was one of the first to speak up against the compromise, saying blacks should stick together and fight for their civil rights. DuBois is the epitome of a civil rights leader.