In Honor of Black History Month #3 W.E.B. DuBois


In Honor of Black History Month Regina’s Family Seasons would like to introduce…
W.E.B. DuBois

Dr. William Edward Burghardt DuBois was born February 23, 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and died August 27, 1963, in Accra, Ghana. Du Bois graduated from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, in 1888. He completed his Master’s degree in 1891. When ex-president Rutherford B. Hayes, was the head of a fund to educate Negroes, he was quoted in the Boston Herald as claiming that they could not find one [Negro] worthy enough for advanced study abroad. DuBois’ anger inspired him to apply directly to Hayes. His credentials and references were impeccable. He not only received a grant, but a letter from Hayes saying that he was misquoted. DuBois chose to study at the University of Berlin in Germany. It was considered to be one of the world’s finest institutions of higher learning. But the men over his funding sources decided that the education he was receiving there was unsuitable for the type of work needed to help Negroes. They refused to extend him any more funds and encouraged him to obtain his degree from Harvard. So after 2 years in Berlin he returned to the states. His doctoral thesis, The Suppression of the African Slave Trade in America, remains the authoritative work on that subject, and is the first volume in Harvard’s Historical Series.He then received a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1895. Dr. DuBois was a well known writer, editor and orator. Throughout his years of education and life what became increasingly clear to Dr. DuBois was the growing and unchallenged racial injustices of his people.

Du Bois played a prominent part in the creation of the NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] in 1909 and became the association’s director of research and the editor of its magazine, The Crisis. For 25 years Dr. DuBois wrote about the injustices of black people. He was especially out spoken about the treatment of blacks who served in the armed services only to return to racist and unjust treatments at home. So powerful were his writings and the ire of his followers that it spurned on action such as:

  1. Inaugurate the opening of Black officer training schools.
  2. Bring forth legal action against lynchers.
  3. Set up a federal work plan for returning veterans.

Dr. Dubois continued his writings and continued to speak out about not only the injustices toward blacks in America but he spoke out against the the way Africa was ignored, and distanced. Dr. DuBois was becoming increasingly more disillusioned with America, with the whites who were on the board and ran the NAACP, and with the climate of America as a whole.

According to the Encyclopedia-Britannica, and as posted on Biography.com…

Identified with pro-Russian causes, he was indicted in 1951 as an unregistered agent for a foreign power. Although a federal judge directed his acquittal, Du Bois had become completely disillusioned with the United States. In 1961 he joined the Communist Party and, moving to Ghana, renounced his American citizenship more than a year later.

Feeling disillusioned and alienated Dr. DuBois spent his last years in Africa, working closely with Kwame Nkruma – the first President of Ghana. In the final months of his life, DuBois became a Ghanian citizen.

Happy Black History Month!
Each One, Teach One!!

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Shelia
    Feb 09, 2009 @ 18:45:00

    Hi Regina!These are great. Our history in this country can never be over stated and should be presented whenever and wherever possible.It is critical that our youth are well versed in our history at home and from other sources; because nine times out of ten they generally won’t be getting it at their public schools.

  2. Oyin
    Feb 10, 2009 @ 01:59:00

    oh yeahhhhh, it black history month…sheesh. I gotta get ready for all these reports the kids gonna have.THANKS FOR THE REMINDER

  3. Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 08:39:00

    love the new diggs and the rockstar in pic on the sideu know me and web went to the same graduate school

  4. attygnorris
    Feb 11, 2009 @ 10:53:00

    Thanks for this post on Dubois. I think he would be proud to see how America has changed a little over the past few decades.Davida

  5. Vérité Parlant
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 11:06:00

    Thank you for educating people and keeping the flame burning. I used the black history widget and linked back to you at both my blogs, but expanded what I had to say at The Urban Mother’s Prayer Book.On a separate issue, your comment on the post about the naked mole rat had me, my son, and my daughter cracking up. 🙂

  6. pjazzypar
    Feb 12, 2009 @ 23:06:00

    I remember my first reading of “The Souls of Black Folks”. What a magnificent mentor, teacher, scholar he was and an intricate part of our journey as a people.

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