William Du Bois Essay

650 words - 3 pages

{draw:frame} William DuBois
William Du Bois was born in 23rd February 1868. William grew up in Great Barrington, Massachusetts and was brought up by his mother as his father had shortly left after his birth. His mother’s family were from a group of free black people living in Great Barrington at the time. When his mother became ill he started to work part time after school so that they could have an income. He then decided the best way for them to get a good life were if he was to get an education and work. Du Bois eventually attended Frisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. Living in Tennessee under the segregation was where he first realised that there was a problem with civil rights for the black people. In 1888 he went to Harvard College and earned a Bachelor’s degree and was the first black man to get a PhD. William Du Bois then became a civil rights activist and started to write books on the ...view middle of the document...

Du Bois founded and edited the Moon (1906) and the Horizon (1907-1910) as organs for the Niagara movement. In 1909 Du Bois was among the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People (NAACP) and from 1910 to 1934 served it as director of publicity and research, a member of the board of directors, and editor of the Crisis, its monthly magazine. In the Crisis, Du Bois directed a constant stream of agitation--often bitter and sarcastic--at white Americans while serving as a source of information and pride to African Americans. The magazine always published young African American writers. Racial protest during the decade following World War I focused on securing anti-lynching legislation. During this period the NAACP was the leading protest organization and Du Bois its leading figure. In 1934 Du Bois resigned from the NAACP board and from the Crisis because of his new advocacy of an African American nationalist strategy: African American controlled institutions, schools, and economic cooperatives. This approach opposed the NAACP's commitment to integration. However, he returned to the NAACP as director of special research from 1944 to 1948. During this period he was active in placing the grievances of African Americans before the United Nations, serving as a consultant to the UN founding convention (1945) and writing the famous "An Appeal to the World" (1947).Du Bois was a member of the Socialist party from 1910 to 1912 and always considered himself a Socialist. In 1948 he was co-chairman of the Council on African Affairs; in 1949 he attended the New York, Paris, and Moscow peace congresses; in 1950 he served as chairman of the Peace Information Centre and ran for the U.S. Senate on the American Labour party ticket in New York. In 1950-1951 Du Bois was tried and acquitted as an agent of a foreign power in one of the most ludicrous actions ever taken by the American government. Du Bois travelled widely throughout Russia and China in 1958-1959 and in 1961 joined the Communist party of the United States. He also took up residence in Ghana, Africa, in 1961.

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