William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born on (February 23, 1868? he was an American civil rights activist,Pan-Africanist,sociologist,historian,author, and editor.
He grew up in Great Barrington, a predominately Anglo American town. His Mother, Mary Silvina Burghardt’s family was part of the very small free black population of Great Barrington, having long owned land in the state. Their family descended from Dutch and African ancestors, including Tom, a West African-born man who served as a private for Captain John Spoor’s company in 1780, a service which likely won him his freedom. According to Du Bois, several of his mothers ancestors were notably involved in regional history.
William Edward Burghardt DuBois was one of this country’s most distinguished educators. Born in a small village in Massachusetts in 1868, DuBois first came face to face with the realities of racism in 19th century America while attending Fisk University in Nashville. It was while completing his graduate studies at Harvard that DuBois wrote an exhaustive study of the history of the slave trade — one that is still considered one of the most comprehensive on that subject.
In 1895 he was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Havard University.
In 1903 he wrote Thebook “The Souls of Black Folk” which serves as the underpinning of access to many of his ideas.
In 1905 W.E.B. Dubois, John Hope, Monroe Trotter and 27 others met secretly in the home of Mary B. Talbert, a prominant member of Buffalo’s Michigan Street Baptist Church.? there they adopted the resolutions which lead to the founding of the Niagara Movement. The Niagara Movement will renounce Booker T. Washington’s accommodation policies set forth in his famed “Atlanta Compromise” speech ten years earlier. The Niagara Movement’s manifesto is, in the words of Du Bois, “We want full manhood suffrage and we want it now…. We are men! We want to be treated as men. And we shall win.” The movement will be a forerunner of the NAACP.
Despite the establishment of 30 branches and the achievement of a few scattered civil-rights victories at the local level, the group suffered from organizational weakness and lack of funds as well as a permanent headquarters or staff, and it never was able to attract mass support. After the Springfield? Race Riot of 1908, however, white liberals joined with the nucleus of Niagara “militants” and founded the NAACP the following year, 1909. The Niagara Movement disbanded in 1910, with the leadership of Du Bois forming the main continuity between the two organizations.
W.E.B. DuBois continued to work as an author, lecturer and educator throughout the first half of the 20th Century . His teachings were an important influence on the Civil Rights Movement of the’50s and’60s. Ironically, DuBois died on the eve of the historic march on Washington in 1963.? The Actor and playwright Ossie Davis read an announcement of his death to the 250,000 people gathered the next day at the Washington Monument.