W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963)
Author, Educator, Intellectual
No single title does credit to the prodigious talents of Dr. W.E.B. DuBois. Born on February 23, 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, he has been labeled an educator, author, historian, sociologist, philosopher, poet, leader and radical. In 1903 his famous book Souls of Black Folks was published. Perhaps his greatest fame came from his debate with Booker T. Washington over the type of education needed by African Americans. Washington stressed vocational education, whereas DuBois insisted on training in the liberal arts and in the humanities. He was one of the founders of the NAACP and editor of its famous journal The Crisis. He was also the first Black to receive a doctoral degree from Harvard University. In 1919 he initiated the Pan African Conferences in Paris. On behalf of the NAACP at the United Nations, he tried to get a firm anti-colonial commitment from the United States in 1945 and in 1947 presented a protest against the Jim Crow laws. His theme in his later years was always economic democracy and the channeling of Black Power through a unified Black society. He died on October 27,1963 in Accra, Ghana where he had established his new home.