W.E.B. DuBois I Know Why the Caged Bird SIngs
Early Years • Born Feb. 23, 1868 in Great Barrington, MA • William Edward Burghadt Du Bois-full name • Father was French Haitian • Did not know his biological father, he left when he was young—but he was close to his mother.
Early Years • W.E.B’s mom had a stroke and was unable to work, therefore they depended on the few jobs that W.E.B. could do, and kindness from relatives. • W.E.B. believed he could improve their lives through education • Many recognized W.E.B’s intelligence, and encouraged him to further his education.
University Education • 1888-Du Bois was awarded a degree from Fisk University • After graduation, Du Bois managed the Fisk Glee Club, and the club was employed by a luxury resort in Minnesota. • Du Bois worked as the manager of the glee club and as a waiter at the resort. • He was disgusted with the drinking and rude behavior from the rich white guests, and this left a deep impression on young Du Bois.
1888-Du Bois entered Harvard College • He earned a B.A. from Harvard in 1890, and received a stipend to attend the University of Berlin. • 1895-Du Bois, first African American to receive a Ph.D. from Harvard • Du Bois wrote 22 books.
Civil Rights Activism • Was a contemporary of Booker T. Washington • Du Bois was one of the founding members of the NAACP • Worked for 25 years as the Editor-in-chief for the NAACP’s publication The Crisis • He published AA writers Langston Hughes and Jean Toomer.
Marcus Garvey vs. Du Bois • During 1920’s-Du Bois and Garvey were at odds. • Du Bois questioned whether African Americans could ever be seen as equals in American society, and Garvey questioned whether African Americans would always be treated as 2nd class citizens. • They could never agree on the view of the AA in American society, and were seen as enemies.
Washington Vs. DuBois • BW wanted self-help and vocational training for AAs and D Bois thought AAs should seek higher education in the liberal arts. • Du Bois believed AAs should challenge and question white society on all grounds, but BW believed adjusting and assimilating to the culture, was the way for AAs to move up.
Death • Du Bois and his wife were at this time, permanent citizens of Ghana • Du Bois’s health declined in 1962, and he died at the age of 95 , 1 day before MLK, Jr’s “I Have A Dream Speech” • At MLK. Jr.’s speech, Du Bois’s death was announced, and there was a moment of silence.