5.04 Compare and contrast the African American political and legal personalities of the time period and their impact on American society.
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois • Born in Great Barrington Massachusetts on February 23, 1868 • Later that year his father left town and never returned • Du Bois studied and worshipped with whites • He was the first African-American to graduate from his high school; he did so with high honors in 1884 • His mother died in 1885
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois • Whites from Great Barrington churches paid for Du Bois’s schooling • He wanted to attend Harvard but chose instead to attend Fisk, one of the top black colleges in the US • In the South Du Bois encountered violent racism and found himself with new understanding of black poverty and suffering • Writes on the economic basis of racism in rural Tennessee
Fisk University • Jubilee hall is the oldest building of higher education for African-Americans.
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois • Graduated from Fisk in 1888, enrolled in Harvard • Received second bachelor’s and continued graduate study in history • William James, George Santana, Albert Bushnell Hart, and Frank Taussig mentored Du Bois in philosophy, history, and economics • In 1892 Du Bois traveled to Berlin to study sociology and economics at Fredrich Wilhelm University
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois • Used immense intelligence to assault white supremacy upon return to Harvard • Du Bois became the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in history from Harvard • His thesis was The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States • After a year of research in Philadelphia he writes The Philadelphia Negro • Between 1897 and 1903has many essays published
Paris Exhibition • Du Bois displayed hundreds of pictures of black doctors, lawyers, and ‘normal folk.”
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois Souls of Black Folk • 1903 writes landmark at age 35 • In 1903 there were 8 million African-Americans • Describes ‘veil’ separating black and white life • Describes ‘two-ness’ of being black yet American • Metaphor used by James Weldon Johnson’s The Autobiography of an Ex-Colored Man, Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man, and Toni Morrison’s Beloved
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois • Niagara Movement formed to ensure civil rights • Founds NAACP and publishes The Crisis • The Crisis was one part shared outrage at injustice and one part high black art and education • Du Bois went to the Paris Peace Conference to champion the rights of Africans and African- Americans • Du Bois traveled to the USSR to ‘look into’ socialism; many in the NAACP were outraged
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois • A conflict with NAACP secretary Walter White leads to Du Bois’s resignation in 1934 • Attempts to complete The Encyclopedia of the Negro (later titled Encyclopedia Africana) • Efforts increased to fight colonial imperialism • Completes Reconstruction in America, Black Folk: Then and Now, Dusk of Dawn, An Autobiography of a Concept of Race, Color and Democracy: Colonies and Peace, and The World and Africa
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois • Accepts Kwame Nkrumah’s invitation and moves to the African country of Ghana • The day before the March on Washington (1963) Du Bois dies at the age of 94 • Martin Luther King Jr. takes over as the most influential black political leader in the world! • The Encyclopedia Africana was completed by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. and Kwame Anthony Appiah in 1999
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois Bibliography • Lewis, David Levering. W. E. B. Du Bois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919. N.Y. Henry Holt, 1993 • _____. The Fight for Equality and the American Century, 1919-1963. N.Y Henry Holt, 2000. • Gates, Henry Louis, Jr., and Cornell West. The African-American Century, N.Y. The Free Press, 2000.
1. Who invited WEB DuBois to live in Ghana? • 2. When did DuBois die? • 3. Who helped Kwame Anthony Appiah complete the Encyclopedia Africana? • 4. Why did DuBois resign the NAACP? • 5. What DuBois’s landmark (published 1903)? • 6. What metaphor does DuBois use to explain the separation between black and white life? • 7. Where did DuBois get his first undergraduate degree? Ec. Concerning Harvard how does DuBois’s degree differ from BTW’s?