Thursday, February 4, 2016

Random Civil Rights Moments: William Edward Burghardt Du Bois

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois also known as W.E.B Du Bois was born in 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He was identified as mixed and grew up attending schools with White students in a mostly White town. By 1885 he moved to Nashville, Tennessee and was like “Oh. Black people have it rough.” Jim Crow Laws were in full effect and he was getting his first taste of it. After getting a bachelor degree he went to Harvard. After getting his master's degree he headed to Germany and while speaking with social scientists he learned different ways of looking at the world. 

By 1895 he became the first Black to earn a Ph. D. from Harvard. In 1899 he published The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study that examined what he called “the talented tenth” which was a term regarding one in ten Black men becoming leaders of their race. While working at Atlanta University he opposed Booker T. Washington and his Atlanta Compromise. This got him a lot of attention as he felt that Blacks should be granted equality based on the 14th Amendment. He began fighting for the rights of women and the idea of White superiority and in 1909 he co-founded the NAACP

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