The Life of W.E.B Du Bois

Anuoluwapo Adepegba

As Black History Month is approaching, it is essential for us to educate ourselves on inspirational African Americans who made an impact during their time, one of those people being W.E.B Du Bois.
William Edward Burghardt “W. E. B.” Du Bois, a leading African-American sociologist, writer and activist during his time, was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts on August 27, 1963. Unfortunately he did not know much about his father because he died shortly after his birth. Luckily his family had a strong bond and greatly influenced the person he became.
Du Bois received his education from top schools like Fisk University, Harvard University, and the University of Berlin. Much of his fame came from the nineteen books he published during his time, like the Souls of Black Folk (1903), which was a collection of essays where he identified some of the key themes of the African-American experience and the inspirations behind his own work. But he was received much of his recognition due to his role as a founding officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and editor of its magazine, the Crisis. In addition, Dubois taught at Wilberforce University and Atlanta University.
In June of 1934, Du Bois resigned from the NAACP due to a dispute concerning their organizational policy and direction. He wanted to implement an African American nationalist strategy that involved African American controlled institutions, schools, and economic cooperatives. This did not align with the NAACP’s plan for integration. He eventually returned to the NAACP in 1944 as head of a research effort the shed light on the issues that Africans faced. He was dismissed in 1948 from the NAACP because of renewed disputes.
In 1961, Du Bois settled in Ghana and began working on the “Encyclopedia Africana,” which was combination of information on Africans and people of African descent throughout the world. Afterwards, he joined the American Communist party and eventually became a citizen of Ghana, where he died in 1963.
“Overall Du Bois sought to place African-American experience in its world historical context. Out of this mix evolved his dual projects of building an African socialism and publishing a unifying work of scholarship on the African diaspora.”
More details about his life can be found at: http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/w-e-b-du-bois