William Edward Burghardt Du Bois

American Civil Rights Activist

"W.E.B" Du Bios (1868-1963)

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Education and career

  • He went to school at Fisk University from 1885 to 1888, then at Harvard University from 1888 to 1896, and finally at the University of Berlin from 1892 till 1894.
  • Du Bois studied with some of the most important social thinkers of that time
  • Then, taking after them, he had a seventy-year career that combined scholarship and teaching with lifelong activism in liberation struggles.


  • He was a founding officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (naacp).
  • He edited the monthly magazine, the Crisis.
  • He resigned from the naacp in June 1934 in a dispute over organizational policy and direction
  • He believed the depression dictated a shift from the organization’s stress on legal rights and integration to an emphasis on black economic advancement, even if this meant temporarily “accepting” segregation
  • DuBois went to great lengths to get results, even speaking out against such well-known blacks as Booker T. Washington, whom he deemed to be not radical enough.
  • By World War I, Du Bois had become the leading black figure in the United States. But he was forgotten after the war when white Americans continued to deny black Americans equal political and civil rights


  • During Du Bois’s prolific career he published nineteen books, edited four magazines, coedited a magazine for children, and produced scores of articles and speeches.
  • One of his most outstanding work was Souls of Black Folk (1903), In the book, he expressed his sadness, rage, and frustration with the hardships that black people encountered.
  • Through editorials and lectures, he emphasized the need for black people to be politically recognized.

Famous quote

"A little less complaint and whining, and a little more dogged work and manly striving, would do us more credit than a thousand civil rights bills."
W.E.B. Du Bois - Mini Biography

Time line of important events in his life time

I found a timeline on line of WEB dubois's live, and the biggest events in it.

23 Feb 1868- William Edward burghardt Du Bois was born February 23, 1868, in Great Barringtton,Massachusetts, to Alfred Du Boisand Mary Silvina Burghardt Du Bois.

1 Jan 1888- DuBois earns his first degree.

1 Jan 1895- became the first Afro-American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

1 Jan 1896- After teching at Wilberforce university in Ohio, he worked at the University of Pennsylvania.

1 Jan 1897- Dubois moved to Georgia , where he established the Department of Social Work at Atlanta University.

1 Jan 1906- Du Bois, Along with Minnesota attorney Fredrick L. McGhee and others, help found the Niagara Movement with William Monroe Trotter.

1 Jan 1909=-DuBois Shares founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)

1 Jan 1961- Du Bois was invited to Ghana in 1961 by President Kwame Nkrumah to direct the Encyclopedia Africana, a government production ,and a long-held dream of his. When in 1963, he was refused a new U.S passport, he and his wife, shirley Graham Du Bois, became Citizens of Ghana.

27 Aug 1963- Du bois health had declined in 1962, and on August 27, 1963, he died in Accra, Ghana at the age of ninty-five.