William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, or W. E.
B. Du Bois for short, was a well known African American male activist. Du Bois was a co-founder of the Niagara movement and writer, often opening up the world of segregation to anyone through his literature. But how did these two contributions, as well as many others, affect the world today?The birth of Du Bois had taken place on February 23rd, 1868 at Great Barrington, Massachusetts, where he grew up with his parents, Alfred and Mary Silvina Du Bois. While growing up, Du Bois was able to attend schools along side of caucasian students without resentment from white teachers, in fact being encouraged in his education just as any other child not of color. When going off to college for the first time at Fisk University, Du Bois was confronted my Jim Crow laws, opening him to the segregation and racism in the world. After 9 years of college education from 3 different universities, Du Bois embarked his career of teaching and becoming an activist. Activism for him started after organizing the Niagara movement of 1905.
The cause was created after Du Bois experienced racism through denial of a room at a multitude of different hotels in Buffalo, New York. Philosophy of Booker T. Washington being embraced was the soul of the movement, which met annually until 1908 when a riot killed 8 African Americans with estimates of over 2,000 African Americans who ran from the city of Springfield, Illinois. After this attack, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Du Bois being one of the co-founders.Although Du Bois did take action in different organizations, he had other methods of getting his feelings of segregation and racism across through writing books, such as The Souls of Black Folks, which was published in 1903 while he was at the age of 35. The Souls of Black Folks was considered what made Du Bois so well-known, the book itself serving as such a crucial piece of the history of Civil rights and struggle to colored people in the Americas. One of the many purpose of the book was to express how Du Bois saw Booker T. Washington’s way of helping race equality, which on page 41-42 Du Bois states “Mr.
Washington came, with a simple definite programme, at the physiological moment when the nation was a little ashamed of having bestowed so much sentiment on Negroes, and was concerning its energies on Dollars. His programme of industrial education, conciliation of the South, and submission and silence as to civil and political rights, was not wholly original;”. Du Bois refers to how Washington’s way of protest sacrificed African American education, which Du Bois believed was a very essential part of Civil Rights movement.
After Du Boi’s death on August 27th, 1963, the day before the famous “I Have a Dream” speech by Martin Luthor King, his work contributed to end segregation. His organizations, such as NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) which is still a group open to the public today, and the Niagara movement, as well as his brilliant, enlightening stories of how crucial equality among races are, he brought many people to unite with each other through the common goal of freeing the United States of Jim Crow Laws. With the help of many, accompanied by his knowledge on how to put his opinions out there, Du Bois changed the history of the United States and its residents for the better.