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Du Bois, W.E.B. (1868–1963)

WILLIAM EDWARD BURGHARDT Du Bois was a sociologist, author, historian, activist, poet, editor, professor, social reformer, and activist for racial equality. One of the great intellectual and inspirational forces of his era, he was viewed differently by various black leaders. To Martin Luther King, Jr., he was considered an “intellectual giant”; to Booker T. Washington, he was an irritant; to Marcus Garvey, he was a pawn of the white power structure. Although his numerous books, articles, and other writings showed some diversion in thought over his 60 years of writing, his strivings were always directed toward the betterment of social conditions for African Americans.

Du Bois was born in the small mountain community of Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Although he possessed a heritage that consisted of an ...

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