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WEB DuBois

Du Bois Few men have influenced the lives of African-Americans as much as William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B.) Du Bois is considered more of a history-maker than a historian(Aptheker, "The Historian"). Dr. Du Bois conducted the initial research on the black experience in the United States. Civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. have referred to Du Bois as a father of the Civil Rights Movement. Du Bois conducted the initial research on the black experience in the United States, and paved the way for the Pan-African and Black Power movements. This paper will describe his life, work, influence in the black community, and much publicized civil dispute with another black leader, Booker T. Washington.Du Bois was born in the western Massachusetts town of Great Barrington. His family roots were French Huguenot on his father’s side and Dutch and African on his mother’s side. His father, Alfred Du Bois, left his family when W.E.B. was a young boy. W.E.B. lived with his mother Sylvina until her death in 1884. This same year, Du Bois graduated from high school as the valedictorian and only black in his graduating class of twelve. He was awarded a scholarship to attend Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. He had grown up with more privileges and advantages than most blacks living in the U.S. at the time, and suffered no severe economic hardship or racism. Du Bois continued his education at Fisk University. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1885 and won a scholarship to attend Harvard University. He received his second bachelor’s degree in 1890, and then enrolled in Harvard’s graduate school. He earned his master’s degree and then doctoral degree in 1895. He became the first black to receive a doctoral degree from Harvard. His doctoral dissertation, The Suppression of the African Slave Trade was published in 1896 as the initial volume in the Harvard Historical Studies Series. The...

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