Essay Example on W E B du Bois was a American civil rights Activist









William Edward Burghardt du Bois better known as W E B du Bois was a American civil rights activist a scholar and a Pan Africanist He was one of the most important black protest leaders in the U S during the first half century W E B du Bois was born on February 23 1868 in Great Barrington MA he community in which he lived included a population of approximately 5 000 whites and about 50 black people He identified himself as a mulatto half white half black While growing up he freely attended school with whites and was supported by his white teachers In 1885 he moved to Nashville Tennessee to attend Fisk University In the following three years he witnessed discrimination and became more determined to quicken social justice for black people it was there that he first encountered Jim Crow laws Du Bois believed in Black Nationalism and in socialism While Du Bois originally believed that social science could help provide the knowledge to solve racial problems he came to the conclusion that in a climate of virulent racism express as lynching disenfranchisement Jim Crow Segregation laws and race riots social change could occur only in agitation and protest In 1906 Du Bois took the lead in founding the Niagara Movement with twenty nine African American leaders from 14 states united The Niagara Movement was a black civil rights organization dedicated to attacking the platform of Booker T Washington 

This group later became the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People NAACP possibly the most influential civil rights group in American history Du Bois played a important role in the creation of the NAACP and became the association s director of research and editor of it s magazine The Crisis The Crisis magazine governed by DuBois as its editor in chief for 25 years was the main piece of the NAACP policies and news concerning blacks The articles were often written without approval by the whites among the NAACP leadership whose presence DuBois highly disapproved of sometimes creating problems within the association The NAACP or National Advancement for colored people was America s oldest civil rights organization In 1924 Du Bois and the NAACP began to support a cultural movement of black writers artists and musicians that came to be known as the Harlem Renaissance Du Bois maintained that blacks were gifted with a sense of beauty which could be seen by their artistic accomplishments Du Bois like black intellectual Alaine Locke spoke of Negro Art Renaissance and encouraged black writers and artists to submit their work to prize competitions organized by the NAACP Du Bois contributed to the Harlem Renaissance in many ways besides his work with The Crisis An annual feature was a special children s edition and in the early 1920 with the help of co editors Jessie Fauset and Augustus Dill he began publishing another magazine The Brownies Book a monthly that included stories poems and short biographies targeted at a young black audience Du Bois resigned from the editorship of The Crisis and the NAACP in 1934 yielding his influence as a race leader 

As an observer for the NAACP at the Paris Peace Conference it was there that he decided it was time to organize a Pan African conference to educate the world about the problems of Africans In 1921 he decided to hold another Pan African meeting where he had an encounter with Marcus Garvey He and Du Bois had different way of advocating Pan Africanism So DuBois set out to prove that Garvey was too much an idealist and that his methods were wasteful and close to illegal DuBois held his Pan African conference in 1923 but the turnout was small When the conference concluded DuBois decided to sail to Africa for the first time He also articulated a cultural nationalism As the editor of the crisis he encouraged the development of black literature In Du Bois s belief black should develop a separate group economy of producers and consumers cooperatives as a weapon to fight economic discrimination and black poverty This doctrine became especially important during the economic catastrophe of the 1930s Life for African Americans did not change much after WWI they were still segregated and treated differently During the 1920s and 1930s Du Bois tried to change that by being one of the founding members of the NAACP Through the NAACP Du bois tried to change society for African American by fighting for their rights For example through his work as editor Du Bois highlighted and printed stories of lynchings and brutalities committed against blacks that were ignored entirely by the mainstream white or black presses By 1920 it was shipping over 100 000 copies a month to subscribers and the influence of the NAACP grew through a successive series of court victories overturning grandfather clauses and residential segregation

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