Black Culture Month Cultural Figure of the Day: W.E.B Du Bois

W.E.B Du Bois, 1868-1963 

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This morning I was sitting in the library, pondering about who deserves to be honored today. Then it hit me, I was sitting in the W.E.B Du Bois library here at Umass Amherst. W.E.B Du Bois had a lasting legacy, one that is even larger than the tallest library at any college campus.

Du Bois was the first African-American to earn a doctorate degree at Harvard. He studied history, sociology, and economy, and used those studies to found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The NAACP is an organization that fights for civil rights, and was a major factor during the civil rights era. The organization is still prospering today.

He was constantly fighting for equal rights. After the Atlanta Compromise, which stated that Southern blacks would work and submit to white political rule, while Southern whites guaranteed that blacks would receive basic educational and economic opportunities, Du Bois developed the Niagara Movement, which sought to abolish the compromise. He believed Blacks should be getting equal educational and economic opportunity, regardless of their political backgrounds, or their jobs.

Du Bois also wanted to help on a global level. He organized several Pan-African congresses to free African colonies from European power. He later died in Ghana, trying to organize their political situation, and provide guidance on educational and social issues.

W.E.B was for da bois. See what I did there? Anyway…Du Bois deserves to have this library named after him, and every other honor or recognition he received. He fought for what he believed in, and made a lasting impression in African-American, and also simply American culture forever.

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