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About W.E.B. Du Bois

There are many interesting online pages with biographical details of W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) and various aspects of his life, writings, and activities. Works by and about Shirley Graham, Du Bois's second wife, are also available on the Web.

This web page is organized according to the following sections
(with the sections being internally alphabetized):
  * Credo Online Repository of DuBoisian works
  * Autobiographical Works by Du Bois
  * Photographs of Du Bois & Others
  * Biographies: Notes, Overviews, & Longer Works
  * Birthday Celebrations
  * Tributes, Obituaries, & Commemorations
  * On Du Bois' Scholarship & Activism
  * Booker T. Washington & Du Bois
  * Shirley Graham Du Bois
  * Other Aspects of Du Bois' Life

I have written a biographical profile of Du Bois [link below], which is available at The Literary Encyclopedia.
Robert W. Williams, Ph.D.  [Bio] 

LATEST UPDATE (for 1 March 2023)
I created a new section on Birthday Celebrations for Du Bois. Posted below are links to celebrations held by Fisk University for 2022 and 2023.

As of July 2011, the Credo repository of DuBoisian primary and secondary (published and unpublished) sources went live [view the "About Credo" page or an official announcement]. Named after Du Bois' well known 1904 prayer, the Credo database system has been created by the Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
    The Credo repository allows us online viewing of over 600 photographs that are part of the Du Bois Collection. Many of them are of Du Bois himself at various stages of his life as well as photos of his funeral. Numerous photos depict persons other than Du Bois or his family.
    Each posted item from the Du Bois collection has metadata describing the contents by topic, persons or organizations involved, and relevant dates. We can browse the available items. There are options for browsing the metadata for each item by name, subjects mentioned, and genre (items grouped into categories such as agendas, memoranda, and notes). We can also search for terms found in the metadata for each item in the Credo. The search results and browsing options can be filtered by date (earliest to latest and vice versa) and creator (alphabetized ascending or descending). I must note that the contents of specific items are not searchable, only the metadata created by the team at SCUA.
    For more information on how the Credo project has unfolded, view "W. E. B. to Web: Digitizing the Manuscript Collection of W. E. B. Du Bois" by Abigail Baines and Jeremy Smith [ 2011 ALA poster (~529 PDF file)].
    Credo will prove its usefulness for Du Bois research in countless ways.

"Prof. William Edward Burghardt DuBois." This is an entry on Du Bois in a publication, "Harvard College - Class of 1890" (published in 1909). The details of his accomplishments from the early 1900s seem to have been sent in by Du Bois himself -- as judged by the quotations provided. This is the text of the entry and not a graphics image. It is part of the digital Collection at the Memorial Hall Museum, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, Massachusetts.

"The Shadow of Years." This autobiographical piece is Chapter I in DuBois' Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil (NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1920). It ranges from his early years to about 1918, the period of his 50th birthday. [ has a Darkwater web page.]

Du Bois contributed autobiographical information to the Seventh Report of the Class of 1890 of Harvard College / 1920 / Thirtieth Anniversary (Concord, N.H.: The Rumford Press, 1921). The following is the entry on pp.65-66, complete with its extensive italics and small caps:
Born at Great Barrington, Mass., Feb. 23, 1868. Son of Alfred Alexander and Mary Sylvina (Burghardt) Du Bois. Prepared at Great Barrington High School, Great Barrington, Mass.
In College, 1888-90, Degrees: A.B. 1890; A.M. 1891; Ph.D. 1895; A.B. (Fisk Univ.) 1888.
Married to Nina Gomer at Cedar Rapids, Iowa, May 12, 1890.
Children: Burghardt Gomer, born Oct. 8. 1897, died May 24, 1899; Nina Yolande, born Oct. 14, 1900.
Occupation: Editor, New York.
Since 1915 I have continued my work as editor of "The Crisis" magazine, which has a circulation of one hundred thousand. I have also begun the publication of a magazine for colored children, known as "The Brownies’ Book." I have published "The Negro" in The Home University Library, in 1915, and "Darkwater," a book of essays, in 1920. After the armistice, I was sent to France to represent the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People. While there, I assembled a Pan-African Conference with fifty delegates, representing sixteen different Negro groups. This conference made report to the Peace Conference, concerning the future of Africa and the treatment of colored peoples. provides access to the entire volume of the Seventh Report, as does Googe Books (pp.65-66) [another digital copy].

"W.E.B. DuBois: A Recorded Autobiography; Interview with Moses Asch" (1961). Du Bois was interviewed by Moses Asch, the founder of Folkways Records, in 1961. Du Bois discussed his life story starting with his early years in Great Barrington, his college years and his experiences in Germany, his research on The Philadelphia Negro and the Atlanta University Studies, and continued through his editorship at The Crisis, various Panafrican conferences, and his trial. Du Bois concluded the interview with a message for the youth of his day. The entire interview can be purchased at the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings web site, or just individual tracks. Of particular significance are the "Liner Notes" (PDF: 7.7 MB) -- the transcript of the whole interview -- which are available for free.

Selections from Du Bois's 1968 Autobiography are found at Dr. Larry Ridener's site, Dead Sociologists' Society (DSS). The book, whose full title is The Autobiography of W.E.B. DuBois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of Its First Century, was posthumously published in 1968 (NY: International Publishers). [The DSS excerpts are available on one page from Dr. Ronald Bolender.]
* The selections offered are "Birth and Family" (ch. vi); "Harvard in the Last Decades of the 19th Century" (ch. ix); "The Niagra Movement" (ch. xiv); "The NAACP" (ch. xv); "My Character" (ch. xvi); "Work for Peace" (ch. xx); "My Tenth Decade" (ch. xxiii); and "Postlude."

  [ Alphabetized by the Hosting Institution or Organization ]
"Du Bois Photographs: Life Magazine -- Various pictures of Du Bois originally photographed under the auspices of Life Magazine are available at Google Images (Google's Life Photo Archive). Search terms, reflecting Life's photograph captions and extant spellings, include "William E. B. Dubois", "W.E.B. Dubois" and "Communist Dubois" (for photos snapped during the Cold War years). I have added other search terms that can be used to search Google's Life Photo Archive.

W.E.B. Du Bois: The Activist Life is an online exhibit created and maintained by the Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Spanning DuBois' lifetime, this web site offers a collection of personal photos and photos of relevant documents. [NOTE: This is a duplicate entry found elsewhere on this webpage.]

Via the Credo repository one can view over 600 photographs that are part of the Du Bois Collection housed at the Special Collections and University Archives of the Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Many of the photos depict Du Bois at various stages of his life as well as photos of his funeral. Numerous photos are of persons other than Du Bois or his family. [NOTE: This entry repeats information located elsewhere on this webpage.]

A collection entitled "Living Portraits: Carl Van Vechten's Color Photographs of African Americans, 1939-1964" resides at Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Included in the collection are photos of Du Bois and Shirley Grapham Du Bois who were photographed in 1946 apparently in a sudio setting. Using the Search box, type in Du Bois (do not use quotation marks around the search term).

  [ Alphabetized by Author (including those by "Anonymous") ]
"Sociologist, with a Grand Agenda, W.E.B. Du Bois. Bio at the African American Registry.

"W.E.B. Du Bois in Georgia" by Derrick P. Alridge, University of Georgia (dated 14 May 2003). This essay is part of the online New Georgia Encyclopedia. Alridge writes:
Du Bois' years in Georgia were some of the most productive in his seventy-plus years of scholarship and activism. While he has most often been associated with New England, it was in Georgia and other parts of the South that Du Bois focused much of his studies on black social conditions.

"Writers of the Day -- Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois." An anonymous 1897 sketch of Du Bois early in his career, the piece was published in the Boston-based periodical, The Writer -- whose subtitle was "A Monthly Magazine to Interest and Help all Literary Workers." The entire passage on Du Bois is as follows:
    Dr. William E. Burghardt Du Bois, whose paper, "Strivings of the American Negro," [sic] in the Atlantic Monthly for August has attracted wide attention, has recently been elected assistant professor of history and economics in Atlanta University, and is one of the best trained of the younger men who are devoting themselves to the uplifting of their race. Born in Massachusetts, a graduate of Fisk University, and having also a bachelor's degree from Harvard College, he has devoted himself for several years to advanced study in the graduate department of Harvard University and in the leading universities of Europe. He received the degree of doctor of philosophy from Harvard. His work everywhere received marked attention, and his publications, including a large volume in the Harvard Historical Series on "The Suppression of the African Slave Trade," and various contributions to periodical literature, have all won high praise. During the past year Dr. Du Bois has been assistant in sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, and has had charge of an investigation by the university of the condition of the negro population of the seventh ward in the city of Philadelphia. He has thus been brought into personal contact with many of the most practical sides of the negro question.
Note 1: "Negro" is not capitalized in the original text.
Note 2: The full citation is: Anonymous. 1897. "Writers of the Day -- Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois." The Writer, Vol. X, No. 11 (November):167.
(Details about this particular work can be found at Google Books' More-about-this-book page).
Note 3: Web locations for Du Bois' "Strivings" essay -- which is actually titled "Strivings of the Negro People" -- are listed on the Souls page of <>.

An anonymous biographical sketch of DuBois published in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (September 1897) [download page for the complete volume]. Located in the "Personal Notes" section, under the "America" heading, the piece in its entirety reads:
    Atlanta University.---Dr. William E. Burghardt DuBois has been appointed Professor of Social Science and History at Atlanta University. Dr. DuBois was born on February 23, 1868, at Great Barrington, Mass., and obtained his early education in the public schools of his native town. He entered Fisk University in 1885 and graduated with the degree of A. B. in 1888. He then entered Harvard University, receiving the degree of A. B., cum Laude, in 1890. He pursued post-graduate studies at Harvard* for two years, receiving the degree of A. M. in 1891, and then attended the University of Berlin for three semesters during 1892-94. The succeeding two years he was Professor of Greek and Latin at Wilberforce University, Wilberforce, Ohio, and in 1895 received the degree of Ph. D. from Harvard.† He has been Assistant in Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania during the past year, and has had charge of an investigation into the condition of the negroes of Philadelphia. Dr. DuBois is a member of the American Historical Association and of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. He has written a series of articles on social reforms among the negroes for the New York Age. Besides this he is the author of the following books:
    "The Enforcement of the Slave Trade Laws." Transactions of American Historical Association, 1892.
    "The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America." Pp. 335. New York, 1897.
    "The Conservation of Races." Pp. 16. Washington, 1897.
 [Footnotes at the bottom of the page:]
     * See Annals, Vol. i, p. 296, October, 1890.
     † Ibid., Vol. vi, p. 301, September, 1895.

Note 1: "Negro" is not capitalized in the original text.
Note 2: The full citation is: Anonymous. 1897. Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. 10, no. 5 (September): p. 104. [This page number uses issue pagination, which is equivalent to the volume pagination of p. 252.]
Note 3: The footnotes were references to earlier issues of the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science that presented very brief notices about DuBois' graduation dates.

"On Du Bois's move to Africa" by Herbert Aptheker. Published in Monthly Review (December 1993). [This link is to the printer friendly version at]

"W.E.B. Du Bois (1863-1963)." Forrest Baird offers a biographical sketch and then comments on Du Bois' philosophical influences, specifically G.W.F. Hegel, in The Souls of Black Folk.

"W.E.B. Du Bois as a Study Abroad Student in Germany, 1892-1894" by Hamilton Beck. This essay -- from Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad (v. II, Fall 1996) -- highlights DuBois' experiences as they relate to the formation of his sense of self-identity as well as his later intellectual development.

"W.E.B. DuBois, Scholar, 1868-1963." This brief bio of Du Bois is part of the Massachusetts Hall of Black Achievement at Bridgewater State College.

W.E.B. Du Bois: Negro Leader in a Time Of Crisis by Francis L. Broderick (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1959). This is a well known biography. NOTE (2020): I have been unable to locate this text in a freely accessible form. The online sources that I previously cited​—​the Internet Archive, the Universal Library, and the Digital Library of India​—​seem to be offline.
* This book review is still accessible: Jean Blake wrote a review of Broderick's book (International Socialist Review, Vol.21 No. 1, Winter 1960).

"W.E.B. Du Bois Biographical Essay" by Kerry W. Buckley (W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts, Amherst). Buckley provides a straightforward précis. A timeline is available of Du Bois' life. [Links were updated on 14 November 2005.]

"Du Bois, W.E.B." by James Campbell. This is a biographical piece in the Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance (Routledge, 2003). Campbell outlines Du Bois' life, but concentrates -- appropriately for its venue -- on the literary dimensions. Of note, Campbell discusses DuBois' initial support for, but later dissatisfaction with, the "New Negro movement" as embodied in the Harlem Renaissance.

Dr. Clayborne Carson lectured on Du Bois and other persons and events of the 20th Century as part of his Fall 2007 "Introduction to African-American History" course (HIST 166) at Stanford University. He is a Professor of History there and also the Director of the Martin Luther King, Jr., Research and Education Institute (faculty page). The video-taped lectures most directly relevant to this site are as follows:
* Lecture 1 (~44 min. duration ). DuBois is the starting point for the course. This lecture covers biographical details of DuBois's life; Dr. Carson discusses The Souls of Black Folk, the Niagara Movement, the NAACP, Marcus Garvey, and the marriage of Yolanda Du Bois to Countee Cullen.
* Lecture 2 (~62 min. duration). The lecture discusses DuBois during the 1930s, with details provided on the Scottsboro case and Communism, DuBois's tensions at the NAACP, Black / White issues in the labor movement, race relations during the Roosevelt Presidency, and Mary McCleod Bethune.
* Lecture 3 (~79 min. duration). Shirley Graham is the focus of this lecture, which offers a bio of her life and details of her actions in the 1940s: her ties to the NAACP and to the Communist Party, as well as her relationship with DuBois and her later marriage to him. The lecture also covers the politics of World War II and the Cold War with regard to W.E.B. Du Bois.
* Other video-taped course lectures by Dr. Carson and guest speakers discuss the significance of such activists as Paul Robeson, Bayard Rustin, Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King, Jr., women in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Ella Baker, Bob Moses, Malcolm X, Stokely Carmichael, and Angela Davis.

"W. E. B. Du Bois (William Edward Burghardt)," a biographical sketch written by Richard A. Couto [faculty homepage]. It is available at the online version of the Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture, which is a co-sponsored project of the University of Tennessee Press and the Tennessee Historical Society.

"Du Bois, W. E. B. (1868–1963)", an encyclopedia entry by Stephen D. Glazier [faculty page]. Glazier provides an overview of Du Bois' life and accomplishments, including the areas of scholarship and activism. The page is an entry from the Berkshire Encyclopedia of World History (Great Barrington, MA: Berkshire Publishing Group, 2004).

"W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963)" [PDF file]. This essay provides an extensive overview of some of the major events and achievements in Du Bois' life. It is a chapter within Black Stars of the Harlem Renaissance, edited by Jim Haskins, Eleanora Tate, Clinton Cox, and Brenda Wilkinson (Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2002). [An HTML version is available via <>.]

"DuBois, William Edward Burghardt." In 1913 the Harvard Alumni Association published a directory of brief biographical sketches about its graduates. Du Bois' listing is on p. 234:
DuBois, William Edward Burghardt [c 1888-90, A.B.;
g 1890-3, A.M. 1891, PH.D. 1895; A.B. Fisk (Tenn.) 1888.
Edit. Lit.] "The Crisis," 26 Vesey St. New York, N.Y.
One can compare this 1913 entry with the 1919 sketch posted below. For example, Du Bois's previous bachelor's degree from Fisk was indicated here.
Note 1: The entry detailed Du Bois's undergraduate years (the "c") and degree earned as well as his graduate school within Harvard (the "g"), complete with matriculation dates and degrees earned. It also listed his current occupation as an editor, with The Crisis as the place of employment (the address was presumably a work address). (Legend: c = "College"; g = "Graduate School of Arts and Sciences"; Edit. = "Editorial Work"; Lit. = Letters).
Note 2: The full citation is: Committee of the Harvard Alumni Association. 1913. Harvard University Directory: A Catalogue of Men Now Living Who Have Been Enrolled as Students in the University; Including Also Officers of Instruction and Administration. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. (A few more details about this particular work can be found at Google Books' More-about-this-book page).
Note 3: As with the 1919 Harvard Alumni Directory entry (posted below), Du Bois's race is not mentioned. See Note 3 for the 1919 Harvard Alumni Directory.
Note 4: The Preface by the Committee members conveyed the purpose of the work (p. v): [T]he Directory will provide a means whereby all Harvard men living in any town, city, state, or section can be reached, whether for their own social advantage, or for cooperation in undertakings for the immediate benefit of the University.
What might have been Du Bois' comments on such a purpose and its actual practice?

"DuBois, William Edward Burghardt." The Harvard Alumni Association in 1919 published a directory with biographical notices
on thousands of its alumnae. Du Bois' listing (p. 203), like the others, is quite terse:
DuBois, William Edward Burghardt [c 88-90, A.B.;
g 90-93, A.M. 91; Ph.D. 95. Edit.] Room 622, 70 Fifth Ave.,
New York, N.Y.
Note 1: The details specify Du Bois's undergraduate years and degree earned; his particular graduate school within Harvard, along with matriculation dates and degrees earned; his current occupation as editor (of The Crisis); and an address (home? workplace?). (Legend: c = "College"; g = "Graduate School of Arts and Sciences"; Edit. = "Editorial Work").
Note 2: The full citation is: Harvard Alumni Directory Office. 1919. Harvard Alumni Directory: A Catalogue of Former Students Now Living: Including Graduates and Non-Graduates, and the Holders of Honorary Degrees. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Alumni Association.
(Details about this particular work can be found at Google Books' More-about-this-book page).
Note 3: It is interesting to observe that the Harvard notice does not include Du Bois' race (or anyone else's). His racial heritage is often mentioned by the "who's-who"-style biographical dictionaries of the early 20th century.

"Du Bois, W.E.B." by Thomas C. Holt. The American National Biography Online website hosts this biographical sketch (dated February 2000). [Alternate page at the Hutchins Center, Harvard University.]

"Du Bois, W.E.B." by Thomas C. Holt. This biographical sketch is from the online version of The Reader's Companion to American History (NY: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1991). NOTE: This link no longer available.

"A Biographical Sketch of W.E.B. DuBois," by Gerald C. Hynes, is located at the Du Bois Learning Center. In addition to standard biographical details, Hynes discusses DuBois in relation to his sometimes tense relationships with, among others, Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, the NAACP, and the U.S. government. [Another site for Hynes' sketch.]

"W.E.B. DuBois Biography." The Kansas Humanities Council has produced the web stite, "Crossing Boundaries: African American and American Culture," of which this interesting biography is part. There are also biographies of Frederick Douglass, Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, Sojourner Truth, and Ida B. Wells-Barnett.

"W.E.B. Du Bois" by Stephen C. Kenny (from the St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, 2002 Gale Group). [It is available free at]

A short note on DuBois in Progress of a Race, Or, The Remarkable Advancement of the Afro-American Negro from the Bondage of Slavery, Ignorance and Poverty to the Freedom of Citizenship, Intelligence, Affluence, Honor and Trust by Henry F. Kletzing and William H. Crogman (Atlanta: J.L. Nichols & Co., 1898). Booker T. Washington wrote the Introduction.
    The authors provided an overview of the influential role that African Americans occupied throughout U.S. history and presented a multitude of vignettes outlining the accomplishments of various African Americans. The book's brief biographical sketch about Du Bois (viewable via Google Books on p. 490) is presented below in its entirety:
   Prof. W. E. Burghardt Dubois was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, February 23, 1868. He was educated in the public schools, and at Fisk University, Harvard University and the university at Berlin. He was two years a fellow of Harvard, and holds her degree of Ph. D. He taught at Wilberforce, Ohio, two years, and was assistant in sociology in the University of Pennsylvania in 1896, for the purpose of studying the Negro in Philadelphia. He is at present professor of economics and history in Atlanta University. Professor Dubois is the author of "Suppression of the African Slave Trade," also "Harvard Historical Students, No. I." He was married in 1896 to Nina Gomer, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Of his appointment as professor in Atlanta University the Independent says: "We are very glad that this institution, devoted to the education of colored people, has elected to so important a professorship a thoroughly competent colored man."
Note 1: "Dubois" and "Ph. D." are presented here as they were rendered originally in the biographical sketch. "Harvard Historical Students" should read "Harvard Historical Studies". No italics or other font changes were used to designate "Suppression of the African Slave Trade" or "the Independent".
Note 2: A few other details about this particular work can be found at the Google Books' About-this-book page.

"W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography In Four Voices" is an excellent video documentary released in 1995 (running 1 hour 56 minutes in duration). It was produced and directed by Louis Massiah. NOTE (2020): When I initially posted this online source, the full video was viewable. That is no longer possible; instead, the link points to a webpage where one can view a short trailer and purchase access to the documentary.
    The "four voices" in the video title refer to the four sections of the film that span four periods of Du Bois's life, each of which is narrated by one of the four writers: Wesley Brown, Thulani Davis, Toni Cade Bambara, and Amiri Baraka. Interspersed within this relatively comprehensive video are interviews and images (still and moving) are voice-overs by Du Bois himself; they are drawn from Moses Asch's interview with Du Bois.
    The topics covered include a range of social and political issues, as well as many examples of Du Bois's activism. The following lists the topics more or less in the order presented in the documentary: Du Bois's early childhood and education at Fisk (note: Du Bois's Harvard and German education is scarcely examined); Booker T. Washington; Marcus Garvey; the NAACP; Souls of BLack Folk; Black Reconstruction; Encyclopedia of the Negro; Du Bois's proposed social scientific study to be conducted by Black Land Grant Colleges (1944); Pan-African Conference in 1945; the formation of the United Nations; Walter White; John Hope; decolonization and anti-colonialism; the 1948 presidential election campaign; the Soviet Union; Communism around the world and in Europe and the USA; post-World War 2 peace movements; Waldorf Peace Conference; Paris Peace Congress; Paul Robeson; McCarthyism; Peace Information Center; Du Bois's Senate campaign; Du Bois's indictment and acquittal as an agent of a foreign power; Du Bois's 83rd birthday celebration; Du Bois's Talented Tenth concept; Du Bois's membership in the U.S. Communist Party; Ghana and Nkrumah; and Du Bois's death and burial in Ghana.
    Numerous persons were interviewed for the documentary, some of who have passed on since their appearance. The interviewees are presented here more or less in the order they appeared in the documentary, although some spoke more than once in different places: Wesley Brown; Thulani Davis; Toni Cade Bambara; Amiri Baraka; Anna Walling Hamburger; Patrick Bellegarde-Smith; Esther Cooper Jackson; John Henrik Clarke; Louise Thompson Patterson; Marcus Garvey Jr.; Hubert Ross; David Levering Lewis; DuBois Williams (Du Bois's grand daughter); Paula Giddings; Herbert Aptheker; Ruth Morris Graham; Blyden Jackson; Harold Cruse; Louis Harlan; Estelle James; Robert Weaver; Marvel Jackson Cooke; Lily Golden; Gloster Current; Robert Thompson (former student of Du Bois); Gladys Williams Powell (former student of Du Bois); Lucy Grigsby; John Hope II; David Graham Du Bois; Dorothy Hunton; James E. Jackson; Howard Fast; Vicki Garvin; Abbott Simon; Carlton Moss; Frances Williams; Annette Rubenstein; and Paul Robeson Jr.

"W.E.B. Du Bois", an anonymously written bio at the N.A.A.C.P. web site. The sketch provides an overview of Du Bois' life and accomplishments, emphasizing his efforts as a racial activist, a Pan-Africanist, and a scholar. Also highlighted is the scholarly importance of Du Bois' The Suppression of the African Slave Trade (1896), Black Reconstruction (1935), and The World and Africa (1947), among other publications. The piece briefly mentions the disagreements between Du Bois and the N.A.A.C.P.:
In 1934 Du Bois resigned from the NAACP board and from the Crisis because of his new advocacy of an African American nationalist strategy: African American controlled institutions, schools, and economic cooperatives. This approach opposed the NAACP's commitment to integration. However, he returned to the NAACP as director of special research from 1944 to 1948.

"W.E.B. DuBois" by Robert J. Norrell (at the Victory Over Violence web site). This is an overview of Du Bois' life which was originally posted in the Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia, 2001, as "Du Bois, W. E. B." [page 1; page 2].

"Du Bois, W(illiam) E(dward) B(urghardt)" by Elliott Rudwick. This is an entry from the Encyclopædia Britannica Guide to Black History. Rudwick is the author of W.E.B. DuBois: A Study in Minority Group Leadership (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1960) and W.E.B. DuBois (New York: Atheneum, 1968). [Page mirrored at NPR].

"W.E.B. Du Bois Fact Sheet" [PDF: 221K] from the TransAfrica Forum, Arthur R. Ashe, Jr. Foreign Policy Library, August 2003 (Letitia D. Mosby, researcher). This document concentrates on DuBois in relation to African topics, like decolonialization and independence movements.

"Du Bois, William Edward Burghardt (W. E. B.)." Kate Tuttle wrote this sketch of DuBois's life for the Encarta Africana, an online encyclopedia.

"William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868-1963)" is a short bio presented as part of the "Penn Biographies" section within the University Archives and Records Center, University of Pennsylvania. Du Bois's "University Affiliation" was, as listed, an "Assistant in Sociology in the Wharton School".

W.E.B. Du Bois Biography. The W.E.B Du Bois College House web site (University of Pennsylvania) hosts this bio.

"W.E.B. DuBois" at Wikipedia: contains basic biographical information with hyperlinks to other related entries. Wikipedia is a free, multilingual, online encyclopedia which is edited collaboratively on and across the Internet.

"Du Bois, W. E. B. (1868-1963)" by Robert W. Williams. This biographical piece is located at The Literary Encyclopedia. Please note: to read more than the first 600 words of this article will require a daily, monthly, or yearly membership at The Literary Encyclopedia.

"W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963)" by Frederick Woodard [faculty page]. This bio offers a concise overview of the multifaceted Du Bois, sketching his literary, editorial, activist, and social science endeavors. It is part of the web site for The Heath Anthology of American Literature, 4/e (Houghton Mifflin Co., 2001).

"Jim Crow Stories - People - W.E.B. Du Bois." This biographical piece by Richard Wormser is part of a larger web site of resources supporting the 2002 WNET - PBS series entitled "The Rise and Fall of Jim Crow" [home page]. The site's resources include details of the historical periods leading up to and spanning the Jim Crow era with sketches of significant people and events, as well as material for teachers. Also included are first-person narratives. Wormser is the co-writer and co-director for the PBS series [credits page].

 Tribute to Dr. William E. Burghardt DuBois by Leslie O. Harriman. The tribute is subtitled: "Statement by Ambassador Leslie O. Harriman (Nigeria), Chairman, at a Special Meeting of the United Nations Special Committee Against Apartheid on the 110th Anniversary of the Birth of Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, February 23, 1978."

"W.E.B. DuBois' 136th Birthday Celebration." Tavis Smiley on NPR's "The Tavis Smiley Show" interviewed David Levering Lewis on the significance of Du Bois. This 3:37-minute interview was first aired on 23 February 2004; it is available in two audio formats (Real player or Windows Media player).

New York Senate Resolution J4011-2009 was entitled "Commemorating the 142nd Birthday of American civil rights activist pioneer William Edward Burghardt Du Bois." It was adopted on 23 February 2010. The resolution provided a brief overview of some of Du Bois's accomplishments. In the closing we read:
   WHEREAS, Upon the occasion of the observance of the 142nd Birthday of W.E.B. Du Bois, this Legislative Body wishes to commemorate the lifelong struggle of the man who was the most prominent intellectual leader and political activist on behalf of African-Americans in the first half of the twentieth century; now, therefore, be it
   RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to commemorate the 142nd Birthday of American civil rights activist pioneer William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, and pay tribute to his life and accomplishments.

 The Fisk University Birthday Celebration of 2022 can be viewed on YouTube (duration: 1h14m). The celebration featured the Jubilee Singers and a Keynote Address by Dr. Michael Eric Dyson.

 The Fisk University Birthday Celebration of 2023 is viewable on YouTube (duration: 1h55m). Dr. Crystal A. deGregory delivered the Keynote Address.

"Du Bois Homesite Dedication, 1969." This is a .wmv streaming video of some of the ceremonies on 18 October 1969 that were part of the dedication of Du Bois' Great Barrington, MA home. Ossie Davis narrated it. The video runs 8 min. 18 sec. and contains a short segment of a speech by Julian Bond. The video is available on the Digital Du Bois page, which is maintained by the Special Collections & University Archives housed at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.

"W.E.B. Du Bois and Great Barrington" at the site. An informative piece on Du Bois' childhood in Great Barrington, MA, it also provides a useful discussion of the various ways that people and groups in the city have recognized Du Bois and his achievements. The essay highlights the controversies surrounding how to -- indeed, whether to -- honor his memory in the city.
* offers a chronology of Du Bois' life and lists of dissertations and secondary sources on Du Bois, as well as of memorials honoring him.

"Remembering W.E.B. Du Bois" by Bill Fletcher, Jr. Published in the online journal Theory & Science (Fall 2003), this short essay highlights DuBois' significance on the international stage.
[Another site for this essay is at the Sacramento Observer (posted 5 September 2003).]

The "Du Bois Memorial Center for Pan-Africa Culture" at, a site partnered with the government of Ghana and other organizations to promote tourism. The web page briefly covers DuBois' years at what became the Memorial Center. There are several photos, including the Center itself and DuBois' grave site. [For other pictures of the grave site see the Find a Grave Cemetery Records page on DuBois.]

"Venerating Ancestor William Edward Burghardt DuBois" by Geoffrey "Jahwara" Giddings. This essay examines DuBois' thought from an Afrocentric perspective in the tradition of Molefi Kete Asante.

"W.E.B. Du Bois Dies in Ghana; Negro Leader and Author, 95." The New York Times published DuBois' obituary on 28 August 1963.

"W.E.B. Du Bois and the Struggle Against Racism in the World" by Herbert Aptheker. Aptheker, editor of many volumes of DuBois' writings, published this essay in a work sponsored by the United Nations Centre against Apartheid, July 1983.
[Here is an obituary of Aptheker (1915-2003) by Clayborne Carson in the Organization of American Historians Newsletter.]

"For a Sociological Reconstruction: W.E.B. Du Bois, Stuart Hall and Segregated Sociology" (2015), written by Les Back and Maggie Tate, was published in Sociological Research Online, v.20,n.3 (31 August 2015). Back and Tate provide an overview of Du Bois and Hall, examining them in relation to the field of sociology, especially in terms of how race relations and racism have influenced the field and how sociologists have studied such topics. In the conclusion the authors write (¶ 4.2):
As we have shown, black sociologists have long been attentive to their white counterparts, illustrated here in our account of W.E.B. Du Bois's relationship to the scientific vocation of Max Weber and Stuart Hall's engagement with the maverick sociology of C. Wright Mills. As white sociologists our work has been profoundly shaped by the writings of black scholars as well as the wider traditions of black literature, music and vernacular culture. We have argued that engaging with the legacy of black intellectual figures like Du Bois and Hall offers the opportunity to foster an expanded sense of what sociology might become both politically but also aesthetically. The proto-inter-disciplinarity of Du Bois as a writer pointed to the possibility, over a century ago, of doing sociology differently. His example adds an important precedent for our argument because he demonstrated the value of doing sociology with other disciplines and intellectual crafts. Du Bois and Hall's example invites the possibility of a reconstructed sociology conducted artfully with and through associated disciplines within the arts and humanities. However, this prospect and possibility seems limited by shifts within the academic culture in which professional sociology is situated.
Les Back posts biographical information on his page at Goldsmiths, University of London. Maggie Tate details her academic work at the University of Texas at Austin.

The Negro in Literature and Art in the United States (1921) by Benjamin Griffith Brawley (1882-1939). In the book, Brawley covered the biographies and accomplishments of various African American in the areas of literature, painting, sculpting, and oratory, including Phillis Wheatley, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Charles W. Chesnutt, William Stanley Braithwaite, Henry O. Tanner, Meta Warrick Fuller, Frederick Douglass, and Booker T. Washington. Brawley noted Du Bois in numerous places thorough the text, but detailed Du Bois extensively in Chapter V. Regarding Du Bois' achievements in social science, Brawley wrote (p. 51):
He has made various investigations, frequently for the national government, and has contributed many sociological studies to leading magazines. He has been the moving spirit of the Atlanta Conference, and by the Studies of Negro Problems, which he has edited at Atlanta University, he has become recognized as one of the great sociologists of the day, and as the man who more than anyone else has given scientific accuracy to studies relating to the Negro.
Brawley reached the following overall assessment of Du Bois in the concluding paragraph of Chapter V (pp. 65-6):
    W. E. Burghardt DuBois is the best example that has so far appeared of the combination of high scholarship and the peculiarly romantic temperament of the Negro race. Beneath all the play of logic and statistic beats the passion of a mighty human heart. For a long time he was criticised as aloof, reserved, unsympathetic; but more and more, as the years have passed, has his mission become clearer, his love for his people stronger. Forced by the pressure of circumstance, gradually has he been led from the congenial retreat of the scholar into the arena of social struggle; but for two decades he has remained an outstanding interpreter of the spiritual life of his people. He is to-day the foremost leader of the race in America.
[Note 1: The full citation: Brawley, Benjamin Griffith. 1921. The Negro in Literature and Art in the United States. New York: Duffield & Company.]
[Note 2: has several books by Brawley available online: listing. Google Books offers a few other Brawley works: search results.]

"W.E.B. DuBois in Philadelphia" by By Rebecca Cooper. A guided tour through the area of Philadelphia where Du Bois lived and conducted research in 1896-1898 for his book, The Philadelphia Negro. It also contains biographical details of DuBois' life.

J. G. St. Clair Drake (1911–1990) originally delivered "Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois: A Life Lived Experimentally and Self-Documented" as a speech in 1964; it was later published in Contributions in Black Studies, vol. 8 (1986). The set of CIBS is accessible online at ScholarWorks@UMass Amherst via the University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.
   In "A Life Lived" St. Clair Drake covered the span of Du Bois's life and thought, with some emphasis on his organizational activities in the Niagara Movement, the NAACP, and the Pan-African conferences. Of Du Bois's lasting significance, St. Clair Drake wrote:
But Du Bois' major contribution to our epoch is not the shelf of books he wrote or the scores of articles, nor even the 30-odd leadership years with the N.A.A.C.P., but is rather the contribution of "a life lived experimentally and self-documented"—a restless, seeking, ever searching quest, a life journey which began in New England, carried him over the whole world, and ended—by his own choice—on the Guinea Coast from whence one group of his ancestors came. Dr. Du Bois, throughout his long lifetime, was often accused of ideological inconsistency and biographers use the term "paradoxical" frequently when writing about him. The real significance of his ideological twisting and turning, and of the apparent "paradoxes" in his behavior, lies in the fact that Dr. Du Bois conceived of his life as a continuous probe, touching the sensitive areas along the color-line, and considered it his duty to document the results of the probing as well as his own reaction to the situations. (p.113)
Note: More information on St. Clair Drake is available online:
* Peter B. Flint's "St. Clair Drake, Pioneer in Study Of Black Americans, Dies at 79", an obituary from the New York Times, 21 June 1990 [registration may be required].
* Faye V. Harrison's "Drake, St. Clair", a biography from the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences (2008) and accessible at
* Thomas Weaver's "J. G. St. Clair Drake: Activist-Advocate before His Time"—Ch.20 [~100 KB PDF] in The Dynamics of Applied Anthropology in the Twentieth Century: The Malinowski Award Papers, edited by Thomas Weaver (Oklahoma City, OK: Society for Applied Anthropology, n.d.) [book's web page].

Black and White Sociology: Segregation of the Discipline by Sean Elias [faculty page] is a dissertation completed in the Department of Sociology at Texas A & M University, August 2009. Elias expresses the main goal of the dissertaion in its abstract, which is excerpted here:
     The idea that theories of race, racial segregation and racism have played a central role in the development of sociology and that black and white sociologies have formed because of this condition is not new and has been in circulation among sociologists for some time. [....]
     This study argues that black sociology and white sociology represent two distinct intellectual perspectives---sets of ideas---and social practices shaped by past perspectives and practices and social-historical contexts, which are largely racially-defined. [....] To map these two traditions, I begin with a review and analysis of works that have discussed (directly or indirectly) black and white sociology and black and white sociologists. Next, I turn to a more focused analysis on the sociological perspectives and practices of W.E.B. Du Bois and Robert Park, examining the ideas and practices that shape each sociologist's thought and actions. [....] Lastly, I point out how Du Bois' ideas and methods, shaped by an earlier black tradition, now informs what is described as black sociology, and how Park's ideas and methods, shaped by an earlier white tradition, now informs what is described as white sociology.   [pp.iii-iv]
In the dissertation Elias situates Du Bois within his intellectual context:
     I have attempted to demonstrate that during the nineteenth century the first wave black sociologists [FWBS] produced more advanced sociological ideas and practices than first wave white sociologists [FWWS]. Early black sociologists clearly reveal that whites' social construction of immoral and unjust slave societies and whites' later imperialist exploitation of people of color and their lands is, in fact, the true "social problem," and that blacks are not in fact the social problem as whites' hyper-focus on supposed "black pathologies" would indicate. FWBS documented how the world‘s gravest problems are a direct result of whites' past enslavement of blacks and present colonization of blacks and most people of color, creation of a segregated, apartheid social world, and attempt to reduce all people of color into servants or pawns.
     Battling these tendencies of the white frame, and the way these tendencies are justified by the white sociological frame, first wave and later black sociologists have developed a sounder alternative approach to sociology. This advanced type of sociology began with one 'founder of sociology,' David Walker, who developed a detailed sociological analysis and critique of American society and problems of white racism prior to Auguste Comte's first sociological writings, which justified white racism and white-run social systems like the US. Along with Walker, Martin Delany, Alexander Crummell, Frederick Douglass, William Brown and George Williams developed the foundation for black sociology that W.E.B. Du Bois and later black sociologists have built upon. The advanced construction of black sociology has demonstrated the 'construction flaws' of the white sociological frame, a frame that engages in questionable theories and practices to maintain whites' power in society and the discipline.   [pp.348-349, footnote removed.]
Elias' dissertation also examines the significance of Karl Marx, Herbert Spencer, and the Hull House, among other topics.

"On the 100th Anniversary of the Publication of 'The Souls of Black Folk' a Look at the Life of W.E.B. Dubois", a "Democracy Now" radio show which was originally broadcast on 18 April 2003, with hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez. The significance of The Souls of Black Folk is examined, but the majority of this 37:29 minute broadcast covers highlights from Du Bois' life. There are autobiographical pieces spoken by Du Bois himself (from 1951 and the early 1960s) as well as commentary by David Levering Lewis and by Du Bois' stepson, David DuBois. The emphasis of the broadcast lies on Du Bois' socialism and the theoretical conjuncture of race and class in his later analyses of social oppression. Also discussed are the U.S. government's concerns over his radical ideas and speeches. The show is available for listening online in RealPlayer audio format.

"W.E.B. Du Bois and His Work" by William Gorman. This was originally published in the Marxist periodical, Fourth International, vol. 11, no. 3 (May-June 1950): pp. 80-86. Gorman applauds Du Bois' pioneering sociological analyses and the concept of African American agency expounded in Black Reconstruction, but he also criticizes Du Bois' application of Marxian economics and the proletariat to an African American context. William Gorman is a pseudonym of George Novak. This text is also available at <>.

Lewis Gordon published "Du Bois's Humanistic Philosophy of Human Sciences" in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, v.568 (March 2000): 265-280. The article is available on his personal website,<>, as a PDF file (~2 MB).
     In the essay, Gordon outlined the humanistic dimensions of Du Bois's research methods, such as are found in works like "The Study of the Negro Problems" (1898). Such humanistic aspects of social-scientific research set Du Bois apart from many of his contemporaries. Du Bois stressed the need to conceptualize Blacks as rational and volitional human agents (subjects), rather than as passive objects of scholarly inquiry. Such a humanistic conception of those whom scholars study has implications for the methodology to be used. In that context, Gordon writes:
A striking feature of Du Bois's recommendations for rigorous study, however, is that in the midst of all his almost positivistic conceptions of objectivity in the study of black folk, there are also the hermeneutical considerations and the experiential considerations of looking at blacks from the inside. These are concerns that Du Bois himself deploys in another essay from the period, "On the Conservation of the Races".... [1898]
     Gordon elaborates further on the idea of an "inside" (i.e., an existential phenomenological) perspective on African American life experiences:
By raising the question of black problems from blacks' point of view, Du Bois raised the question of an "inside" that required an approach to social phenomena that puts the theorist in a position to break down the gap between himself or herself and the subjects of study. For in principle if the theorist can imagine the black point of view as a point of view that can be communicated, then already a gap between the theorist and the black subject of study has been bridged. The theorist, whether white or of color, must work with the view of communicability and, simultaneously, a process of interrogation that will bring forth what black subjects are willing to divulge. In short, the method presupposes agency, freedom, and responsibility, which transforms the epistemological expectations of inquiry. From the "outside," one could receive limited data. From the "inside," one could, as well, receive limited data. Combined, one receives "good data, "solid data, "rigorously acquired" data, but never "complete" data. It is by staying attuned to the incompleteness of all data with regard to human beings that one makes the approach humanistic. It is a method that reveals that, when it comes to the human being, there will always be more to learn and, hence, more to research.
     Lewis Gordon also has a faculty webpage.

"Giant Steps: W.E.B. DuBois and the Historical Enterprise" [PDF: ~1.4 MB] (1998). Robert Gregg examines various books by DuBois in terms of the history of U.S. academic history [Gregg's home page]. The full citation is listed in the notes below. His analysis is at once both critical and sympathetic. Gregg writes (p.79):
    DuBois's historical writings can be broken up into three groups -- the social scientific, the cultural materialist, and the Marxist -- each marking a phase in DuBois's development. These parallel the stages of the historical profession's early development outlined by [Peter] Novick in That Noble Dream: first, the emergence of the notion of objectivity, with its belief in "facts" and the inductive method; second, the gradual emergence of a "genteel insurgency" among Progressive historians promoting deductive reasoning; and last, "the stalling of the professional project" in "divergence and dissent" in the period following World War One. While DuBois paralleled these changes, he either remained apart from the profession's development or, when involved, was virtually unrecognized for his contributions. In part, this was because at each stage of his development DuBois consciously deviated from the work of his white counterparts.
    DuBois's early writings, reflected in The Suppression of the African Slave- Trade and The Philadelphia Negro, resembled the output of many scientific historians working at this time, except that in both books he only half-suppressed his idealism and allowed tensions and subtleties to surface that would seldom be evident in other historians` works. [. . . . ]
    DuBois's writings during the second phase, particularly The Souls of Black Folk, John Brown, and The Negro, were "insurgency" plain and simple and not the least "genteel," even though they incorporated ideas that resembled the cultural materialism to be found among some other Progressives. [. . . . ]
    The third period, reaching its fruition with the publication of Black Reconstruction in America and Black Folk [Then and Now], witnessed DuBois's rejection of many Progressive notions and the adoption of Marxist terminology, taking him down paths that few, if any, white American historians were willing to follow. [. . . . ]
Note 1: The end notes were omitted from the quoted passages.
Note 2: Full citation: Robert Gregg. 1998. "Giant Steps: W.E.B. DuBois and the Historical Enterprise." Pp.77-99 in Michael B. Katz and Thomas Sugrue (Eds.), W.E.B. Du Bois, Race and the City: The Philadelphia Negro and its Legacy. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.

"Black Studies in the Department of Labor, 1897-1907", by Jonathan Grossman, discusses Du Bois' studies conducted under the auspices of the Bureau of Labor, with emphasis on Du Bois within the context of other research on African American workers in that era, as well as Du Bois vis-à-vis the politics of the U.S. Bureau of Labor. It was originally published in the Monthly Labor Review, v.97, no.6 (June 1974): 17-27. [Brief bibliography of "Early Department of Labor Black Studies".]  [Note: The URLs were updated for 2-1-2020.]

"W.E.B. DuBois and Socratic Questioning" was published by Thomas Hibbs [faculty page] in Expositions: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Humanities (v.2,n.1, 2008), a publication of the Villanova Center for Liberal Education (Web site). Hibbs wrote:
    In what follows we will examine a series of Socratic themes in the writings of W.E.B. DuBois: the paradoxical status of images, potentially enslaving and liberating, and the nature of liberal education; the appeal to nature as a basis for a critique of corrupt customs; and DuBois’s response to the charge of elitism, a charge often leveled against Socrates as well. Such comparisons are commonly thought to be useful for the way they mutually illumine distinct authors; in this case, the comparison requires a re-thinking of common assumptions about each thinker and about the issues that connect and divide them.  [p.38; Footnote omitted]

"Du Boisian Sociology and Intellectual Reparations: For Coloured Scholars Who Consider Suicide When Our Rainbows Are Not Enuf" was published by Dr. Marcus Anthony Hunter [faculty page] in Ethnic and Racial Studies, 39:8 (2016): 1379-1384. Dr. Hunter discusses the academic discipline of sociology, especially in the U.S.A., and its historical and on-going failure to understand adequately and to represent widely the contributions of W.E.B. Du Bois and other scholars of color. He argues that the discipline engage in what he calls "intellectual reparations". He writes:
    We must manifest a disciplinary and professional agenda, a platform of intellectual reparations that seeks to reconcile the racial and professional injuries endured by Black and Brown scholars — from Du Bois to Joyce Ladner to Horace Clayton to current sociologists of colour who remain subject to similar cynicism and dismissiveness that hovered over Du Bois. This brings me to this essay's subtitle or counter title: for coloured scholars who consider suicide when our rainbows are not enough. Du Bois' life and work reveal that understanding, conveying, and centring the Black experience are not limiting our science, but instead clarifying and expanding it and its various purposes. I take stock of Du Bois' personal and professional example not only because he thrived and survived in the post-Emancipation academy, but also because the patterns of mistreatment and diminishing of black scholars and black scholarship persist. [pp.1382-1383]
Note that a free membership may be required at for downloading the 672 kb PDF.

"The New Black Aesthetic and W.E.B. Du Bois, Or Haephaestus, Limping" (1994). This essay was published by Ronald A. Judy in The Massachusetts Review, 35:2 (Summer): pp.249- 282 [faculty page]. He traced Du Bois as a precursor to the "New Black Aesthetic" and its emphasis on, as conveyed by the works of Trey Ellis, the guiding role of race-conscious intellectuals in liberation struggles. Dr. Judy writes:
Appreciating more clearly how Du Bois's understanding of the black intellectual vanguard presupposes his concept of the Negro as a real ontical being requires a more careful interrogation of his notions about the proper socio-political function of the black artist. Succinctly stated, that function was to create in different media as accurate as possible a representation of Blacks' unfailing moral strength in the face of the daily struggle with abjection at the hands of white America. [....] For Du Bois, artists, and especially literary artists, where ideologues, not as producers of false consciousness, but as producers of a whole new body of knowledge derived from and constitutive of the lived experience of the Negro. Black art should serve black solidarity. (p.264)
     Du Bois's ideas of vanguards and of inclusive democracy for African Americans required that double consciousness be overcome. As Dr. Judy writes:
Recall that in The Souls of Black Folk Du Bois displaces the Negro as an object of positive scientific analysis for the Negro as a self-conscious thinking ontical being. [....] [The concept of double consciousness] serves two strategic (in fact rhetorical) functions. On the one hand, it enables Du Bois to exhibit the Negro as a self-conscious thinking subject. On the other hand, it is the figure of collective psychosis, resulting from social injustice. By the same token, double-consciousness establishes the heterogeneous origins of Negro and American identity. The psychosis of double-consciousness is not the result of a prior unified identity becoming fragmented[;] it results from the failure to merge two heterogeneous consciousnesses into one identity. At this point, Du Bois is quite clear that pluralistic democracy dictates the annihilation of double-consciousness.... (p.268)
     For Du Bois, such an overcoming of double consciousness was vitally important for the vanguards, the members of the Talented Tenth, so that they could provide the leadership necessary to the struggles against oppression. Dr. Judy further elaborates on the tasks of the Talented Tenth:
The merger of the Negro's double-consciousness into a truer self called for in The Souls of Black Folk is not so much a merger as the accommodation of the political will to racial identity. Positing the universality of the subject of race as an abstraction, Du Bois discovers the psychology of the Negro as the case for thoroughly calculating the generation and effect of cultural representations, and displacing the speculative interests of social positivism with a figure of the racial subject as the legitimate grounds for organizing the social. [....] [T]he legitimate work of the black intellectual is to both represent the essential humanity of black folk, and to create the conditions in which that humanity is recognizable as valuable to civil society. (p.271; emphasis in original; endnote removed)
     Nevertheless, Dr. Judy argues that Du Bois's concept of intellectual vanguardism as espoused in Souls actually undermined—was antinomic to, in Judy's words—the concept of democracy that he also espoused in numerous works. Intellectual vanguardism was antinomic to the democratic pluralism of individuals as equal participants because the Talented Tenth were elites who, in my interpretation of Dr. Judy, did not speak *as* members of the majority of African Americans, but rather spoke *in place of* the majority. They accordingly became the only "legitimate representatives of the race" (p.271). That is to say, the antimony of democracy vis-à-vis intellectual vanguardism was based on an "abstract universalization of reason" (p.253) that required Black urban intellectuals to discern by themselves, from the geo-historical diversity of localized (including rural) communities, who Black folks were and what their political wills entailed (p.281,n.62). The Talented Tenth were to express this ascertained understanding of aggregated African American wills within the public spheres of the U.S.A. In short, for Du Bois, a "political episteme [was] the only agency for achieving justice" (p.253), thereby (as I interpret Dr. Judy's argument) diminishing the other agentic capabilities of African Americans as a whole and also derogating the wide range of their lived experiences as less important to social change and justice. Democratic pluralism in its most personally inclusive sense thus would suffer to the extent that the Talented Tenth acted according to Du Bois's strategy for social justice.

"Du Bois's Century" [2.3 meg PDF file] by Ira Katznelson. This was originally a presidential address to the Social Science History Association. It was published in Social Science History, 23:4 (Winter 1999): 459-474. [An HTML version is available as part of a sample journal issue at Project MUSE® of Johns Hopkins University.]

"Du Bois and the Challenge of the Black Press," by David Levering Lewis, examines The Crisis under Du Bois' editorship (The Crisis, July 1997). Du Bois, writes Lewis, "believed passionately in the high obligation of advocacy journalism to challenge, educate, expose, and prescribe." Lewis' essay outlines some of the personal and social consequences of that obligation.

"Social Scientists Wrestling with Race and Nation. African-American W.E.B. Du Bois and Cuban Fernando Ortiz Compared"
by Alessandra Lorini [in ACHAB: Rivista di Antropologia, N.11 (Novembre 2007): 34-46]. [To read this article one must download the entire issue, which is a 1-megabyte PDF file].
   Lorini notes the similarities and differences between Du Bois and Ortiz (1881-1969). Both social scientists combatted the racist ideas and policies that were used to justify political and social discrimination. In addition, each extensively researched his own particular country. For Lorini, differences between the two scholars included how each sought to understand the processes of racial interaction within particular national contexts. Ortiz argued that "transculturation" was at work: a new Cuban culture -- a mestizo one -- was formed by the fusing of African and European cultures. Du Bois, however, accepted the concept of "acculturation" as derived from Franz Boas and Melville Herskovits. It was not so much that a new U.S. culture was being formed, but rather that those of African descent had been contributing to American culture all along -- a viewpoint challenging claims that Anglo-Saxon whites were the primary creators of national progress.

"W.E.B. Du Bois: Education, Race and Economics from 1903-1961" by Paul T. Miller in The Journal of Pan African Studies [home page], Vol.1, No.3 (March 2006): pp.50-61 [issue TOC].
This is a ~50K PDF file.
   Using extensive quotations from Du Bois's works, Miller examines how Du Bois connected race, education, and political economy with varying emphases over the span of his life. Also considered are Du Bois's developing views on the significance of socialism for enhancing the promise of democracy and equality. Miller concludes (p.60):
W.E.B. Du Bois, surely one of the leading public intellectuals of the twentieth century, occupied a position at the forefront of progressive thought on nearly every issue he tackled via three topics he repeatedly addressed throughout his life, i.e.: using education as a tool for creating a more socially responsible and just society, dismantling racial inequality and redressing economic imbalances while slowly changing people's attitudes from being centered on selfishness and material prosperity to being guided by a greater sense of social altruism.

"From Du Bois to Black Lives Matter," written by Aldon Morris [faculty page], highlighted the continuing relevance of Du Bois, his research, and his abiding vision of equality and justice. In words emphasizing Du Bois's guiding role as a public sociologist, Dr. Morris concluded his essay:
[O]ur work needs to be political, engaged, rigorous—Du Bois has paved the way for us in his path breaking, brilliant body of scholar­ship and activism. The scholar­ship of the oppressed, and those seeking a more just world, must be more scientific and rigorous than that of the guardian of the status quo precisely because there is so much at stake.
The essay was published in the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, 18 January 2016.

The Evolution of a Reform Plan: W.E.B. Du Bois's Sociological Research 1896-1910 [citation page] is a Master of Arts thesis by Hugh James Morrison that he completed for the Department of History at Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario, Canada) in June 2000. A PDF file (~6 MB) is available for viewing or downloading.
   In his abstract, which is reproduced here in its entirety and verbatim, Morrison wrote:
      This study evaluates the place of W.E.B. Du Bois in the progressive movement in early-twentieth century America. Through his sociological works, including The Philadelphia Negro and the Atlanta Conferences, Du Bois tried to create an intellectual blueprint to reform of Arnenca. Initially his plan had a self-help foundation, and he identified churches, schools and secret societies as institutions that should lead this effort. Du Bois compiled an overwhelming amount of data which suggested that black poverty and suffering was due not to racial inferiority, but a negative social environment. As his work progressed Du Bois assigned increasing blame to whites for helping create the negative social environment that blacks faced.
      The first chapter outlines the challenges Du Bois faced in attempting to create his reform program. In post-Reconstruction America, blacks saw an erosion of their civil rights which undercut their efforts to improve their standard of living. Languishing as the poorest people in society, many blacks fled the rural South to start over in the urban industrial centres. Du Bois endeavoured to study the new environment blacks faced while seeking to challenge white racism. Most Americans, including academics, clergymen and physicians, believed blacks inferior and lacking the potential to improve. The study's second chapter evaluates The Philadelphia Negro, a work of critical importance, in which as [sic] Du Bois tried to educate reform-minded whites about the true nature of the black community. Throughout his work, Du Bois encouraged blacks to undertake self-help programs that would improve the negative social conditions they faced. The final chapter demonstrates that the Atlanta Conference studies allowed Du Bois to expand on the themes he introduced in The Philadelphia Negro. Over time his views evolved, and he came to argue that greed inherent in laissez-faire economics motivated whites to exploit poor blacks. Slowly, Du Bois modified his reform plans, envisioning an expanded role for government in reform efforts. Although Du Bois influenced many settlement workers and reformers, and joined the NAACP in 1910, he never saw his ideas gain widespread acceptance.  [p. i]

"W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963)" is written by Donald J. Morse for the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy [IEP]. After a brief summary of biographical details Morse outlines several scholarly interpretations of DuBois's philosophy. The author then concentrates on the DuBoisian concept of "double consciousness" from The Souls of Black Folk; he provides a chapter-by-chapter synopsis of the work. Morse offers this conclusion of Souls:
. . . Du Bois provides us with multiple instances of double consciousness. In each case, African-Americans are shown to be struggling to achieve themselves, due to the enforced divisions and roadblocks of white culture. What Du Bois presents here are short, powerful looks at the struggle to be recognized as fully human, a struggle due to the horrible crime of racism. The concept of double consciousness plays itself out in a variety of ways---from the agonizing worry a father feels in raising his son in a white world to the failed policies of segregation and the creation of ghettos in American cities---always with the same devastating effect, the compromising of identity, and yet with a new identity that is forming and emerging. The African-American is forced to struggle to be him- or herself in America, Du Bois shows, but they have done so heroically and with deep humanity throughout their plight.
Next, Morse describes DuBois's position on "second sight" -- a concept philosophically related to double consciousness -- and the significance of second sight as an epistemological perspective for understanding a White-dominated America from the vantage point(s) of oppressed African Americans. The author also highlights DuBois's views on imperialism and his (rather unorthodox) Marxism.

Paul Richards published "W.E.B. Du Bois and American Social History: The Evolution of a Marxist" in Radical America, v.4, n.8-9 (November 1970): 37-65 [entire issue as a 10 MB PDF file]. Richards summarized the goal of his article:
This essay will introduce some of his writings on American social history and attempt to show how he evolved his method of approach. He began as a social scientist trained in the best institutions of learning that bourgeois society had to offer; but by the 1930s he had embraced Marxism in all its essentials. The key in this transformation was his striving to uplift black folks and to achieve a "clear view of Western Civilization as a whole". [p.37]
     Richards analyzed various works by Du Bois, approaching them choronologically: The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade, The Philadelphia Negro, The Souls of Black Folk, John Brown, The Negro, and Darkwater. The author concluded that section of Du Bois's earlier writings as follows:
    Du Bois broke out of the confines of his classical education. His view on social history had been worked out in the detailed studies of black America while he was at Atlanta. Now he viewed this work in a world setting — in view of the whole sweep of modem capitalism. He had come to regard the role of the proletariat, the world proletariat which was in its majority colored, as the force destined to end the oppressive system of capitalism. He saw that without comprehending the central role of black workers in Western Civilization, it was not possible to understand that civilization at all. [p.56]
     Richards then turned to the later writings that were the culmination of his Du Bois's development of a Marxist framework, including Black Reconstruction, and Black Folk, Then and Now. Richards wrote:
    Black Reconstruction is a social history of the process which began the most-important phase of the American quest for world domination. Du Bois placed the race question in the center of his story. While the world-wide ramifications of the failure of labor had been outlined in The Negro in 1915, it was not until 1939 and his book Black Folk, Then and Now that Du Bois returned to the world scene in an effort to expand his exposition of the centrality of black people to Western Civilization. While this book covered the same ground as The Negro, it was entirely rewritten to take in the recent findings of anthropology and Du Bois's fully-developed world view. In 1939 the West still insisted that Africa had no history, so Du Bois wrote Black Folk, Then and Now to counter this misconception. Whereas in his earlier work The Negro [sic: no underlining] he had spent a great deal of effort in simply describing the varied cultural life and history of Africa, Du Bois now undertook to accompany this description with an analysts of how Western capitalism had distorted the economy and folkways and monopolized the land of black people the world over. Black Folk, Then and Now included a brief discussion of slavery, emancipation, and Reconstruction in the US in which Du Bois capsulized [sic] his argument in Black Reconstruction. [p.61]
     Richards ended his article with an analysis of Dusk of Dawn. He wrote that Du Bois ultimately changed his views over time because events required a different — more Marxist — analysis if Blacks were to be uplifted:
Yet the consensus of the age, the ideal of progress and the promise of bourgeois civilization, faded in his mind, as well as in the minds of so many other black thinkers, as the quest of imperialism for colonies became increasingly brutal and obvious, and as racism intensified in an increasingly-educated world. In Du Bois's chapter "Science and Empire", he discusses how the world forced him to abandon the pretenses of modern social science to find social counterparts of natural laws that applied to social life. For in the oppressive world or black America the only social law was historical change and the main truth was the imperative struggle to survive. Du Bois in his way, and others in so many different ways, moved toward the understanding that racism was no mere accident but a foundation stone of Western Civilization. [pp.61-61]
     Note that various issues of the journal Radical America are available as part of the Brown University Library's Center for Digital Scholarship [Radical America page].

Bill Strickland [faculty page] wrote "W.E.B. Du Bois: The Prime Minister of the State We Never Had" (n.d.). The essay is part of the Africana Age project sponsored by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and the New York Public Library. The author primarily concentrated on Du Bois's younger life and career, covering his education at Fisk University and Harvard, as well as his education and professors in Germany. Strickland also explored some of Du Bois's early scholarship, such as The Philadelphia Negro and "The Conservation of Races." The essay ends with a discussion of the Pan-African conference of 1900.

"African-American History: Origins, Development, and Current State of the Field" by Joe W. Trotter [faculty page]. It is published in the Organization of American Historians Magazine of History, 7:4 (Summer 1993). Trotter provides a thematic overview of historical research on African Americans by both Black and White scholars from the 1890s to the early 1990s, noting their contributions to the study of history as well as their analytical frameworks. Accordingly, we can understand Du Bois as part of rich intellectual context that included such scholars as George Washington Williams, Carter G. Woodson, Lawrence Reddick, Kenneth Stampp, and C. Vann Woodward, among many others mentioned in the article. Trotter also covers the various historical topics investigated, including slaves within the institution of slavery, the Reconstruction era, the debates over segregation and integration, and proletarianization with regard to "the black urban experience."

W.E.B. Du Bois is a page within a section on the U.S. Census Bureau site that lists "Notable Alumni". The page briefly notes his 1904 report, The Negro Farmer.
W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) used his gifts as a social scientist and writer to fight for equal rights for black Americans throughout his life. In 1904, for part of Census Bulletin #8, Du Bois wrote an analysis of black farmers in the southern United States. Du Bois' analysis used statistics to counter the racist narrative of the day and showed how black farmers used their land and agricultural skills to make a better life for themselves and their families.
A link to Du Bois's The Negro Farmer [PDF] is included.

W.E.B. Du Bois: The Activist Life is an online exhibit created and maintained by the Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Spanning DuBois' lifetime, this web site offers a collection of personal photos and photos of relevant documents. [Link was updated on 14 November 2005.]

"Materialism and Imagination" was published by Nicholas Veroli in the Journal on African Philosophy, Issue 2 (2003).
    In the essay Veroli argued that a key limitation in the classical exposition of materialism (e.g., classical Marxism) was that it conceptualized culture -- and by implication, imagination -- as part of a rigid base / superstructure model of society. In such a model, culture was considered part of the superstructure and deemed to be "mere" illusion; culture thereby was of a secondary epistemic status to the essential reality of the economic base. As a consequence, argued the author, the base / superstructure model limited our understanding of the role played by culture in perpetuating capitalism, as well as its role in creating a counter-public sphere, wherein multiple experiences and perspectives can be expressed creatively in opposition to capitalism.
    Veroli's central focus was on C.L.R. James, but he provided an extensive analysis of W.E.B. Du Bois as an important precursor to James. Veroli argued that Du Bois's philosophical significance lay in how he understood reality to include more than physically discernible phenomena: the reality faced by persons of color also included socially-constituted phenomenon, such as the reality of racism and its effects. Regarding Du Bois, Veroli wrote:
[ . . . ]  In brilliant pragmatist fashion he reveals the reality of raced subjectivity in terms of its consequences rather than on the basis of any biological, cultural, or psychological essence. This is perhaps where Du Bois's philosophical contribution is revealed at its clearest. He realizes, like few other thinkers in a philosophical tradition that extends back two-and-a-half millennia that appearance is real enough, that becoming is not subordinate to being or, to put the matter in more contemporary terms, that it is not because reality is socially constructed that it can therefore be consigned to the dumping ground of illusion. The reality of a symbolic nexus -- such as the African Diaspora -- is not simply to be judged on the basis of its correspondence to an actually existing referent but also on its effectivity in terms of registers other than a purely epistemological one (political, historical, cultural, etc…). That the concept of 'race,' for instance, is meaningless from a strictly biological standpoint in no way changes the fact that it has real effects quite independently of its epistemic status. Imaginary realities exist quite as surely as material ones, the only difference between the two being in their modalities of effect.
From this principle flows much of Du Bois's political activism from the thirties to the end of his life in 1963. For it is also true that common history and struggle do not, in and of themselves, mean anything if there is not, added to them, a common structure of affect, an imaginary of social struggle. Du Bois's work as a journalist and as an activist during the late forties and fifties would be devoted exclusively to the task of constructing such an imaginary, though he was building on previous achievement rather than starting from scratch. In his vision of Pan Africanism he would stress, over and over again, anti-colonial and working class solidarities, work with trade-unions, unwaveringly support African labor struggles, and consistently oppose European imperialism as well as the pretensions to global power of his native land.
[Footnotes removed]

[Note: Another online essay by Nicholas Veroli, "How a Fiction Became the Truth: Five Thesis on Cogito, Imagination, and Modernity," was published in Ijele: Art eJournal, Issue 4 (2002).]

"Washington, Du Bois, and the Black Future" by Mark Bauerlein (Wilson Quarterly, Autumn 2004). Bauerlein [faculty page] details Du Bois' initial support for Washington, as well as the factors leading to their later rift. Bauerlein concludes:
[B]ehind the division lay the peculiar chemistry of the dispositions of two men, one pragmatic and controlling, the other principled and solitary. For a time, they worked together, until each came gradually to believe that the other had betrayed the cause of racial uplift -- and the personal giving of himself.

"Washington, DuBois, and Woodson" by John Henrik Clarke. This is part of address entitled "Education for a New Reality in the African World" which Clarke delivered in 1994 at a ceremony of the Phelps-Stokes Fund honoring his contributions to understanding African civilization. Clarke writes:
We should have had a wedding between what Booker T. Washington was saying and what DuBois was saying. Instead we called Washington a traditionalist and DuBois a modernist and did not see that there was no conflict between one and the other.

"W.E.B. Du Bois, an interview by Ralph McGill published in The Atlantic Monthly (v.216, n.5 (November 1965): pp.78-81).
     This interview was conducted at Du Bois' home in Ghana in early 1963. As presented via the direct quotations of the article, the interview seemed to emphasize Du Bois's views of and experiences with Booker T. Washington. In addition, McGill added much commentary on Du Bois' editorship of The Crisis magazine and his "polemic excesses", including activities later in his life that situated Du Bois out of the mainstream of political life in the U.S.A.
     Regarding Booker T. Washington, Du Bois indicated that he "admired much about him." Du Bois provided his evaluation of the consequences of B.T.W.'s strategy:
"As Washington began to attain stature as leader of his new, small, and struggling school at Tuskegee," DuBois continued, "he gave total emphasis to economic progress through industrial and vocational education. He believed that if the Negro could be taught skills and find jobs, and if others could become small landowners, a yeoman class would develop that would, in time, be recognized as worthy of what already was their civil rights, and that they would then be fully accepted as citizens. So he appealed to moderation, and he publicly postponed attainment of political rights and accepted the system of segregation."
     After some commentary by McGill on the historical context of Washington, Du Bois' thoughts on B.T.W. are again presented:
"As I came to see it," said DuBois, "Washington bartered away much that was not his to barter. Certainly I did not believe that the skills of an artisan bricklayer, plasterer, or shoemaker, and the good farmer would cause the white South, grimly busy with disfranchisement and separation, to change the direction of things. I realized the need for what Washington was doing. Yet it seemed to me he was giving up essential ground that would be hard to win back. I don't think Washington saw this until the last years of his life. He kept hoping. But before he died he must have known that he and his hopes had been rejected and that he had, without so intending, helped make stronger -- and more fiercely defended -- a separation and rejection that made a mockery of all he had hoped and dreamed. I felt grief for him when I learned of his death because I believe he died in sorrow and a sense of betrayal."

"The Contributions of Booker T. Washington and W. E. B. DuBois in the Development of Vocational Education" by Nevin R. Frantz, Jr. By situating DuBois and Washington in their historical context, the author points out the positive effects of each thinker/activist for education. The essay is published online in the Journal of Industrial Teacher Education, [JITE], Vol. 34, No. 4 (1996).

"Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois: The Problem of Negro Leadership." Robert A. Gibson provides lesson plans for high-school students (10th-12th grades). This was published initially in 1978 as part of "Curriculum Units by Fellows of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute" [t.o.c.], specifically in "20th Century Afro-American Culture," Volume II, 1978 [t.o.c.]. As the work involves historical matters, the pedagogical questions posed and issues raised are still useful, although newer source materials of course are available.

 "Washington or Du Bois?" This is the Internet-based version of one segment of the video series and telecourse, "A Biography of America," which was funded by Annenberg/CPB and produced by WGBH Boston. Entitled "A Vital Progressivism," it is Program 19.
* The web site visitor is asked to decide: "Who had the better vision for improving the conditions of African Americans in the early 1900s, Booker T. Washington or W.E.B. Du Bois?" The visitor chooses one of the two and is prompted to reflect on the implications or situations confronting African Americans in that era. Subsequent pages provide further historical details as well as a discussion by scholars Donald L. Miller, Waldo E. Martin, Jr., and Virginia Scharff.

"Du Bois — The Spokesman of Negro Idealism" [page image].
In a 1907 issue of the periodical The World To-Day we find a photograph of Du Bois within a section entitled "Protectors of the Public" (pp. 5-8). That section contain photos of three others "Protectors." The only text within the section are the anonymously written captions. The caption to Du Bois's photo reads:
Professor Du Bois differs from Booker Washington in emphasizing the negro's need of higher education as well as industrial training. His book, "The Souls of Black Folk," is a powerful appeal for the rights of the negro as a man rather than as a workman
RW's Note 1: "Negro" is not capitalized in the original caption. The photo (a side-view of his shoulders and head facing right) has this acknowledgment: "From a photograph, copyright, 1904, by J. E. Purdy, Boston" [punctuation as found in the original text].
RW's Note 2: The full citation is: The World To-Day, v. 12, no. 1 (January 1907): p. 6. (Other details about this particular digitized work can be found at its "More-about-this-book" page at Google Books.)
RW's Note 3: Immediately preceding the photographs is what seems to be an editorial entitled "'To Hell with Such a Law'" (pp. 3-4). It lambasts "demagogues" spewing race hatred, while also saying about the North: "[f]or the most part it is even ready to admit that taking the uneducated negro [sic] out of politics is a wise move." (p. 4)
RW's Note 4: Within the "Protectors of the Public" section other photographs are included: Franklin Murphy, president of the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers; John E. Wilkie, chief of the U.S. Secret Service; and Lillian M.N. Stevens, president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union.
RW's Note 5: Alternate digitized version of this issue of The World To-Day: DuBois's photo on p. 6.

Shirley Graham was an activist, author, and dramatist in her own right before marrying W.E.B. Du Bois in 1951. Together, they continued their political activities both in the U.S.A. and via their travels abroad. Below are various online resources pertaining to Shirley Graham DuBois: biographies about her, her primary works, obituaries, secondary sources by later scholars, and miscellaneous materials (e.g., photographs as well as a newspaper article on their honeymoon). A sample of her poetry is also provided here.
Primary Works by Shirley Graham (Partial Listing by Date)
   • "Black Man's Music" was published in The Crisis, 40: 8 (August 1933): 178-179. [Note: a small part of page 179 at Google books is illegible].
   • "Oberlin and the Negro was published in The Crisis, 42:4 (April 1935): 118, 124.
   • "Maturity (To Our Congressman)", a poem published in The Crisis, 42:9 (September 1935): 284. [The full text can be found below].
   • Paul Robeson, Citizen Of The World (NY: Julian Messner, Inc., 1946). [Citation page at the Internet Archive].
   • There Was Once a Slave... The Heroic Story of Frederick Douglass. (NY: Julian Messner, Inc., 1947). [Page facsimiles at the Hathi Trust Digital Library].
   • Jean Baptiste Pointe De Sable, Founder Of Chicago (NY: Julian Messner, Inc., 1953). [Citation page at the Internet Archive].
   • "Introduction" to the Jubilee Edition of W.E.B Du Bois's The Souls of Black Folk, published in 1953 by the Blue Heron Press.
   • Booker T. Washington, Educator Of Hand, Head, and Heart (NY: Julian Messner, Inc., 1955; 11th Printing 1967). [Citation page at the Internet Archive].
Biographies on Shirley Graham
   • Anonymous biography at the repository of Shirley Graham's papers in the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University [Full web page title: "Du Bois, Shirley Graham, 1896-1977. Papers, 1865-1998 (inclusive), 1905-1975 (bulk): A Finding Aid" (Dated: March 2003)].
   • Dr. Clayborne Carson of Stanford University lectured on Shirley Graham, as well as W.E.B. Du Bois and others, as part of his Fall 2007 "Introduction to African-American History" course (HIST 166). In the videotaped Lecture 3 [via YouTube] Dr. Carson concentrates on Shirley Graham, providing a bio of her life and various details of her activities in the 1940s. This lecture lasts about 79 minutes. For more details on Dr. Carson's lectures, see a previous entry on this webpage.
   • "Shirley Graham DuBois" by Carrie Golus, was originally published in Contemporary Black Biography, 1999, a periodical from The Gale Group. The biography is available online at and at
   • "DuBois, Shirley Graham (1896-1977)" by Errin Jackson. Page at the site, The Black Past Remembered and Reclaimed.
Secondary Sources on Shirley Graham
   • "Shirley Graham Du Bois: Composer and Playwright" by Bernard L. Peterson, Jr. published in The Crisis, 84:5 (May 1977): pp.177-179 [Start page at Google Books].
   • Alesia Elaine McFadden wrote a Dissertation entitled The Artistry and Activism of Shirley Graham du Bois: A Twentieth Century African American Torchbearer (University of Massachusetts Amherst, 2009). View the citation page with an abstract, or access the dissertation online as a PDF file (~675 KB).
Obituaries for Shirley Graham
   • "Mrs. Shirley DuBois Dies on China Visit" [by Anonymous]. Washington Afro-American (Red Edition), 85th Year, No.67 (April 5, 1977): p.1,col.2 and p.2,col.3. [At Google News Archive].
   • "Shirley Graham Du Bois Dies in Peking China" [Anonymously written]. Jet, 57:4 (April 14, 1977): p.18. [At Google Books].
Miscellaneous Items Pertaining to Shirley Graham
   • "Late Minister, Red Tape, Delay DuBois Honeymoon; Famed Couple Not Upset by Mishaps" by B. M. Phillips: this is an article from The Afro American (Baltimore) newspaper of March 10, 1951 (59th Year, No. 31 at p.1,col.3 and p.2,col.7). [At Google News Archive].
   • Photographs of "Du Bois, Shirley Graham" (and W.E.B. Du Bois): these are accessible via the W.E.B. Du Bois Library located at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and are part of the library's Special Collections & University Archives' online exhibit and resource entitled "Du Bois Central".
A Poem by Shirley Graham
"Maturity (To Our Congressman)" was published in The Crisis, 42:9 (September 1935) at p.284. [At Google Books].
[Note: Line length and breaks, as well as punctuation, have been retained from the original in The Crisis, although in many cases it appears as if such were used because the poem was printed, as with the other items, in a rather narrow column on the periodical's page].
(To Our Congressman)
By  Shirley  Graham
I am a Negro:
    (Well do we know)
Had I been born in France or Spain
Or in that land of burning sands and
    copper skies.
I should have been a Frenchman, Span-
    iard or a Mussulman;
I should have bowed 'neath lofty domes
While cross my dusky face stole jeweled
    light deep set in solemn measure.
Or, in some snow-white mosque,
Outlined by towering minarets,
I should have knelt.
But here clear chimes bade me go on my
I prayed apart and loudly sang their
But to my music.
I ate in kitchen of the scraps they left,
I did not over-eat; the dog was fat.
But I was doing what he could not do—
Growing to manhood.
Now, that I am a man,
Gaunt, lean, with muscles hard and rip-
I look afar:
You sing America—My lines are blurred,
I am a Negro.
   [ End of poem ]

"Bringing W.E.B. Du Bois Home Again" by Whitney Battle-Baptiste, (faculty site; personal site). The essay was reposted on 30 August 2018 on the blog, Black Perspectives (which is sponsored by the African American Intellectual History Society (AAIHS). Dr. Battle-Baptiste discusses the significance of Du Bois's birthplace, Great Barrington, MA, for him and, as well, his significance for many of the residents of the city. She mentions the creation of the "W.E.B. Du Bois Park" and its dedication on 18 October 1969. Throughout, posting she provides useful links to external websites. She presents a photo of one of murals of Du Bois situated in downtown Great Barrington. It was created and painted by the Railroad Street Youth Organization.

"Circle Unbroken" by Tom Chalkley. This is a news article (dated 18 June 2003) from the Baltimore City Paper Online. DuBois' family residence in Baltimore, Maryland, is mentioned. Also discussed is an organization in the city called the DuBois Circle -- a women's group which has been meeting since the early 1900s to address African American concerns in Baltimore.

"The Childhood of W.E.B. DuBois: And His Early Evolvement." This is a described as a "Drawing Book for Self Expression" which was compiled and edited by Leon Dixon of the W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center. The book is designed to be used with young students, who can submit illustrations for it (as indicated here).

"The DuBois Files." Leigh Donaldson in the Portland Monthly Summerguide 2001 (of Maine) wrote that DuBois would spend two weeks during summers at the so-called Cambridge Gun & Rod Club in Maine. This was meeting place for Black intellectuals. [This online article is dated 10 August 2001.]

Contemporary works on Great Barrington, Du Bois's birth city in Massachusetts, and on Berkshire County, MA, are available online.
  Anonymous. Great Barrington: Glimpses of the Gem of the Berkshire Hills (1892), published by Alice Collins (publisher or author?) in Great Barrington, MA. A slender volume with a brief textual introduction and 13 photographs of houses and nature settings. [At]
  Bryan, Clark W. The Book of Berkshire: Describing and Illustrating Its Hills and Homes and Telling Where They Are, What They Are and Why They are Destined to Become the Most Charming and Desirable Summer Homes in America: For the Season of 1887 (1887), seeming self-published by "Clark W. Bryan, Publishers" in Great Barrington, MA. The work conveys positive descriptions of various cities and towns in Berkshire County, complete with numerous line drawings of nature and houses. [At]
  Smith, Joseph Edward Adams. Taghconic: The Romance and Beauty of the Hills (Boston: Lee and Shepherd, 1879). Under the pseudonym of Godfrey Greylock, the author describes the natural wonders of Berkshire County and presents accounts of various historic events. [At]
  Taylor, Charles James. History of Great Barrington, (Berkshire County,) Massachusetts (1882), published in Great Barrington, Mass., by Clark W. Bryan & Co., Publishers. The book provides an historical account, starting from the early 1700s. Apparently, the e-copy is missing the map found in the original. [At]

"W.E.B. Du Bois - The Writer Who Traveled Backward by David Greenberg (posted online at Slate, 27 April 2001). Providing a synopsis of DuBois' life and his significance, Greenberg concludes:
Du Bois has become newly prominent because, despite his geriatric dogmatism, his thinking for most of his life was supple and original enough to reconcile what others saw as contradictions. He espoused African identity and American identity, self-improvement and integration, culture and politics. Today, a bouquet of these philosophies flowers among black thinkers and activists. All of them can trace their roots to Du Bois.

"The Soul of David Levering Lewis: Award-winning Scholar Contemporizes Black Intellectual Tradition." Ronald Roach interviews David Levering Lewis for Black Issues in Higher Education (30 December 2004). In the course of the interview Lewis discusses various aspects of Du Bois and his thought. [The piece is from the online full-text archive at <>.]

"W.E.B. Du Bois." Interview of David Levering Lewis by Christopher Lydon (in RealAudio format) on the NPR talk show, The Connection (from WBUR radio, Boston). It was originally aired on 24 October 2000. [A free RealPlayer program is required for listening.]

"W.E.B. DuBois." David Levering Lewis is interviewed on 5 November 2000 by Lisa Simeone for the NPR show, "All Things Considered." Lewis briefly discusses the content of the second volume of his biography on Du Bois, particularly the significance of the year 1919 for Du Bois and the U.S.A. This is an audio interview of 8 minutes duration and is available in Real Audio and Windows Media formats.

"W.E.B. DuBois: The Biography of a Race, 1868-1919" [Transcript of an interview]. David Levering Lewis was interviewed by Brian Lamb on C-SPAN's Booknotes TV show about the first volume of Lewis' two-part biography. Lewis covers many aspects of Du Bois' life as well as a few of Lewis' own biographical details. The show was initially broadcast on 2 January 1994 (interview date: 5 November 1993). [Also, the interview can be viewed as streaming video.]

"Commemorating W.E.B. Du Bois and The Crisis: Reflections on Religion and American History", written by Phillip Luke Sinitiere, was published in the Readex Report, November 2010 (Vol. 5, Issue 4). In the Conclusion, Sinitiere wrote:
The centennial of The Crisis calls our attention to its understudied role in twentieth-century American history. In turn, commemorative reflection invites students of history to explore Du Bois’s analysis of the black church, for example, and observe how he creatively gave readers a black Christ with whom they could find common ground. Finally, investigating religion and The Crisis at the dawn of the twenty-first century reminds us that religious ideas, religious language, and religious identity are historically contingent, culturally constructed, and endlessly fascinating.

"Of Faith and Fiction: Teaching W.E.B. Du Bois and Religion" (554 PDF) was written by Dr. Phillip Luke Sinitiere [faculty page]. It was published in The History Teacher, v.45, n.3, May 2012 at pp.421-436. Dr. Sinitiere provided a summary and analysis of five religiously themed short stories penned by Du Bois that feature
the appearance of a Black Christ challeng[ing] a Caucasian Christianity that bolstered inequality and supported a segregated church. Du Bois's Jesus came preaching a message of liberation, and embodied an ethics of inclusion that displayed the democratic promise at the core of American identity. (p.423)
Dr. Sinitiere also suggested pedagogical techniques that can be used in secondary schools and colleges to help students learn about early 20th Century American history via those religious texts by Du Bois.

Du Bois' FBI Dossier: Du Bois was scrutinized by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, especially his comments on, and travels to, the Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China. The dossier on Du Bois runs over 900 pages and is available under the Freedom of Information Act. The dossier spans five files in PDF format. [PDF files can be read with the free Adobe reader.]

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