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Primary Sources

This page contains links to the freely accessible e-texts of some of W.E.B. Du Bois' writings. I have also included a few secondary sources, such as commentaries and discussions, which concentrate on a particular DuBoisian work. Also, some hyperlinks point to audio and video presentations. In general, the works contained below are arranged in chronological order from earliest to latest.

The first section below presents links to online bibliographies of DuBois's works as well as links to web pages describing the collections of his works at various physical repositories.

In the next section below comes a listing of primary texts written by DuBois as well as any related materials by him or other authors. The follow­ing drop-down menus provide an easy way to peruse the items listed on this web page; by clicking the desired selection one can jump to view its details. The primary sources include:
Because many of Du Bois's publications are not—or at least not yet—available on the Internet, I do not claim to provide a full and complete listing of all of his works. I will, however, add more links to re/sources as I find them on the Web.
— Robert W. Williams, Ph.D.  [Bio] 

LATEST LINK (for 1 January 2023)
Primary Source: New Online Locations
Posted below are external links to page facsismiles of Du Bois's "The Black Man Brings His Gifts" (1925). The links point to the Internet Archive and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Yale University). They replace a defunct website.

Posted below is a link to the text of Du Bois's "Address to the Country" ​(ATTC) as published in The Broad Ax newspaper (25 August 1906), and which is available on this web site. The ATTC is posted as one of my digital humanities projects.

Also below you will find an external link to "The Renaissance of Ethics" (1889) —the essay that Du Bois wrote as a Harvard undergraduate for Philosophy IV, a class taught by William James.

Bibliographies and Collections of Du Bois's Works
The Credo online repository of the Du Bois Collection of primary and secondary materials at the University of Massachusetts Amherst library provides a searchable and browsable interface for examining the materials found within the Du Bois holdings at the library. Note that only the metadata description can be searched (not the items themselves themselves that are part of the additives that help with impotence). For more information visit my intra-site About page.
Credo (Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst)
Bibliographies of Texts by Du Bois. Available online are several sites with reference details for his primary texts. These sites do not have hyperlinks to the actual texts.
DePauw University Library [includes some secondary sources]
Karl-Franzens-Universit�t Graz (Austria), Institut f. Soziologie
[Detailed listing in English of Du Bois' authored and edited books]
Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, University of Georgia Library
[very extensive listing]
Howard University provides selected works by and about DuBois, as well as selected websites
Robert W. McDonnell's "The W.E.B. Du Bois Papers" (The Crisis, 1980) provides an interesting account of how a multitude of Du Bois's written works, including correspondence as well as published and unpublished documents, came to be archived at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst library. McDonnell also describes how individual papers were carefully organized (or even reassembled from scattered pages) and laboriously processed for storage on microfilm. In the article he indicates the other repositories that house original works by Du Bois: specifically, the libraries at Fisk University and Yale University, as well as the Schomburg Center.
[Citation: McDonnell, Robert W. 1980. "The W.E.B. Du Bois Papers." The Crisis, 87:9 (November): 359-364].
This issue of The Crisis is viewable at Google Books [article's start page]
The Papers of W.E.B. Du Bois: A Guide. 1981. Compiled and written by Robert W. McDonnell, this very large (12 Meg PDF file) provides a "table of contents" for the papers available for viewing at the University of Massachusetts Amherst's W.E.B. Du Bois Library. The Library also has a "Du Bois Central" page for links to the DuBois-related resources that are physically accessible there.
At the UMass Amherst Library's Special Collections & University Archives
[Note: 12 MB PDF file]
Finding Aid for the W.E.B. Du Bois Papers in the Special Collections and University Archives at the W.E.B. Du Bois Library of the University of Massachusetts Amherst (no date provided). In addition to a "Biographical Note" (by Kerry W. Buckley), a "Scope and Content of the Collection," and a "History of the Collection", there is a detailed inventory of the collection with its items corresponding to their location on the various reels of the microfilm set. The content list basically parallels those of the 1981 Guide/Finding Aid compiled by Robert McDonnell (described above). However, there are several notable differences between the later and earlier Finding Aids for the Du Bois Collection:
 • Later materials added to the collection are contained in "Series 22. Additions to the Du Bois Papers." [as printed in the PDF file].
• "The Series 17. Photographs" are categorized differently than the 1981 Finding Aid—the latter more typically listing the photos by the name of the persons photographed.
• The "Series 18. Memorabilia" section and "Series 19: Audiovisual" section (as printed in the PDF file) are presented with less detail than the 1981 Finding Aid.
• The 1981 Finding Aid's "Selective Index to the Correspondence" is not included (presumably because a search function can be used to locate items on the webpage and in the PDF versions of the later Aid).
Finding Aid for the "W.E.B. Du Bois Papers, 1803-1999 (Bulk: 1877-1963)...Collection number: MS 312"
[Also downloadable as a PDF file (~1.7 MB)]
Dr. Randolph Bromery, former Chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Amherst (1971-1980) and a geophysicist, describes in two different video interviews how the University obtained the bulk of Du Bois's papers for the Special Collections repository at the school's library. Neither of the videos is dated in any explicit manner. The interviews convey Bromery's personal role in procuring the papers held by Shirley Graham Du Bois in Cairo, Egypt and the papers held by Herbert Aptheker in New York City. Further information on Bromery's life is available at the National Visionary Leadership Project, which contains a series of video interviews in which he conveys his life experiences and career (among which is the video regarding Du Bois's papers).
Bromery describes moving the Du Bois papers from Cairo [8m25s in duration]
Bromery describes the politics behind obtaining the Du Bois papers in general and also how he obtained the Du Bois papers held by Aptheker [6m14s in duration]
W. E. B. Dubois Collection at Yale University. Yale University houses the W. E. B. Dubois Collection (JWJ MSS 8) of correspondence and drafts of various works. In the words of the Beinecke Library staff: the collection "contains items presented to the James Weldon Johnson Collection by Mr. DuBois, by way of Carl Van Vechten, with additional items from other persons". Note that this is a listing of items that only can be accessed physically at the Library itself.
At the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale Collection of American Literature
Umbra Search is a metasearch engine that concentrates directly on primary and secondary sources of African American history. As a metasearch engine it compiles results based on the search hits of the various repositories that it specifically accesses, such as the Digital Public Library, the Credo repository at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Library, the collection at Yale's Beinecke Library, and many others. When one types a search string, Umbra Search will suggest names and keywords that pertain to the terms being typed. In general, this metasearch engine is very useful. In my experience, however, it did not always find a document by Du Bois that I knew was located at, for example, the Credo repository. Umbra Search hence does not substitute for a focused search of individual repositories.
Freedomways was a quarterly journal initially edited by Shirley Graham, W. Alphaeus Hunton, Margaret G. Burroughs, and Ester Jackson. W.E.B. Du Bois contributed several articles to the early issues (see below). The journal spanned from Spring 1961 to Fall 1985. It covered African American and African diaspora topics, including the various civil rights struggles in the United States. Freedom­ways also foregrounded topics relevant to Black women and featured numerous works written by Black women. The journal also covered the Middle East and the Palestinians, the anti-apartheid movement in South Africa, Native Americans, as well as topics in general that pertained to the exploitation and marginalization of peoples.
    Freedomways published, as well as reprinted, various essays by Du Bois, and even published a poem by him:
• Du Bois, W.E.B. "The Negro People and the United States". Freedomways, v1,n1 (Spring 1961): 11-19.
• Du Bois, W.E.B. "Africa and the French Revolution". Freedomways, v1,n2 (Summer 1961): pp.136-151.
• Du Bois, W.E.B. "Ghana Calls—A Poem". Freedomways, v2,n1 (Winter 1962): pp.71-74.
• Du Bois, W.E.B. "Fifty Years After". [Reprint of a new Preface to the Jubilee Edition of The Souls of Black Folk (Blue Heron Press)]. Freedomways, v2,n2 (Spring 1962): pp.165-166.
• Du Bois, W.E.B. "Conference of Encyclopedia Africana", Freedomways, v3,n1 (Winter 1963): pp.28-30.
• Du Bois, W.E.B. "Behold the Land". Freedomways, v4,n1 (Winter 1964): pp.8-15. [Reprinted also as "An Historical Perspective: Behold the Land", Freedomways, v15,n3 (3rd Q. 1975): pp.206-211].
• Du Bois, W.E.B. "The African Roots of War". Freedomways, v8,n1 (Winter 1968): pp.12-22.
• Du Bois, W.E.B. "The American Negro and the Darker World". Freedomways, v8,n3 (Summer 1968): pp.245-250.
    The periodical is accessible at an online repository: "Independent Voices: An Open-Access Collection of an Alternative Press".


 Primary Sources by DuBois and Related Materials
   [Arranged chronologically from earliest to latest]
"The Renaissance of Ethics: A Critical Comparison of Scholastic and Modern Ethics." 1889. Du Bois wrote this essay as a Harvard undergraduate for Philosophy IV, a class taught by William James. "The Renaissance of Ethics" (TROE) is accessible at the W.E.B. Du Bois Collection (Call No. JWJ MSS 8, Box 3, Folder 57)[Finding Aid], which is housed at the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University.
   TROE is a hand-written essay spanning 51 pages of text. The manuscript contains marginal comments by William James, the professor. Du Bois the student discussed the limitations of scholastic philosophy and the important role that science has in attempting to discover the ultimate ends/goals of the world. On the basis of that future discovery, he argued, our duty in the world will be grounded. For Du Bois, duty was paramount. In his words:
The fundamental question of the Universe, for ages past, present, and to come, is Duty. Given a universe with two horrible futures and the question becomes to each individual How much difference will it make if This be tomorrow's universe rather than That? in [sic] other words the great question the world asks is How much better is the best possible universe I can help make, than the worst possible? (pp.15-16)
TROE can be downloaded as a ~16 MB PDF file (Scroll down & click the "Export as PDF" button)  [Catalog page]
"The Afro-American." Circa 1894. This previously unpublished manuscript from the "Papers of W. E. B. Du Bois" (Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Massachusetts Amherst) is presented online in the Journal of Transnational American Studies (2010). Dr. Nahum D. Chandler (bio) provides the abstract accompanying the text.
This hitherto unpublished essay by W. E. B. Du Bois, the text titled "The Afro-American," which likely dates to the late autumn of 1894 or the winter of 1895, is an early attempt by the young scholar to define for himself the contours of the situation of the Negro, or "Afro-American," in the United States in the mid-1890s. It is perhaps the earliest full text expressing his nascent formulations of both the global "problem of the color-line" and the sense of "double-consciousness" among African Americans in North America.
An essay by Dr. Chandler accompanies the Du Boisian manuscript. As the abstract conveys,
[Chandler] proposes a path for the initial reading of this essay by rendering thematic the worldwide horizon that framed Du Bois's projection from this early moment and by bringing into relief the interwoven motifs of the global "problem of the color-line" and the sense of "double-consciousness" for the "Afro-American" in the United States.
Chandler relates the text to Du Bois' thinking as expressed in various early writings, including "Strivings of the Negro People" (1897), "Beyond the Veil in a Virginia Town" (unpublished manuscript circa 1897 written presumably during his time conducting research in the Farmville, VA area), "The Study of the Negro Problems" (1898), and The Souls of Black Folk (1903).
"The Afro-American" by W.E.B. Du Bois published in the Journal of Transnational American Studies, v.2, n.1 (2010)
Nahum D. Chandler, "Of Horizon: An Introduction to 'The Afro-American' by W. E. B. Du Bois—circa 1894" published in the Journal of Transnational American Studies, v.2, n.1 (2010)
DuBois Congratulates Washington. 1895. This is a graphics file of a letter that Du Bois sent to Booker T. Washington after the latter's Atlanta Exposition speech on 18 September 1895. Given their later debates over socio-political goals and tactics, it is interesting to read what Du Bois sent Washington in a handwritten letter:
My Dear Mr. Washington:
            Let me heartlily congratulate you upon your
phenomenal success at Atlanta -- it was a word
fitly spoken.
            Sincerely Yours,
            W.E.B. Du Bois  

Wilberforce, 24 Sept., '95
U.S. Library of Congress exhibit, "African American Odyssey:
The Booker T. Washington Era (Part 1)"
The Suppression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America, 1638-1870. 1896. Based on his doctoral dissertation, this was Du Bois' first book; it was published as Volume 1 in the Harvard Historical Studies (NY: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1896).
Page on this web site with links to, and details on, various online sources
[Review] "Race Traits and Tendencies of the American Negro. By Frederick L. Hoffman, F.S.S." Du Bois pubished this book review in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, v.9 (January 1897): pp.127-133.
Page on this web site with the full text (with notes by Robert Williams)
"The Conservation of Races." The American Negro Academy Occasional Papers, Nr. 2. 1897.
Page on this web site with some commentary
"Strivings of the Negro People." 1897. This was incorporated as Ch. I in Du Bois' The Souls of Black Folk.
Page on this web site with hyperlinks to online texts
The Atlanta University Publications.. 1897 to 1917.
Page on this web site with links to the full texts of many of the studies
"The Study of the Negro Problems." 1898. Du Bois set forth various aspects of his social-scientific research program in this piece. It was originally published in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, vol. XI, January 1898, pp. 1-23.
The Negroes of Farmville, Virginia: A Social Study. Bulletin of the Department of Labor, Vol. 14. Washington, DC: GPO, January 1898, pp. 1-38.
Google Books digital copy (About-This-Book page)
Alternate 1: Google Books digital copy
Alternate 2: Google Books digital copy
Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library
[Note: The link below now points to the Wayback Machine, which archives defunct sites]
Secondary Source:
In the "Notes" section of The Yale Review, Vol. 6 (February 1898) we find an anonymously written piece, "The Bulletins of the Department of Labor". The one-paragraph note indicates the social-scientific importance of The Negroes of Farmville, Virginia, but does not refer to Du Bois by name (p. 437):
      The Bulletins of the Department of Labor for November, 1897, and January, 1898, contain valuable studies of especial classes of the population. The former has articles on the Italians in Chicago, and on the Anthracite Mine Laborers, while the latter treats in a special paper of the Negroes of Farmville. These special studies are a valuable supplement to the general statistics published by the Department of Labor as well as by the Census Bureau for the entire country. Mass figures, if they are to be made of any use, must be interpreted in the light of detailed study of specific classes and localities, and Col. Wright is giving great value to the Bulletin of the Department of Labor by inspiring such investigations.    [Note: With the exception of the boldface at the beginning of this short note, nothing else was put in bold or even italic lettering.  — RWW]
Page 437 in the full text of the periodical (at Google Books)
Related Information:
Charles Edward Burrell, in his A History of Prince Edward County, Virginia, from Its Formation in 1753 to the Present (Richmond, VA: Williams Printing Co.,1922), covered the history of the county in which Farmville is located. While Burrell discussed African Americans in the county (search for the word "Negro"), his overall -- and patronizing -- perspective is evident in his justification of the disfranchisement of African American males (see, e.g., pp. 191, 192-3, 203, 360). The work is available at the Internet Archive: download page.
Background Source: 
"Interview with Bancroft Winner Melvin Patrick Ely" (dated 23 May 2005):
Dr. Ely [faculty page 1; page 2] discusses the African American town of Israel Hill -- a town where Du Bois had conducted some of the sociological work that was published in his Negroes of Farmville, Virginia (1898). Ed Pompeian is the interviewer, asking questions about Ely's Israel on the Appomattox: A Southern Experiment in Black Freedom from the 1790s Through the Civil War (NY: Knopf, 2004). The interview is posted at the History News Network site (sponsored by George Mason University):
The Philadelphia Negro. 1899. This is Du Bois' path-breaking book of social research on African Americans in an urban environment.
Page on this web site with a link to the full text and other related works
"A Negro Schoolmaster in the New South." 1899. This was the basis for Ch. IV in DuBois' The Souls of Black Folk.
Page on this web site with hyperlinks to the essay
"The Negro in the Black Belt: Some Social Sketches" [NBBS]. Bulletin of the Department of Labor, No.22. Washington, DC: GPO (May 1899): pp.401-417. Students of Atlanta University gathered data for this report, which Du Bois acknowledged within the document.
Google Books digital copy [start page of the article]
Contemporary Sources related to "The Negro in the Black Belt"
• The Boston Evening Transcript (7 June 1899: p.10, col.5) printed a summary of the NBBS entitled "A Study of the Negro; Interesting Sketch of Types in the South". It was a "Special to the Transcript" written by someone named "Lincoln" and included several long quotations from the NBBS. The article also presented the following biographical sketch:
  Dr. Dubois [sic] is an instructor in Atlanta University, but is perhaps principally known by reason of his close-range studies of the negro [sic] in various parts of the United States. He is perhaps the most scholarly colored [sic] man in this country, and as such his observations and conclusions are entitled to great weight.
[The article at the Google News Archive]
• In the New York Times (17 July 1899; p.3) an anonymous writer published a review of the NBBS. Entitled "Negro Life in the South" , the news article contained an extensive set of subtitles: "A Study of the Residents of the Georgia 'Black Belt.' Much Depravity Is Found. Whisky, Tobacco, and Snuff Used to Excess—The People in the Towns Better than in the Country."
[Citation page at the New York Times Archives (free registration is required to view or download the ~121 KB PDF file of the news article)]
The American Monthly Review of Reviews [20:1 (July 1899): p.11] noted anonymously the NBBS as "giving statistical information about groups of negro [sic] families in certain towns and villages of Georgia and Alabama."
[Page 111 at Google Books]
• Kelly Miller published "The Education of the Negro" as Chapter XVI in the U.S. Dept. of Interior Annual Report, FY Ending 1901; Report of the Com­mis­sioner of Education, v.1 (1902): pp.731-859. He provided a synopsis of the NBBS, summarizing the findings for the different locales studied (at pp.777-778).
[Page 777 at Google Books]
  [As part of a brief bio of Du Bois, Kelly Miller wrote" "Mr. Du Bois has done more to give scientific accuracy and method to the study of the race question than any other American who has essayed to deal with it." (p.859).]
  [DuBois's Farmville study is summarized also: pp.775-777.]
• John R. Commons briefly outlined the sociological and geographical scope of the NBBS in his article "Racial Composition of the American People: The Negro" published in The Chautauquan (8:3, November 1903: pp.223-234) at p.234.
[Page 234 at Google Books]
Bibliographies referencing "The Negro in the Black Belt"
Studies in American Social Conditions—2: The Negro Problem. Edited by Richard Henry Edwards. (Madison, WI: s.n., December 1908). Under a section heading, "What are the Negro's social, moral, and religious condi­tions?", Edwards briefly noted NBBS provided "Interesting social sketches." [p.23]. In crafting the bibliography Edwards acknowledged the assistance and approval of Du Bois himself, among others (pp.13-14). Also note that many of DuBois's other works were included within the bibliography (between pp.15-32).
[Start page at Google Books]
• In Social Progress: A Year Book and Encyclopedia of Economic, Industrial, Social and Religious Statistics 1905, edited by Josiah Strong (NY: Baker and Taylor, Publishers, 1905) we find an anonymously written piece on "Bureaus of Labor" (pp.259-260) which contains a section on "The [U.S.] Department of Commerce and Labor." That section contained a subsection entitled "Leading Articles of the Bulletin" in which the NBBS was listed (p.260).
[Page 260 at Google Books]
• G.W.W. Hanger wrote an entry on "Labor Bureaus" for the The New Encyclopedia of Social Reform, edited by William D. P. Bliss (NY: Funk & Wagnalls, 1908): pp.675-677, which contained a subsection, "Some Leading Articles of the Bulletin", published by what he called the "U.S. Federal Department of Labor". Listed therein was the NBBS (p.676). This subsection is very similar to the one in the Social Progress yearbook (see above).
[Page 676 at Google Books]
• "Books for Negro Study Groups" appeared in several issues of Madison Hall Notes (University of Virginia). The NBBS was specifically listed in v.8, n.22 (15 February 1913): p.2.
[The NBBS listed on Page 2 at Google Books]
  [Note also that, among other authors's books, many of DuBois's works were included on the lists of "Books for Negro Study Groups"; visit:
* Madison Hall Notes, v.8, n.25 (8 March 1913): p.2
* Madison Hall Notes, v.8, n.26 (15 March 1913): pp.1-2.]
"The Twelfth Census and the Negro Problems" (1900) was published in The Southern Workman, 29:5 (May): pp.305-309. Du Bois discussed how the next decennial Census could, and should, collect even more useful data on African Americans.
"To the Nations of the World" -- Address at the 1900 Pan-African Conference. Initially conceived and then organized by H. Sylvester Williams, a Trinidadian-born lawyer practicing in London, the Pan-African Conference (sometimes called Pan-African Congress) was held in London from July 23 to 25, 1900. After participating in the 1900 Paris Exposition, Du Bois attended this conference, which also included Anna Julia Cooper. A.M.E. Zion Bishop Alexander Walters was elected to preside. Du Bois chaired the "Committee on Address to the Nations of the World," which was designated to craft a document to be sent to colonial governments.
     Du Bois read "To the Nations of the World" on the closing day of the conference. The colonial powers were asked to preserve the independence of the free peoples of Africa and African descent, and to treat humanely their subjects in Africa and of African heritage around the world. The address is also notable for the second sentence of its first paragraph (which is quoted in its entirety here):
     "In the metropolis of the modern world, in this the closing year of the Nineteenth Century, there has been assembled a Congress of men and women of African blood, to deliberate solemnly upon the present situation and outlook of the darker races of mankind. The problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line, the question as to how far differences of race, which show themselves chiefly in the color of the skin and the texture of the hair, are going to be made, hereafter, the basis of denying to over half the world the right of sharing to their utmost ability the opportunities and privileges of modern civilization."
 The "problem of the color line" later appeared in Du Bois' "The Freedmen's Bureau" (1901) and in Chapter 2 of The Souls of Black Folk (1903).
"To the Nations of the World" as published in Alexander Walters' My Life and Work (NY: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1917): pp. 257-260
[Alternate web page with DuBois's address]
1900 Paris Exposition (Exposition Universelle Internationale de 1900)
Page on this web site with hyperlinks to photos, a reconstructed exhibition, Du Bois' article on it, and related materials
"The Freedman's Bureau." 1901. The essay was reworked into Ch. II in DuBois' The Souls of Black Folk.
Page on this web site with hyperlinks to the essay
"The Evolution of Negro Leadership." 1901. This DuBoisian book review of Booker T. Washington's Up from Slavery became part of Chapter III in Souls.
Page on this web site with hyperlinks to the essay
"The Relation of the Negroes to the Whites in the South." This essay, originally published July 1901, was the basis for Ch. IX, "Of the Sons of Master and Man," in Du Bois' Souls.
Page on this web site with hyperlink to the essay
"The Black North, a Social Study." Originally published in the New York Times, November 17, 1901.
"Of the Training of Black Men." 1902. This essay became Ch. VI in DuBois' The Souls of Black Folk.
Page on this web site with hyperlinks to online texts
"The Laboratory in Sociology at Atlanta University." 1903.
The Souls of Black Folk. 1903.
Page on this web site with hyperlinks to the full text of the book and related materials, including several commemorations
"The Talented Tenth." 1903. Pp. 33-75 (Ch. 2) in The Negro Problem: A Series of Articles by Representative American Negroes of To-day, by Booker T. Washington, et al. (New York: James Pott and Company, 1903).
Page on this web site with the full text, graphs, and Williams' annotations
Internet Archive (which has the whole book, The Negro Problem)  [Download page], at the Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University, has the essay's text but its graphs are not easy to read
Primary Source by a Contemporary: 
The Rev. Henry Lyman Morehouse wrote an essay in 1896 that is considered to have originated the term, the "talented tenth". Initially published in the periodical, The Independent (23 April 1896, p.1), Morehouse's "The Talented Tenth" can be found in The American Missionary, 50:6 (June 1896): pp.182-183, which is the provenance of the essay found on this website.
Secondary Source: 
In the "Talented Tenth", an encyclopedia entry by Dr. Christopher George Buck [home page], Buck compares DuBois's use of the idea of a Talented Tenth with Alain Locke's more international application of it. The citation: pp.1295-7 in Richard T. Schaefer (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Race, Ethnicity, and Society, v.3 (Sage Publications, 2008).
Du Bois published his review of The Negro in Africa and America by Joseph A. Tillinghast in the Political Science Quarterly, 18:4 (December 1903): 695-697.
Page on this web site with the full text of the review and links to related materials
"The Future of the Negro Race in America". 1904. Du Bois published this text in The East and the West, Vol. 2 (January 1904): 4-19. The essay includes some details relevant to understanding Du Bois's understanding of Darwinian evolutionary theory.
Page on this web site with the full text and annotations
"The Atlanta Conferences". 1904. DuBois originally published this essay in Voice of the Negro, Vol. 1, No. 3 (March 1904): 85-90.
Page on this web site with the full text and annotations
"The Development of a People". 1904. Du Bois published this essay in the International Journal of Ethics, Vol.14, No.3 (April 1904): pp.292-311. He analyzed the factors that promoted—and that would continue to promote, he argued—a racial group on the path to social progress. He summarized his analysis thusly:
     Let me for a moment recapitulate. In the life of advancing peoples there must go on simultaneously a struggle for existence, accumulation of wealth, education of the young, and a development in culture and the higher things of life. The more backward the nation the larger sum of effort goes into the struggle for existence; the more forward the nation the larger and broader is the life of the spirit. For guidance, in taking these steps in civilization, the nation looks to four sources: the precepts of parents, the sight of seers, the opinion of the majority and the traditions of the past.  [Par.37]
Page on this web site with the full text and various notes
"The Negro Farmer" by W.E. Burghardt Du Bois. 1904.
(Original citation: Pp. 69-98 in U.S. Department of Commerce and Labor. Bureau of the Census. Negroes in the United States. Bulletin 8. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1904).
    Du Bois' piece is the second of two essays plus many pages of data in tabular format -- all of which utilized data from the 1900 U.S. Census (the Twelfth Census). The first essay was written by Walter F. Willcox; it is entitled "The Negro Population" (pp. 11-68) and summarizes demographic and occupational data gathered from the 1900 U.S. Census.
    In his essay Du Bois examined a variety of data, including farm distribution by geographic region, the sources of farm income, and the classification of farms by land tenure. He pointed out that in many Southern states Black farmers contributed much to the rural economy, especially through their operation of farms (p. 91).
Start page of Du Bois essay at Google Book Search
[About-This-Book page at Google Book Search]
[Note 1: The full text is downloadable as a PDF file (approx. 35 MB)]
[Note 2: Du Bois' essay is complete, but the file is missing some pages.]
Secondary Source:
Charles D. Edgerton. Review of Negroes in the United States. By Walter F. Willcox and W. E. Burghardt Du Bois. Bulletin 8, Bureau of the Census. Washington, 1904 [Citation: Publications of the American Statistical Association, New Series, v. IX, No. 69, (March 1905): 182-191].
    In general, Edgerton commended the new data published in the report by Willcox and Du Bois, as well as the useful ways in which the presentation of the data made comparisons over time and region easier (p. 183). He made suggestions about data that should be collected during later censuses. Regarding Du Bois and the necessity for a "textual interpretation" of census data, Edgerton wrote:
      No man, perhaps, is better equipped than Professor Du Bois to interpret the economic situation of the negro peasantry. Not so much because he possesses some negro blood, and under our social conventions is accounted a negro. He was born in Massachusetts, not among the cabins of the cotton kingdom; and his spiritual affinity, if not with his white kin rather than his black, is at least with the instructed rather than the simple. But, after his sociological training at Harvard and Berlin, and after his service at the University of Pennsylvania, he turned to work for the negroes of the South. He has studied their condition with a trained eye and a passionate interest. He has been the moving spirit of the Atlanta negro conferences. He has directed the valuable investigations of special topics, such as the college-bred negro, the negro common schools, and negroes in business, the results of which have been published by Atlanta University. His more personal observations and conclusions have been given in various magazines, and in his book, "The Souls of Black Folk." His studies illuminate those data of the agricultural census which most need to be interpreted in the light of facts beyond the field of the enumerator, -- such data as those of ownership, forms of tenancy, and sizes of farms.
   [Notes: Quotation is located on pp. 188-189. Also to be stated is that "Negro" was not capitalized in the original.  — RWW]  [Start page]
Du Bois published a short self-review of The Souls of Black Folk (SBFI) in The Independent of 17 November 1904 (Vol.57, No.2920 at p.1152). It was entitled "The Souls of Black Folk". Du Bois reached the following conclusion:
In its larger aspects the style is tropical — African. This needs no apology. The blood of my fathers spoke through me and cast off the English restraint of my training and surroundings. The resulting accomplishment is a matter of taste. Sometimes I think very well of it and sometimes I do not.
Page on this web site with the full text
Available online at the Hathi Trust Digital Library web site
Available at Google Books [Link may not open to the specific page]
"Sociology Hesitant." Ca. 1904-1905. This is an unpublished document that scholars have determined was composed by Du Bois somewhere in late 1904 or early 1905. It is an important text that allows us to explore Du Bois's views on social science, including sociology's unit of analysis as well as his understanding of sociological laws in relation to human free will. The Credo online database, housed at the University of Massachusetts Amherst library, contains page facsimiles of the typescript, along with pencil corrections and Du Bois's signature at the end of the document.
"The Individual and Social Conscience." 1905. This primary source by Du Bois resulted from his participation as a discussant at the Third Annual Convention of the Religious Education Association which convened in Boston during February 1905. The piece was originally untitled and was Du Bois's contribution to a session on the theme "How Can We Develop in the Individual a Social Conscience?"
The original text and details on a page on this web site
Page on this web site as part of my digital humanities project, Retextualizer.
"Atlanta University." 1905. In the American Unitarian Association, From Servitude To Service: Being the Old South Lectures on the History and Work of Southern Institutions for the Education of the Negro (Boston: American Unitarian Association, pp.155-197).
Links, details, and a quotation on a page on this web site
The Niagara Movement. 1905-1909. The Niagara Movement often is considered to be the first civil rights movement organized in the 20th Century. The W.E.B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst provides numerous items pertaining to the formation and organization of the Niagara Movement. Included are letters to and from Du Bois as well as other documents that illustrate the range of issues confronting the Movement. Many of the documents were written by persons other than Du Bois. Also, there are a few items dated in the years after its ultimate end in 1909.
The Niagara Movement page (which is part of the Du Bois Central site at the U.Mass. Amherst Library)
The Credo database at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Library for DuBoisian primary and secondary sources can locate Niagara Movement material movement...
Secondary Source: Journal
Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, the journal of the Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier [website], published five articles relating to the Niagara Movement in the July 2008 issue. They are accessible online at
(a) "Introduction to the Niagara Movement Special Issue" by Felix Armfield;
(b) "The Niagara Movement of 1905: A Look Back to a Century Ago" by Kyle D. Wolf;
(c) "African American Women and the Niagara Movement, 1905-1909" by Anita Nahal and Lopez D. Matthews, Jr.;
(d) "The Question of Color-Blind Citizenship: Albion Tourgee, W.E.B. Du Bois and the Principles of the Niagara Movement" by Mark Elliott; and
(e) "Coming of the Race: Kelly Miller and Two Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Niagara Movement Era" by Ida Jones.
Other Secondary Sources: 
* "Black History Month Theme: Niagara Movement" by Korey Bowers Brown (Association for the Study of African American Life and History [ASALH])
* "Niagara Movement" by Mary Johnson (West Virginia Encyclopedia)
* Niagara Movement Centennial Distinguished Lecture Series (Buffalo State College)
* "The J.R. Clifford Project (Includes materials on the 2006 Niagara Centennial Commemoration at Harpers Ferry)
* Harpers Ferry National Historical Park - The Niagara Movement (U.S. National Park Service)
* Historical Marker Database: The Niagara Movement
* 2006 Niagara Centennial Commemoration at Harpers Ferry (National Park Service)
* Niagara Movement Commemoration at Harpers Ferry [PDF file] (Harpers Ferry Historical Association [home page])
"Address to the Country" [ATTC] (a.k.a. "Address to the Nation" or the Niagara Movement Address). 1906. Du Bois wrote the ATTC for the Second Annual Meeting of the Niagara Movement, which was held at Harper's Ferry, West Virginia, in mid-August 1906. It was published in the New York Times on 20 August 1906.
Page on this web site with the ATTC text published in The Broad Ax, a Chicago newspaper (Vol. XI, No. 44 (August 25, 1906) at p.1), as well as versions (re-)arranged via my digital humanities project, Retextualizer.
Alternate site: (Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University)
Alternate site: Prof. Margaret Zulick's course, "American Rhetorical Movements since 1900" (COM341)
"Die Negerfrage in den Vereinigten Staaten." 1906. Translated as "The Negro Question in the United States" by Joseph G. Fracchia and published in New Centennial Review (v.6, n.3 (2006): pp. 241-290). DuBois originally published this essay in Archiv für Sozialwissenschaft und Sozialpolitik, v.22 (January 1906): pp. 31-79.
    In this long essay, Du Bois continued his practice of using different publishing venues to communicate information about African Americans, especially the progress made in economic and educational terms as well as the impediments to African American success within U.S. society and politics. He provided an overview of the economic history of blacks in America, first in terms of a slave economy, and later under different forms of tenant farming. He analyzed the negative consequences of the convict labor system, especially with regard to its tendency to undermine the legitimacy of the criminal justice system due to the sham legal proceedings often associated with it (p. 256). Du Bois also offered details on the industrial condition of Blacks with particular emphasis on labor unions and the discriminatory practices of some unions. Turning to political history he covered the long struggle for voting rights and the various ways that African Americans had been hindered from exercising their franchise, including those practiced by state governments. Du Bois explicitly connected race, class, and politics: "[T]he fact that there is in America a proscribed race also makes it easier to proscribe classes, and class privileges are responsible for the fact that Negroes find deaf ears for their wishes." (p. 284)
    DuBois ended with a moral appeal grounded in the data that he had presented throughout the essay (p. 287):

    The fact of racial antipathy is as old as the interaction of people with one another. But the history of the centuries is the history of the discovery of the human soul and in every age the curse of the average person was his own narrowness, his blindness toward the riches that surrounded him, the notion that his own narrow heart and his small mind are the measure and borders of the universe. Above all in our days we do not want to forget the trivial observation that even in the nooks and alleys, and under threadbare clothing, lay hidden riches and depths of human life that we will perhaps never experience in ourselves.
    In the struggle for his human rights the American Negro relies above all on the feeling of justice in the civilized world. We are no barbarians or heathen, we are educable and our education is increasing; our economic abilities have proven themselves. We too want to have our chance in life. Whoever wants to get acquainted with our living conditions, be welcome; we demand nothing other than that one gets acquainted with us honestly and face to face, and does not judge us according to hearsay or according to the verdict of our despisers.
 Note by Robert Williams:
 Joseph Fracchia [department page] offers us a nicely rendered translation; he appends several translator's endnotes that amplify or clarify several aspects of the original DuBoisian text. The translation is contained within a special issue of the New Centennial Review on Du Bois that is edited by Nahum Dimitri Chandler. Other pieces in this issue are written by Nahum D. Chandler, Hortense J. Spillers, Nicole A. Waligora-Davis, Rebecka Rutledge Fisher, Karen E. Fields, and Jeremy W. Pope. The entire issue and individual articles can be purchased either in print form or else in downloadable PDF files. For purchases one would need first to use the "Table of Contents" drop-down menu list located on the navigation bar and select "Volume 6, Number 3 (2006)". After the contents of that particular issue are displayed, one then can make purchase choices.
At the New Centennial Review's sample articles page  [~177 KB]
[For the German language original go to Google Books: Start page,
or the entire volume's About-this-book page; another digital copy.]
[W.E.B. Du Bois's Reply] (1906) is an untitled response to the question "What's Next; or, Shall a Man Live Again?" that seems to have been sent to numerous persons by Clara Spalding Ellis (Introduction). As was written on the title page:
"The great question answered by two hundred living Americans of prominence in politics; in the army and navy; in science, art, music and literature; in the mercantile world; in the professions; and in the chairs of universities. An expression from secular life only (the views of all clergymen being excluded.)"
The replies were compiled in a book published by Ellis as What's Next; or, Shall a Man Live Again? (Boston: The Gorham Press, 1906).
     Du Bois's brief reply (perhaps written by him or received by Ellis in January 1904) is presented here verbatim and in its entirety:
W. E. B. Du Bois, A. M., Ph.D., Professor of Economics and History, Atlanta University. January 30, 1904.
I have a thousand years of work laid out before me. And each year as it flies leaves the vision of another thousand. I should like to live to finish all this; it seems reasonable that I should; I hope I may. [p.46]
Atlanta, Ga.
     There does not appear to be a reference to Clara Spalding Ellis in the Du Bois Papers' Finding Aid (University of Massachusetts Library).
Page at Hathi Trust Digital Repository
[Page at Google Books]
"The Economic Revolution in the South" (ch.iii) and "Religion in the South" (ch.iv). 1907. Two lectures by Du Bois.
Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Du Bois. The Negro in the South, His Economic Progress in Relation to His Moral and Religious Development; Being the William Levi Bull Lectures for the Year 1907. Philadelphia: G. W. Jacobs, 1907.
"Mixed Blood Aided White Geniuses." 1907. Du Bois targeted those critical of mixed-race heritage at a speech for the Society for Ethical Culture at Carnegie Hall, NY. The speech was reported in The New York Times on 18 February 1907. Du Bois said:
[A]s a subtle and far-reaching blend of blood, you have in many great white men this negro element coming in to color and make wonderful the genius which they had -[-] a fact which was as true of Robert Browning and Alexander Hamilton as it was of Lew Wallace and a great many other Americans who may wish to have it forgotten. To train this talent we need colleges. We ask these things not because we want to be helped, but that we may help ourselves."
John Brown. 1909. Du Bois published this interpretive biography of the abolitionist John Brown with G.W. Jacobs & Company (Philadelphia). In the conclusion Du Bois relates the significance of John Brown to the race -- and class -- relations of the early 20th century:
    John Brown taught us that the cheapest price to pay for liberty is its cost to-day. The building of barriers against the advance of Negro-Americans hinders but in the end cannot altogether stop their progress. The excuse of benevolent tutelage cannot be urged, for that tutelage is not benevolent that does not prepare for free responsible manhood. Nor can the efficiency of greed as an economic developer be proven -- it may hasten development but it does so at the expense of solidity of structure, smoothness of motion, and real efficiency. Nor does selfish exploitation help the undeveloped; rather it hinders and weakens them. [pp. 395-6]
At the HathiTrust Digital Library (catalog page)
At Google Books (About-this-book Page)
Contemporary Secondary Source:
In an article entitled "John Brown" C.B. Galbreath surveyed various works on that historical person (in Ohio Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, v.30 (1921): 184-289). DuBois's biography was acknowledged in a positive but also patronizing way, as conveyed by this quotation presented here in its entirety and verbatim:
      There is a life of John Brown by W. E. B. DuBois, the colored scholar and author, which is well worth reading. It may be regarded as an index of the ultimate attitude of the race for which Kansas bled and the gallows of Virginia ushered in the tragic drama of the Civil War. DuBois's book does credit to himself and his people. It reflects their gratitude for liberation from bondage, and the estimate of Brown's followers who fought to accomplish this is thoughtful and conservative. It is evident, however, that the author has in mind the present and future of his race and a somber appreciation of prejudices to be overcome and wrongs to be righted. He insists that the negro [sic] still suffers grievous injustice; that the times call for another John Brown to batter down the walls and break the fetters that deprive his people of the rights and opportunities which should be theirs under our institutions. He has a grievance to present and a purpose to accomplish; he gets a hearing through his ably written biography of John Brown, even as Charles Sumner in his scholarly lecture on Lafayette found an avenue for an attack on the institution of slavery.    [Note: "Negro" is not capitalized in the original. — RWW]
Page 195 in the full text of the periodical [Article's start page] . .#PPA195
[Another digital copy]
"Evolution of the Race Problem." 1909. Presented by DuBois at the National Negro Conference held in New York City in 1909, this paper is interesting for, among other reasons, his interpretation of Darwinian evolution as it applied to the progress of races over time (and the human race also), and its implications for social policies -- all in contradistinction to many of the tenets of the so-called social Darwinism found in the U.S.A. at the time.
In the early 20th Century L.L. Bernard sent a questionnaire to various programs of sociology within U.S. institutions of higher education, seeking information, as the title of his article indicated, on "The Teaching of Sociology in the United States" (American Journal of Sociology, 15:2 (September 1909): pp.164-213). W.E.B. Du Bois was queried and his response to Question 15 was printed in the journal article. Question 15 asked: "Express fully your judgment of the present tendencies of sociology, and your forecast of its future in your own institution. In this connection give statistical data if possible. Also give any other facts that you regard as important." [p.166]
     Du Bois's response is presented below verbatim and in its entirety. Note that he is listed as the president of Atlanta University and also note that "Negro" was not capitalized in the original.
    President Du Bois, Atlanta University: "Sociology will, in my opinion, for the next decade or so leave the theoretical side largely alone and devote itself carefully to a practical intensive study, emphasizing in such points as are of importance to students who are going into social work, and who wish to understand the full significance of history. In this institution, naturally, the statistical and historical study of the negro [sic] problem will be the chief content of the courses in sociology for some years to come."  [p.195]
The article is accessible online at
"Fifty Years Among Black Folks." DuBois published this piece on the progress of African Americans in The New York Times on 12 December 1909. DuBois concluded:
This, then, is the transformation of the negro in America in fifty years: from slavery to freedom, from 4,000,000 to 10,000,000, from denial of citizenship to enfranchisement, from being owned chattels to ownership of $600,000,000 in property, from unorganized irresponsibility to organized group life, from being spoken for to speaking, from contemptuous forgetfulness on the part of their neighbors to uneasy fear and dawning respect, and from inarticulate complaint to self-expression and dawning consciousness of manhood.
At The New York Times archives
[Booker T. Washington's "Negro Four Years Hence" is also published here.]
The Crisis: A Record of the Darker Races. 1910–today. Du Bois was the first editor of The Crisis, the main periodical of the N.A.A.C.P., and served in that capacity from 1910 to 1934. He published numerous editorials and articles in this magazine. Henry Lee Moon published the "History of The Crisis" in November 1970: online at the magazine's web site.
Various volumes are accessible online:
Google Books provides the largest collection for online viewing: from some of the earliest issues to those published about two years ago. [Browse Issues].
The Internet Archive provides, for downloading or online viewing, these volumes: v.5-6, v.7-8, v.9-10, v.23-24, v.25-26 [Search Results page].
The Modernist Journals Project, a collaborative effort by Brown University and the University of Tulsa, makes accessible for online viewing and downloading these volumes: v.1-24 (1910-1922) and v.25, Nos.1-2 (1922) [Journal Page]. has mirrored the Modernist Journal Project and makes available those individual issues of The Crisis in PDF format (as listed in the entry above this one).
"Evolution of the Negro." Du Bois published this article in the American Missionary, New Series, v.1, n.11 (February 1910): 973-975.
In "Reconstruction and Its Benefits" (1910) Du Bois prefigured some of the later analyses he put forth in Black Reconstruction. This article was published in the American Historical Review, 15:4 (July 1910) at pp.781-799, and is based on a presentation that he delivered at the annual meeting of the American Historical Association in 1909. In the essay Du Bois sketched the political consequences of the 15th Amendment on the legislation of the South. For example, he examined the democratic facets of the state constitutions established by Black legislators, including the creation of public education for all citizens.
The full text is available at the Internet Archive in several digital formats
[The entire Volume 15 of the journal at]
"Races" is DuBois' list of the anti-supremacist implications of the scientific presentations made at the 1911 Universal Races Congress, a conference that he had attended and at which he had presented a paper. It was published in The Crisis; v.2,n.4 (August 1911): pp.157-158.
Page on this web site with the full text
The Quest of the Silver Fleece: A Novel. This is Du Bois' first novel. It was published in 1911 (Chicago: A.C. McClurg & Co.).
"The First Universal Race [sic] Congress in London, England." 1911.
This is an anonymously written article that contains the text of a speech delivered by Du Bois at the Lyceum Club in London on 26 June 1911. The speech took place prior to the start of the First Universal Races Congress which was held at the University of London on July 26-29, 1911.
[Citation: Anonymous. 1911. "The First Universal Race Congress in London, England." The American Missionary, 45:9 (September): 323-324].
"The Economics of Negro Emancipation in the United States." 1911. While Du Bois was attending the First Universal Races Congress during the summer of 1911 he delivered a paper at a meeting of the Sociological Society in London. The paper was later published in the Sociological Review, 4:3 (October 1911): 303-313.
"The Upbuilding of Black Durham. The Success of the Negroes and Their Value to a Tolerant and Helpful Southern City." World's Work, vol. 23 (Jan. 1912). [S. l.: s. n., 1912]. pp. 334-338.
UNC-Chapel Hill's Documenting the American South
Digital Durham web site at Duke University [Start page]
W.E.B. Du Bois Testimony. Hearing on U.S. Senate Bill 180, "Celebration of the Semicentennial Anniversary of the Act of Emancipation" (on 2 February 1912). The hearing was conducted by the Senate Committee on Industrial Expositions. Du Bois spoke after R.R. Wright Sr. ("president of the organization that is promoting this semicentennial exposition" [p.2]) and R.R. Wright Jr., and before Rev. I.N. Ross.
    The Senate report was entitled "Semicentennial Anniversary of Act of Emancipation" (Senate Report No. 311; 62d Congress, 2d Session; Printed 5 February 1912). The bill is described in the report as follows:
The bill proposes that the fiftieth anniversary of the emancipation of the Negro race in the United States by President Lincoln's proclamation shall be celebrated by an exposition to show the progress of the race during their first half century of freedom.
The committee think that such an exposition will be of value by encouraging the negroes [sic] in the country toward thrift, industry, and effort to become more useful citizens; that it will be instructive to all the people of the country by pointing out the ways in which they can most practically and usefully help the negroes [sic] of the country to improve their condition.  [pp.1-2]
    This particular report was included in a different document that also pertained to the proposed bill: "Anniversary Celebration of Act of Emancipation; Speech of Hon. William O. Bradley" (Senate Document 602; 62d Congress, 2d Session; printed 23 April 1912)[Full text at Google Books or HathiTrust].
    Du Bois's testimony is presented below verbatim and in its entirety. Note that the original source misspells several words, including misrepresenting one of his middle names. Also note that the word "Negro" was not usually capitalized in the original source.
Dr. Du Bois. I wanted to say a word to the committee about the kind of exposition we would like to have. I think a committee like this must be a little chary of expositions, because they have grown so enormous in size and they cost so much money. It has been in our minds that we could organize an exposition in this case upon a lot of new lines, distinctly educational, for the people of the United States, both for the colored people and for the white people. As a center of those exhibits it has been thought we should have a section devoted to a scheme which should be the same exhibits, something on the order of the child welfare that the committee of women have been doing — or tuberculosis, and so on — that this main scheme should try to show the condition of the colored people throughout the United States. For instance, it should have something of the African background, and in this department, and in all departments, we could make use of all the different things that can be shown to illustrate the concrete things and spiritual things which affect the colored people. For instance, maps and charts and models and mechanical figures of various sizes, and marble pictures, and, perhaps, phonographs could be shown.
I presume most of you know that in nearly all of the great countries of the world there is an African exhibit. The African museums in London, Paris, and Berlin are sources in each of those cities of great educational value, and there is very little information of that sort in the United States. Something might be done to get together the things which show the wonderful mechanical genius of certain African tribes, especially their work in iron and in cloth. Then, in the second place, the question of the development of the negro race throughout the world, and the distribution of the negroes in the United States could be shown by relief maps with groups of figures showing this distribution, and movable figures, perhaps, showing the migration. Then the question of the physique of the negro could be shown. Very little has been done in this country to show what is the typical negro physique. A great deal could be done by photographs and by plaster casts. Then the question of health and disease could be covered. My idea is that this exhibit should be a truthful exhibit. It should not be simply a thing that would be exaggerated in any way. It should be a real picture so far as possible of the condition of the negro people so that not only would it show the progress but also the dangers and the diseases to which they are liable.
Then the question of occupation could be covered. Of course, that would be one of the most interesting parts of the exhibit. This could be shown perhaps by mechanical figures of correct relative size showing the occupations of the negroes and the value of their sevices [sic] in a relative manner in all the different departments in which the negro takes a considerable part.
Then the matter of education has been spoken of. We could have models and charts showing illiteracy, and conditions in cities, and photographs of institutions and especially photographs and models showing the work of the graduates of institutions as the work of the institution filters down to the actual mass of the people. In no department has the negro shown more genius for modern organization than in his churches, and the models of churches and of the work in churches be shown. The younger Mr. Wright here is a representative of one of the great churches and there is a great publish-house as he says in Nashville, Tenn., and there are several other organizations. That work could be shown and a person could grasp it and it would show the tremendous development that has taken place in that line.
Then in the matter of civics — I suppose most of you would be surprised to know the number of negro towns and quarters throughout the United States more or less organized as independent entities. Exhibits could be had showing those towns and the workings of those towns which would be of great interest. Then there would be of course charts and diagrams and models showing the orgainzed [sic] life, the business life, the social life, the work of social uplift among the negro people. There are orphan asylums and there are a good number of hospitals and homes. The family life, the interior of the homes could be shown. And then the question of art which has been mentioned. Negro music could be shown and photographs of art and other work, and a collection of negro books. There are something like 200 weekly newspapers. And finally statistics of crimes and of delinquencies could be shown. In this way it seems to me we might build up a comparatively small central exhibit and then around that could come the various voluntary exhibits which are always sent to expositions of this sort. Then there could be congresses held in connection with it — congresses on agriculture and on industry, on education, on health, on music.
There should be, of course, awards and medals. Then there might be a historical pageant. I have been looking up the history of the negro, and it is interesting indeed to know what a continuous history would show in connection with the development of the negro from the time of the Egyptian civilization down through the negro kingdoms in the Sudan and the migration of the Buntu [sic] tribes from North Africa to South Africa; and, as you know, the negro has been connected with almost every event in American history. Then, finally, our idea is that this central exhibit could be kept or established as a permanent exhibit and placed in a permanent museum. Perhaps from time to time it might be moved from place to place where people who wanted to could obtain exact information concerning the negro in a definite form.
With these ideas it seems to me that we could have an exposition which would not be costly — and we are not asking for very much money — that would be educational, and something that we could pay for with the amount of money that we got from the Government and which we could raise among ourselves.  [pp.5-6]
[Du Bois's testimony ends]
Senate Report No. 311 [Start page of the entire document]
"Suffering Suffragettes." A Du Bois editorial in The Crisis, Vol. 4 (June 1912), pp. 76-77.
Scroll to the editorial within the entire Crisis issue (Brown University)
[This URL replaces an outdated link]
Other Primary Sources by Du Bois on Suffrage:
Various members of the American Journalism Historians Association developed a website, "Suffrage and the Media", that contains resources to recognize and celebrate the 2019-2020 centennial anniversary of women�s suffrage in the USA. The site contains primary and secondary sources useful for educational and scholarly purposes. One web page is entitled "Race, Gender, and the Fight for Votes for Women: W.E.B. Du Bois On Suffrage" ​[page]. It presents a list of editorials by Du Bois from the Crisis, along with their page numbers. Items on the list point to PDFs of the periodical housed at the Brown University library. One scrolls through the issue in order to locate a particular Du Bois editorial. In addition, the Du Bois page at the "Suffrage and the Media" site also provides several scholarly secondary sources that discuss Du Bois's views on the franchise for women.
"Socialism and the Negro Problem." Du Bois published this work in The New Review: A Weekly Review of International Socialism on 1 February 1913.
"Open Letter to Woodrow Wilson". Written by DuBois and published in the March 1913 issue of The Crisis. His words to the new President:
 Sir: Your inauguration to the Presidency of the United States is to the colored people, to the white South and to the nation a momentous occasion. [. . . .]
 [....]  We believe that the Negro problem is in many respects the greatest problem facing the nation, and we believe that you have the opportunity of beginning a just and righteous solution of this burning human wrong. This opportunity is yours because, while a Southerner in birth and tradition, you have escaped the provincial training of the South and you have not had burned into your soul desperate hatred and despising of your darker fellow men. [. . . .]
 [... Y]ou face no insoluble problem. The only time when the Negro problem is insoluble is when men insist on settling it wrong by asking absolutely contradictory things. You cannot make 10,000,000 people at one and the same time servile and dignified, docile and self-reliant, servants and independent leaders, segregated and yet part of the industrial organism, disfranchised and citizens of a democracy, ignorant and intelligent. This is impossible and the impossibility is not factitious; it is in the very nature of things.
 [Note: the transcription error in the first sentence of the online text has been corrected in the quotation above.] (Ashbrook Center for Public Affairs at Ashland University)
[W.E.B. Du Bois's Reply to "What is Americanism?"] (1915) is an untitled response to the question posed to Du Bois, among others, by the editors of the American Journal of Sociology. As the editors wrote:
Beginning in August, 1914, this Journal sent a circular letter with the above title ["What is Americanism?"] to a carefully selected list of 250 American men and women. The attempt was made to reach representatives of every type of group in the United States which may be reckoned as consciously contributing to our public opinion or as having ideas about our common interests which, if formulated and published, would become factors in our public opinion.  [p.433]
The letter sent included the following (excerpted here):
In the judgment of the editors, an important contribution to this object may be made by assembling the answers of typical Americans to this question: With a view to the interests not primarily of individuals or of classes; considering not merely the next decade nor the next generation nor the next century, but having in mind our relationships both to one another and to our successors for many centuries; upon what ideals, policies, programs, or specific purposes should Americans place most stress in the immediate future?
With the exception of the present paragraph, this letter was drafted and approved by the editors before the European war was regarded as probable. In the present situation the reasons for the inquiry here made are immeasurably more urgent than when the plan was adopted.
Will you indicate, within the limits of from 500 to 1,000 words, your answer to the foregoing question?  [p.435]
The numerous replies were compiled in a symposium entitled "What Is Americanism?" and published in the American Journal of Sociology, 20:4 (January 1915): 433-486. No author was listed.
     Du Bois's brief reply is presented here verbatim and in its entirety as it was published in the journal (including "du" instead of "Du"):
W. E. Burghardt du Bois (New York City)
Americans in the immediate future should place most stress upon the abolition of the color line. Just so long as the majority of men are treated as inhuman, and legitimate objects of commercial exploitation, religious damnation, and social ostracism, just so long will democracy be impossible in the world. Without democracy we must have continual attempts at despotism and oligarchy, with the resultant failure through the ignorance of those who attempt to rule their fellow-men without knowing their fellow-men. America, instead of being the land of the free, has made herself a hot-bed of racial prejudice and of despicable propaganda against the majority of men.  [p.463]
     The Credo online repository of Du Bois's papers at the University of Massachusetts Library provides the related correspondence between Albion Small, who signed the letter that Du Bois received from the American Journal of Sociology. Du Bois's reply, dated 18 December 1914, is also accessible. Note that, in the published text, the journal made several small changes in punctuation and spelling ("indespicable" became "despicable"). Notably the "abolition of the color line" was italicized, which Du Bois had not done.
Start page of the "Symposium" accessible at Hathi Trust Digital Repository [Start page for the "Symposium" located at]
"The African Roots of War." Essay by Du Bois published in The Atlantic Monthly, May 1915.
Secondary Source:
"Du Bois and the Question of the Color Line: Race and Class in the Age of Globalization" by Maulana Karenga (Socialism and Democracy Online, Issue 33, Winter-Spring 2003 [Vol. 17, No. 2]). Karenga examines Du Bois' "The African Roots of War", among other Du Boisian texts, in order to better situate our current era of globalization within its historical context. According to Karenga, Du Bois set forth several paradoxes in "African Roots":
"The first paradox is the pursuit of peace in the midst of imperialist expansion."
[. . . .]
"The second paradox Du Bois identifies as that of 'democratic despotism,' an ongoing brutal domination masked in the disguise and discourse of democracy.
[. . . .]
[The 3rd is] "the paradox of 'civilized savagery' or savagery in the midst of
claims to civilization."

Karenga also outlines the principles offered by Du Bois through which a more just world can be created. In his words:
"...Du Bois embraces three major initiatives reflective of his commitment to
freedom, justice and equality of the peoples of color and humanity as a whole.
These are socialism, the peace movement, and Pan-Africanism."
Another Secondary Source:
Robert Gooding-Williams posted his essay "Democratic Despotism and the New Imperialism" on 12 October 2020 as part of a series on Abolition Democracy that the Columbia Center for Contemporary Critical Thought organized [web page]. He cited "The African Roots of War" extensively.
In this essay on the importance of Du Bois's concept of "democratic despotism" Gooding-Williams distinguishes Du Bois from another theorist of imperialism, J.A. Hobson. Hobson argued, writes Gooding-Williams, that the interests of industrial and financial capitalists had coalesced with the interests of state institutions in order to promote the new imperialism of the modern era.
As Gooding-Williams indicates, Du Bois differed from Hobson. Du Bois emphasized that the increasing trend towards democracy in the modern era was evidenced in the increased agitation for political participation in governance. In this manner the goals of some citizens were fused with the governance of the state institutions. Imperialism became a significant historical result of that fusion. The "some citizens" were persons of the White working class who could economically benefit from the imperialistic exploitation of persons of color abroad. Historically, for Du Bois, an increasing democratization in Europe and America also generated an increasing oppression of others outside of Europe​—​hence, the term "democratic despotism".
"Woman Suffrage." Editorial by Du Bois in The Crisis, November 1915, pp. 29-30. He wrote:
    [. . . .]  If we turn to easily available statistics we find that instead of the women of this country or of any other country being confined chiefly to childbearing they are as a matter of fact engaged and engaged successfully in practically every pursuit in which men are engaged. The actual work of the world today depends more largely upon women than upon men. Consequently this man-ruled world faces an astonishing dilemma: either Woman the Worker is doing the world's work successfully or not. If she is not doing it well why do we not take from her the necessity of working? If she is doing it well why not treat her as a worker with a voice in the direction of work?
    The statement that woman is weaker than man is sheer rot: It is the same sort of thing that we hear about "darker races" and "lower classes." Difference, either physical or spiritual, does not argue weakness or inferiority.
World History Archives
[ Another site for Du Bois' essay: Alternate ]
Note: Du Bois is referring to this article (in the same Crisis issue) by Kelly Miller: "The Risk of Woman Suffrage" (The Crisis, November 1915: 37-38)
[ Alternate web site for Millers' essay: Site ]
The Negro. 1915. This is Du Bois' first book on the history of Africans and those of the African diaspora. It was published in New York by Henry Holt and Company. (Du Bois' other historical works on this theme include Black Folk, Then and Now (1939) and The World and Africa (1947).) (page facsimile)
HathiTrust Digital Library (catalog page)
Internet Sacred Text Archive (full text)
Project Gutenberg (HTML, plain text, and iso-8859-1 encoded text)
Book review in the New York Times, 18 July 1915 (with 2 other books)
[Access to the NY Times web site may require free registration]
Book review by J.A. Bigham, The Journal of Negro History, 1:2 (April 1916)
[Project Gutenberg text]
Secondary Source:
"The Heart of the World" is an unpublished version of an Afterword written by Robert Gregg for a University of Pennsylvania edition of The Negro
"Let Us Reason Together." 1919. This editorial was originally published in The Crisis, Vol.18 (September 1919): 231. With an apparent allusion to a Biblical passage in Isaiah I:16-18, Du Bois wrote this piece in response to the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 [more info]. In Du Bois's words:
"We must defend ourselves, our homes, our wives and children against the
lawless without stint or hesitation: but we must carefully and scrupulously
avoid on our own part bitter and unjustifiable aggression against anybody."
At the Center for History and New Media, George Mason University
Darkwater: Voices from within the Veil. 1920. (NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co.)
This collection of DuBois' essays and short fictional works offers compelling ideas about a range of topics, including democracy, women's issues, and the idea of whiteness, among others.
 Table of Contents for Darkwater:
Postscript Credo
I. The Shadow of Years "A Litany at Atlanta"
II. The Souls of White Folk "The Riddle of the Sphinx"
III. The Hands of Ethiopia "The Princess of the Hither Isles"
IV. Of Work and Wealth "The Second Coming"
V. "The Servant in the House" "Jesus Christ in Texas"
VI. Of the Ruling of Men "The Call"
VII. The Damnation of Women "Children of the Moon"
VIII. The Immortal Child "Almighty Death"
IX. Of Beauty and Death "The Prayers of God"
X. The Comet "A Hymn to the Peoples"
Page on this web site with links to the full text, works which comprise it, and secondary sources
"Race Intelligence." 1920. This editorial was published by Du Bois in the July 1920 issue of The Crisis. In this brief piece he attacked the methodological flaws in the IQ testing conducted by the U.S. Army.
The Brownies' Book. 1920-1921. This periodical, edited by Du Bois, was oriented primarily to African-American children, providing them with positive role models and moral messages about personal conduct. It carried the subitle: "A Monthly Magazine for the Children of the Sun." Adults also had found a few pages devoted to worldly political events. Here is what seems to be the "mission statement" ffrom the inside front cover of Vol. 1, No. 1 (and complete with its original capitalization of words):
 It aims to be a thing of Joy and Beauty, dealing in Happiness, Laughter, and Emulation, and designed especially for Kiddies from Six to Sixteen.
 It will seek to teach Universal Love and Brotherhood for all little folk--black and brown and yellow and white.
 Of course, pictures, stories, letters frrom little ones, games and oh--everything!
 The monthly periodical ran from Vol. 1, No. 1 (January 1920) through Vol. 2, No. 12 (December 1921). Note, however, that the Library of Congress (LOC) digital copy presented here is missing the last issue (December 1921) [The LOC's "permalink" to bibliographic data].
Page Images at the Library of Congress's American-Digitized Materials (Rare Book and Special Collections Reading Room) [to view the page images online]
[Or download the 2 volumes as an approx. 350 MB PDF file]
Secondary Source:
A web site, "The Brownies' Book", was created by Jennifer Pricola as part of an American Studies course at the University of Virginia
Secondary Source:
"The Brownies' Book: Challenge to the Selective Tradition in Children's Literature" was written in 1984 by Violet J. Harris [faculty page]. It is available for download at ERIC (the Education Resources Information Center) . . .&accno=ED284167
[Alternate site:]
"The Superior Race (An Essay)." 1923. Du Bois published this in The Smart Set: A Magazine of Cleverness, v.70, n.4 (April 1923) at pp.55-60. In this satire Du Bois conducts an imaginary conversation with a White friend about various issues pertinent to living in a racialized and racist America. The friend is a fictional, composite character. Most of the piece was later published in Du Bois's 1940 book Dusk of Dawn as part of Chapter 6 ("The White World").
"The Hosts of Black Labor." 1923. This article was published in The Nation, 9 May 1923 (v.116, no.3018): pp.539-541. Du Bois addressed the migration of African American workers from the South to the North. In particular, he focused on various consequences of the recent migration for Northerners, both Blacks and Whites: labor relations and housing, among several others.
The Gift of Black Folk: The Negroes in the Making of America. 1924. This is a page facsimile of the first edition of the book which was published in 1924 by the Stratford Company (Boston, MA) and copyrighted by the Knights of Columbus. It contains a short introduction by Edward F. McSweeney.
    In The Gift of Black Folk Du Bois continued an abiding theme of his work and activism: namely, that of highlighting the agency of African diasporic persons as it relates to their own development and to their contributions to the history of the United States and the world.
Online viewing at the Hathi Trust Digital Library (catalog page)
Secondary Source: Brief Notice of The Gift of Black Folk
Anonymous. [Section: "In Brief Review"]. The Bookman, Vol. LX, No. 3 (November 1924): p.357.
The text is presented here verbatim and in its entirety:
The Knights of Columbus are issuing a series of volumes telling the contributions of various races to our country. They are fortunate in securing Dr. William E. B. DuBois to write on "The Gift of Black Folk" (Stratford). Dr. DuBois is a bit chary in his praise of the younger generation among his people, and he has told the story of the Negro so often that his interest in history seems perfunctory, but he has the gift of style and of polemic. He pays a special tribute to Negro women and relates the achievement of his people in exploration, martial service, labor, literature, music, and science, with special emphasis on the spiritual gifts of his group with their perpetual challenge to American democracy.  [PDF displays on-screen]
"The Black Man Brings His Gifts." 1925. This is a satirical short story by DuBois on a White "high society" organization which, in attempting to create a pageant of so-called real American culture, discover the many African American contributions which are integral to American life.
The essay was originally published as an issue in both The Survey and also that periodical's imprint called Survey Graphic. The issue was edited by Alain Locke, and titled "Harlem: Mecca of the New Negro". The two imprints varied slightly as regards volume and issue numbers, although the pagination for Du Bois's work stayed the same.
The Survey: vol. LIII, no.11 (March 1925): pp.655-657, 710.
Survey Graphic: vol. VI, no. 6 (March 1925): pp.655-657, 710.
The Electronic Text Center (University of Virginia Library) is closed and not accessible at UVA. I located two other online sites with page facsimiles: the Internet Archive and the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Yale University).
Internet Archive [Entire vol.LIII of The Survey]
Start page of Du Bois's article: p.655     [Continuation page: p.710]
Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library (Yale University)
Start page for the whole issue of the Survey Graphic
Note Bene: Beinecke Library's copy has handwritten text (dated July 23, 1941) on p.634 by Alain Locke, in which he described the origin of this particular Survey Graphic issue. Specifically, Locke wrote that the issue came about as a result of a celebration of Jessie Fauset in which many luminaries had attended. Note also that Langston Hughes briefly commented on his poems (pp.664, 665). In addition, Countée Cullen (p.661) and Walter White (p.680) signed their works.
"Criteria of Negro Art." Essay by Du Bois published in The Crisis, October 1926.
Secondary Source:
Aljenfawi, Khaled. 2005. "Art as Propaganda: Didacticism and Lived Experience." Afro-Americans in New York Life and History, January.
Related Source:
Schuyler, George S. 1926. "The Negro-Art Hokum." The Nation (16 June 1926): 662-663.
[Another online site]
Related Source:
Hughes, Langston. 1926. "The Negro Artist and the Racial Mountain." The Nation (23 June 1926): 692-694.
[Other online sites: first, second, and third]
"Immortality". 1929. A brief statement written by Du Bois and published as part of an anthology edited by Sydney Strong, We Believe in Immortality: Affirmations by One Hundred Men and Women (NY: Coward-McCann, Inc., 1929). Note that a second edition appeared in 1935: We Believe in Immortality: Affirmations by One Hundred Men and Women, Second Edition. Edited by Sydney Dix Strong. NY: Press of the Pioneers, 1935 (accessible at HathiTrust: catalog page).
    UMass's Credo Repository contains materials related to this brief writing by Du Bois, including correspondence between him and Sydney Strong, as well as a typescript of Du Bois's response itself. Search for Sydney Strong. Sydney Strong initiated the collection of statements on personal immortality in a February 1928 letter to Du Bois (viewable at Credo). Du Bois responded with his statement in a letter dated 17 February 1928 (viewable at Credo). That letter enclosed the typescript that was published (viewable at Credo).
    Du Bois's statement — presented here verbatim (p.18) — seemingly belies the title of the anthology:
     My thought on personal immortality is easily explained. I do not know. I do not see how any one could know. Our whole basis of knowledge is so relative and contingent that when we get to argue concerning ultimate reality and the real essence of life and the past and the future, we seem to be talking without real data and getting nowhere. I have every respect for people who believe in the future life, but I cannot accept their belief or their wish as knowledge. Equally, I am not impressed by those who deny the possibility of future life. I have no knowledge of the possibilities of this universe and I know of no one who has.
 *W. E. B. Du Bois,
 Editor of The Crisis.

 [Note regarding the asterisk before Du Bois's name: According to the editor in his Preface, entries so designated appeared originally in the New York Times newspaper. Aptheker in his Annotated Bibliography of the Published Writings of W.E.B. Du Bois provided the following citation (Item 237): New York Times, April 8, 1928, Section 9, p.1.]
"The Negro Citizen". Published in Charles S. Johnson's The Negro in Civilization (NY: Henry Holt and Company, 1930), Du Bois initially presented the work at the National Interracial Conference in December 1928 in Washington, D.C.
"Douglass, Frederick" (1930). DuBois published this short biography of Frederick Douglass in the Dictionary of American Biography: Cushman – Eberle, Volume V. Edited by Allen Johnson and Dumas Malone (London: Humphrey Milford & Oxford University Press, 1930): pp.406-407.
"Marxism and the Negro Problem" (1933). The essay was published in The Crisis, v.40, n.5 (May 1933): pp.103-104, 118. Du Bois provides a summary of Marxian analysis; he spells out its major tenets. Examining the situation in the U.S.A., he also indicates that the racism of many white workers in the early decades of the 20th Century means that the world's proletarians cannot become united to challenge the owners and directors of capital. It is with Black workers, Du Bois concludes, that the ideals of democracy reside.
Page on this web site
"The Church and Religion" (1933). DuBois differentiated religion from the church, highlighting the tension between the two. Religion was the expression of the human quest for a deeper understanding of life, while the church was an organization that historically has often declared itself to be the final arbiter of the nature of that deeper understanding. The piece was published as an editorial in The Crisis, v.40, n.10 (October 1933): pp.236-237.
Black Reconstruction (1935). Du Bois addressed the reigning view at the time that the Reconstruction Era following the U.S. Civil War was a disaster. Instead, he argued that the era marked a crucial turning point for the possible extension of democracy in America and one that highlighted the agency and actions of African Americans.
"My Evolving Program for Negro Freedom." 1944. This essay was originally published in Rayford W. Logan, Ed., What the Negro Wants, pp. 31-70 (Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press). Du Bois provides autobiographical details on how his thought, research, and activism were modified in light of the changing -- and unchanging -- aspects of social relations in the U.S.A. and around the world. The essay interestingly conveys Du Bois' views on the connections between social-scientific research and the exigencies of social activism.
* Note: This anthology also contains essays by Mary McLeod Bethune, Sterling A. Brown, Gordon B. Hancock, Leslie Pinckney Hill, Langston Hughes, Rayford W. Logan, Frederick D. Patterson, A. Philip Randolph, George S. Schuyler, Willard S. Townsend, Charles H. Wesley, Doxey A. Wilkerson, and Roy Wilkins.
Alternate website for Du Bois's "My Evolving Program" at Clinical Sociology Review, 8:1 (1990): download page   [Jan M. Fritz provides an introduction, entitled "In Pursuit of Justice: W.E.B. Du Bois".]
"Jacob and Esau." 1944. This was a commencement speech that DuBois delivered at Talledega College. It was published in The Talladegan, November 1944.
"The Talented Tenth Memorial Address." 1948. In an address before the social organization, Sigma Pi Phi, DuBois reexamined his concept of the Talented Tenth. It was published in The Boul� Journal, v.15, n.1 (October 1948) [full text]. He presented a modification of his initial concept:
 [....]  Here comes a new idea for a Talented Tenth: The concept of a group-leadership, [sic] not simply educated and self-sacrificing, but with clear vision of present world conditions and dangers, and conducting American Negroes to alliance with culture groups in Europe, America, Asia and Africa, and looking toward a new world culture. We can do it. We have the ability. The only question is, have we the will?

This calls for leadership through special organization. Such organization calls for more than a tenth of our number. One one-hundredth, or thirty thousand persons is indicated, with a directing council composed of educated and specially trained experts in the main branches of science and the main categories of human work, and a paid executive committee of five or six persons to carry out the program.
Du Bois casts his argument in terms of a Marxian-inspired theoretical framework. At the end of the address he said: "This, then, in my re-examined and restated theory of the "Talented Tenth," which has thus become the doctrine of the "Guiding Hundredth."
 Nota Bene: My thanks to Dr. Paul C. Taylor for sendng me the link to the "The Talented Tenth Memorial Address."
"The Nature of Intellectual Freedom" [IFRE]. 1949. Du Bois delivered this piece at the Cultural and Sci­entific Con­ference for World Peace, which was held in New York during March 25, 26, and 27, 1949, under the auspices of the National Council of Arts, Sci­ences and Pro­fes­sions. IFRE was published in Gillmor, Daniel S. (Ed.), Speaking of Peace. New York: National Council of Arts, Sci­ences and Pro­fes­sions, 1949, at p.78.
    Source in Anthology: "The Nature of Intellectual Freedom." Pp.267-268 in Herbert Aptheker (Editor), Writings by W.E.B. Du Bois in Non-Peri­od­i­cal Literature Edited by Others, a volume in The Complete Pub­lished Works of W.E.B. Du Bois. Millwood, NY: Kraus-Thomson Organi­za­tion Limited, 1982.
    Alternate Source: The work is accessible online at the Credo repository of the Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.
    The Credo database has drafts of the conference presentation IFRE (which Du Bois had entitled "Thinking and Writing"), as well as other materials related to the conference. Search Credo for "Cultural and Scientific Conference for World Peace".
Page on this web site as part of my digital humanities project, Retextualizer.
"Negroes and the Crisis of Capitalism in the United States." Monthly Review, April 1953. Du Bois uses a Marxist perspective to interpret the implications of demographic data on African Americans, like wages, population distribution, and social organizations.
Posted on the Monthly Review web site (Vol.54, No.11: April 2003)
Mirrored in a printer-friendly format at
Published as "1940s AD" by the Monthly Review in the May 1989 issue (available free at in printly friendly format)
"Apologia" (1954). Du Bois added this short piece to his Suppression of the African Slave-Trade when it was reprinted in 1954 by The Social Science Press (New York). Du Bois appreciated his efforts of the mid-1890s: "I am proud to see that at the beginning of my career I made no more mistakes than apparently I did." (p.329) But he did level some criticism at his early book, writing of his "ignorance in the waning nineteenth century of the work of Freud and Marx." (p.327) Attending to the ideas of Freud, he wrote, would have enabled him to "realize the psychological reasons behind the trends of human action which the African slave trade involved" (p.327). He also indicated: "What I needed was to add ... the clear concept of Marx on the class stuggle for income and power, beneath which all considerations of right or morals were twisted or utterly crushed." (p.329)
Page on this web site with the full text
"If Eugene Debs Returned." This DuBoisian piece was originally published in the American Socialist, January 1956.
"I Won't Vote." The Nation, October 20, 1956. Regarding the 1956 general elections DuBois wrote:
In 1956, I shall not go to the polls. I have not registered. I believe that democracy has so far disappeared in the United States that no "two evils" exist. There is but one evil party with two names, and it will be elected despite all I can do or say. There is no third party. On the Presidential ballot in a few states (seventeen in 1952), a "Socialist" Party will appear. Few will hear its appeal because it will have almost no opportunity to take part in the campaign and explain its platform. If a voter organizes or advocates a real third-party movement, he may be accused of seeking to overthrow this government by "force and violence." Anything he advocates by way of significant reform will be called "Communist"....
The Black Flame: A Trilogy. 1957, 1959, 1961. This trilogy, published during the last decade of Du Bois's life, included three novels: The Ordeal of Mansart (1957), Mansart Builds a School (1959), and Worlds of Color (1961). The novels portrayed the fictional Mansart family over several generations. From a radical perspective, Du Bois discussed and analyzed various historical events via a narrative of the lives and activities of the fictional characters.
The Ordeal of Mansart [Black Flame, Vol. 1] (NY: Mainstream Publishers, 1957) is viewable online as page images at the Hathi Trust Digital Library (catalog page)
Mansart Builds a School [Black Flame, Vol. 2] (NY: Mainstream Publishers, 1959) is available in DAISY format at the Internet Archive (catalog page)
Worlds of Color [Black Flame, Vol. 3] (NY: Mainstream Publishers, 1961) is available in DAISY format at the Internet Archive (catalog page)
 Note: The Internet Archive has the second and third novel of the Black Flame Trilogy available in DAISY format (developed by the DAISY Consortium). A DAISY work can be read aloud via text-to-speech software and hardware. Within the files that comprise a complete DAISY book, there is an .xml file that can be displayed by .xml-capable browsers or word processors. The DAISY books of the two Black Flame works from the Internet Archive contain various errors that arose during the Optical Character Recognition process—a process used to convert a page image into plain text. The Internet Archive acknowledges such errors in a note at the beginning of the .xml files. Those errors may not hinder causal reading of the books, but likely prohibit the extant files from being used as part of a computer-assisted analysis.
Contemporary Secondary Source (Item 1):
Arthur B. Springarn [A.B.S.] wrote a brief, positive notice of Du Bois' The Ordeal of Mansart for the The Crisis (1957) in the "Book Bits" section. Springarn was a member of The Crisis's Editorial Advisory Board. His notice is presented here in its entirety and verbatim:
The Ordeal of Mansart. A novel by W. E. B. DuBois. New York: Mainstream Publishers, 1957. 316pp. $3.50.
In his ninetieth year, and sixty-one years after the publication of his Suppression of the African Slave-Trade, Dr. DuBois is now the author of Book One of a trilogy to be known as Black Flame (the succeeding volumes are scheduled for 1958 and 1959). The completed work will tell the story of the Negro in the United States from Reconstruction to 1956: Book One covers the period from Reconstruction to 1916. Although labeled a novel, The Ordeal of Mansart is in reality a history of the Negro in the United States (set forth in fictional form in order to create a fuller picture) as Dr. DuBois has seen it and as he has so importantly influenced it. Almost the lone survivor of the great figures of his generation, he has painted a unique picture and one which merits the serious attention of all Americans.
   [Citation: Arthur B. Springarn. 1957. "The Ordeal of Mansart. A novel by W. E. B. DuBois" [Book Notice]. The Crisis, 64:7 (August-September): 454-455.]

The full text of Springarn's note in The Crisis: Page 454.
Contemporary Secondary Source (Item 2):
James W. Ivy [J.W.I.], then editor of The Crisis, wrote a brief, negative notice of Du Bois' Worlds of Color for the periodical (1961) in the "Book Review" section. It is presented here verbatim and in its entirety:
Worlds of Color. A novel by W. E. B. Du Bois. Book Three in The Black Flame: A Trilogy. New York: Mainstream Publishers, 1961. 349pp. $4.50.
Dr. Du Bois published the first volume in this trilogy, The Ordeal of Mansart, in 1957; the second, Mansart Builds a School, in 1959; now we have the third and last volume detailing the experiences of the Mansarts after Reconstruction to date. Although "The Black Flame" purports to be fiction, it is actually history, à la Du Bois, of the American Negro since 1870, mostly of his experiences along the color line.
Worlds of Color deals with Manuel Mansarts [sic] experiences along the color line around the world, where in the course of his travels and meditations he meets most of the world's leaders. Because the author is not a story-teller, his characters are little more than puppets used to interpret his selected circumstances, and these circumstances are often implausible. Chief fault of Worlds of Color, in addition to its dubious key to salvation, is its oversimplification of the problems presented.
   [Citation: James W. Ivy. 1961. "Worlds of Color. A novel by W. E. B. Du Bois" [Book Notice]. The Crisis, 68:6 (June-July): 378-379.]

The full text of Ivy's note in The Crisis: Page 378.
"Postscript" to Du Bois's novel The Ordeal of Mansart [above]. 1957. In this text Du Bois provided insights into his understanding of the complementarity of literature and social research, particularly when used in the projects for racial and social justice.
Application Letter for Membership in the Communist Party USA. Du Bois' letter was published in The Worker, 26 November 1961.
Letter at the W.E.B. Du Bois Virtual University
Letter at the wiki for the "History of Social Thought" course (University of California, Los Angeles)
Secondary source:
"Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois Joins Communist Party at 93" -- a New York Times article by Peter Kihss published on 23 November 1961
"The Encyclopaedia Africana."
Page on this web site with links to primary sources and relevant secondary sources pertaining to Du Bois' encyclopedia project, with primary texts by him from 1962
Selections from Du Bois's Autobiography. Posthumously published in 1968, Du Bois provides a personal account of his long life.
The full citation is: Du Bois, W. E. B. 1968. The Autobiography of W.E.B. DuBois: A Soliloquy on Viewing My Life from the Last Decade of Its First Century. NY: International Publishers.
Dr. Larry Ridener's site, Dead Sociologists' Society (DSS), has excerpts including: "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."
[Now defunct URL: <>]
The excerpts from Ridener's DSS above, but accessible as one HTML file

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