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W.E.B Du Bios: A Freedom Fighter - Research Paper Example

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W.E.B Du Bios: A Freedom Fighter
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born on February 23, 1868 in Western Massachusetts. He was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, writer and editor. …
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W.E.B Du Bios: A Freedom Fighter

He was engaged in the serious battle against racial discrimination and social injustice. As an activist, he fought for the rights of black people and the improvement of their living conditions. This strong commitment led to the clashes of views with Booker T Washington and some leaders of the Harlem Renaissance. He made a strong commitment to counteract the negative racist stereotypes about black people. He wrote many essays and books that reflect his social and political activism and express his point of view about the world. Du Bois attended school at Great Barrington where he experienced little discrimination when he was playing with his white schoolmates. A very smart boy, his teachers encouraged him to pursue his education further. When he was ready to attend college, the First Congregational Church of Great Barrington paid his tuition. He attended Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, from 1885 to 1888 where he experienced racism for the first time. He earned a Bachelor’ s degree from Fisk, then attended Harvard from 1888 to 1890 and earned another Bachelor’s degree because this college did not accept the credits he earned from Fisk. This time, he mainly paid his tuition by working in the summer and applying for scholarships. In1892, Du Bois received a Fellowship to pursue Graduate School in Berlin, Germany. This experience gave him the opportunity to travel throughout Europe, opened his mind to different issues happening in the world, and sharpened his intellectual abilities. He also continued his graduate studies when he came back home and became the first African American to earn a PhD from Harvard University in 1895. To begin his professional career, he accepted a teaching position at Wilberforce University in Ohio where he met Alexander Crummell who strongly influenced him. Crummell was a pastor who spoke out against slavery and the plight of black people. He strongly denounced racial discrimination and advocated racial solidarity in order to achieve the advancement of the black community. After two years at Wilberforce, Du Bois accepted a one year research position at the University of Pennsylvania in 1896 where he conducted a sociological field research in Philadelphia’s African American neighborhood. This research led to the publication of The Philadelphia Negro published two years later. He got interested in research and published other works. He also started to teach at Atlanta University. The Philadelphia Negro was the first scientific sociological work published in America and the first scientific study about African Americans. He reflected on class divisions but mainly focused on the elite who might boost culture and progress. He identified many problems in the African American community and attributed the causes to slavery. While in Atlanta, he annually hosted the Atlanta Conference for Negro Problems in which various issues involving the community were discussed. His involvement in the cause of black people was constantly growing, and at the beginning of the new century, he became the spokesman of the community, after Booker T Washington. Du Bois opposed the Atlanta Compromise Washington agreed with Southern white leaders who took charge of the government after the failure of Reconstruction. This unwritten deal stipulated that Southern blacks would undergo discrimination, segregation, lack of voting rights and non-unionized employment while white leaders would allow them access to basic education, some economic opportunities and justice within the legal system. Du Bois called Washington’s approach counterproductive and accused him of focusing only on material progress and condemning African Americans to total submission. He rejected any proposal that ... Read More
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