February 23, 1868, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He was a sociologist, historian, civil rights activist author, editor of the Crisis magazine and one of the founders of the NAACP.
Du Bois rose to national prominence when he published the "The Souls of Black Folks" in 1903, it was a collection of 14 essays about the Africans American experience. One of the major themes was the double consciousness faced by Africans Americans being both an American and Black.
Du Bois also had a very public feud with Booker T. Washington, he dedicated an entire chapter of The Soul of Black Folks on Washington's leadership failings and created Niagara Movement in opposition to the Atlanta compromise and the Tuskegee Machine.
Washington believed that it was economic independence would eventually lead Black people to equality and that they should for the time being set aside any demands for civil rights.
Du Bois maintained that education and civil rights were the only way to equality and that conceding their pursuit would simply serve to reinforce the notion of Black people as second-class citizens.
The Niagara Movement would dissolve in 1909 with the creation of the NAACP. This led to Du Bois becoming the Director of Publicity, as well as the editor of the crisis. Du Bois would use this to be come the mouthpiece of the NAACP and Black America in general.
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