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W.E.B. Du Bois

W.E.B. Du Bois is regarded as one of the great American intellectuals. In 1905, he predicted that the problem of the twentieth century would be the problem of the color line. He was born William Edward Burghardt Du Bois in Great Barrington, Massachusetts (1868).

He graduated from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, (1888), and from Harvard in 1891 (Harvard’s first black Ph.D.). He also did graduate work at the University of Berlin, Heidelberg, Germany (1891-1893). An accomplished sociologist and author, Du Bois’s many books include: The Suppression of the African Slave Trade (1896), The Philadelphia Negro (1899), and The Souls of Black Folk (1903).

He was a co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), in 1909.

He was one of the first to attempt to collate black history into a definitive body of literary work with his "Encyclopedia of the Negro" project. Du Bois’s philosophy stressed intellectual pursuit, as well as the use of logic to persuade people to do good.