W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois (1868–1963) was the first African American to be awarded a Harvard PhD. He spent nearly a quarter century on the faculty of Atlanta University as professor of history and sociology (1897–1910) and head of the sociology department (1934–1944). Du Bois’ writings and his intellectual guidance as teacher, researcher, and editor at Atlanta University contributed immensely to its reputation as a preeminent resource for the study of race in America. In 1903 he published his now-classic collection of essays, The Souls of Black Folk, named as one of the Modern Library’s one hundred most influential works of the twentieth century. Du Bois spent twenty-three years as editor of Crisis, a publication of the NAACP—an organization he helped found. During his second span at Atlanta University he became the first editor-in-chief of Phylon, the University’s scholarly review of race and culture, to which he was also an ardent and frequent contributor. (Inducted as a charter member in 2000)

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3. From “Of the Sons of Master and Man”

In the attitude of the American mind toward Negro suffrage can be traced with unusual accuracy the prevalent conceptions of government. In the fifties we were near enough the echoes of the French Revolution to believe pretty thoroughly in universal suffrage. We argued, as we thought then rather logically, that no social class was so […]

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Art Features

4. selections from “The Exhibit of American Negroes” for the 1900 Paris Exposition

In 1900 the world’s fair was held in Paris. Like world’s fairs before it, the 1900 Paris Exposition celebrated technological innovation within the context of a world built of nations, projecting an air of unbridled optimism through a conviction of relentless progress. The monumental date and the location—the storied cosmopolitan capital of the world—amplified this […]

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6. From “Of the Black Belt”

Out of the North the train thundered, and we woke to see the crimson soil of Georgia stretching away bare and monotonous right and left. Here and there lay straggling, unlovely villages, and lean men loafed leisurely at the depots; then again came the stretch of pines and clay. Yet we did not nod, nor […]

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8. The After-Thought

Hear my cry, O God the Reader; vouchsafe that this my book fall not still-born into the world-wilderness. Let there spring, Gentle One, from its leaves vigor of thought and thoughtful deed to reap the harvest wonderful. (Let the ears of a guilty people tingle with truth, and seventy millions sigh for the righteousness which […]

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