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Web Dubois

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WEB DUBOIS

WEB Dubois was born and raised in Barrington, Massachusetts. After high school and with the help of friends and family, and a scholarship he received to Fisk College (now University), he eagerly to Nashville, Tennessee to further his education.

This was his first trip south. And during his stay there, his knowledge of the race problem became clearer. He saw discrimination in ways he never dreamed of, and developed a determination to expedite the emancipation of his people. Consequently, he became a writer, editor, and an impassioned orator. And in the process, acquired a belligerent attitude toward the color bar.

While he was teaching an Atlanta University, Dubois wrote about and studied Negro morality and Negro urbanization. During this period a controversy grew between DuBois and Booker T. Washington, which later grew into a bitter personal battle. Washington argued the Black people should temporarily forego "political power, insistence on civil rights, and higher education of Negro youth. They should concentrate all their energies on industrial education." DuBois believed in the higher education of a "Talented Tenth" who through their knowledge of modern culture could guide the American Negro into a higher civilization. (DuBois' Dusk of Dawn).

When Dubois began to solicit help for "organized determination and aggressive action on the part of men who believe in Negro freedom and growth", twenty-nine men from fourteen states answered the call in Buffalo, New York. Five months later in January of 1906 the "Niagara Movement" was formed. Its objectives were to advocate civil justice and abolish caste discrimination. Though they were criticized for their radicalism, this was the first significant black organized protest movement of the twentieth century. The downfall of the group was attributed to public accusations of fraud and deceit engineered presumably by Washington advocates. In 1909 most members of the Niagara Movement merged with some white liberals and thus the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was born. DuBois was not altogether pleased with the group but agreed to stay on as Director of Publications and Research. He was also editor in chief of its publication "the crisis for more than 20 years. He used his mighty pen to denounce racial injustice all over the country and grew more

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