W.E.B. DuBois and the Fight for African-American Equality Essay examples

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W.E.B. DuBois and the Fight for African-American Equality

African-Americans in the 1920’s lived in a period of tension. No longer slaves, they were still not looked upon as equals by whites. However, movements such as the Harlem renaissance, as well as several African-American leaders who rose to power during this period, sought to bring the race to new heights. One of these leaders was W.E.B. DuBois, who believed that education was the solution to the race problem. The beliefs of W.E.B. DuBois, as influenced by his background, had a profound effect on his life work, including the organizations he was involved with and the type of people he attracted. His background strongly influenced the way he attacked the "Negro Problem." His
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Fisk was located in Tennessee, and it was here that DuBois first experienced segregation. He later wrote, "I was tossed boldly into the ‘Negro Problem’ . . . I suddenly came to a region where the world was split into white and black halves, and where the darker half was held back by race prejudice and legal bonds, as well as by deep ignorance and dire poverty" (DuBois 108). While he was at Fisk, DuBois was happy to be around so many educated African-Americans and liberal whites (McKissack 25). He went on to Harvard, where he’d always dreamed he’d go, on a scholarship (Sterne 33). At Harvard, however, DuBois chose not to socialize with many of the other Harvard students, choosing instead to spend his time with the African-Americans in Boston, encasing himself "in a completely colored world" (DuBois 136). While he was at Harvard, DuBois felt the purpose of his work was to "improve the condition of the race as a whole" (qtd. in McKissack, 30). DuBois went on to get his masters degree and doctorate from Harvard as well.

It was during these educational years that DuBois further solidified his belief that education was the remedy for his people. DuBois felt "the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line, --the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the seas" (qtd. in Weinberg, 81). DuBois main theory was
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