History

William Edward Burghardt “W. E. B.” Du Bois (1868-1963) was was a leading African-American sociologist, writer and activist. Educated at Harvard University and other top schools, Du Bois studied with some of the most importantsocial thinkers of his time. He earned fame for the publication of such works as Souls of Black Folk (1903), and was a founding officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and editor of its magazine

Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts Du Bois knew little of his father, who died shortly after his birth, but he was socialized into an extended family network that left a strong impression on his personality and was reflected in his subsequent work. Educated at Fisk University (1885-1888), Harvard University (1888-1896), and the University of Berlin (1892-1894), Du Bois studied with some of the most important social thinkers of his time and then embarked upon a seventy-year career that combined scholarship and teaching with lifelong activism in liberation struggles.

Founded Feb. 12. 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest, largest and most widely recognized grassroots-based civil rights organization. Its more than half-million members and supporters throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities, campaigning for equal opportunity and conducting voter mobilization.

Echoing the focus of Du Bois’ Niagara Movement began in 1905, the NAACP’s stated goal was to secure for all people the rights guaranteed in the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the United States Constitution, which promised an end to slavery, the equal protection of the law and universal adult male suffrage, respectively.

The NAACP’s principal objective is to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of minority group citizens of United States and eliminate race prejudice. The NAACP seeks to remove all barriers of racial discrimination through the democratic processes.