W. E. B. Du Bois (William Edward Burghardt Du Bois) Biography
(1868–1963), (William Edward Burghardt Du Bois), The Suppression of the African Slave Trade, Black Reconstruction
African-American historian, born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, educated at Fisk University and Harvard. He began his academic career at Wilberforce University in 1894 and was subsequently a professor at Atlanta University. The Suppression of the African Slave Trade (1896), Black Reconstruction (1935), on the achievements of African-Americans in the aftermath of the Civil War, and The World and Africa (1947), an indictment of colonial exploitation, are among the most notable of his many works as a historian, which partake of the reforming zeal he applied to his endeavours as an activist against racial inequality. The essays of The Souls of Black Folk (1903) were enormously influential in stating the case for the extension of higher educational opportunities to blacks. A founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in 1909, he later disclaimed the organization as excessively conservative. From 1910 to 1936 he edited the magazine The Crisis, becoming a notable figure of the Harlem Renaissance; from the 1930s onwards he adopted increasingly extreme positions. In 1960 he emigrated to Ghana, where he directed the planning of an Encyclopaedia Africana. His other works include the essays and reminiscences of Darkwater (1920) and the trilogy of novels collected as The Black Flame (1976), a dramatic treatment of conditions in the American South. The Autobiography of W. E. B. Du Bois appeared in 1968. The fullest of numerous biographical studies is W. E. B. Du Bois: Radical Black Democrat (1986) by Manning Marable.