W.E.B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois, the best-known spokesperson for African-American rights during the first half of the 20th century, was an American civil rights activist, leader, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, educator, historian, writer, editor, poet, and scholar. Du Bois was the first African- American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1895. In 1899, while teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, Du Bois published a pioneering sociological study of an urban community “The Philadelphia Negro: A Social Study” in which he coined the phrase "the talented tenth," a term that described the likelihood of one in 10 black men becoming leaders of their race. Teaching next at the University of Atlanta, Du Bois continued to publish including: “The Souls of Black Folk” a seminal collection of essays and became known for challenging Booker T. Washington. In 1909, Du Bois co-founded the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and was the founding editor of The Crisis, its monthly magazine. Until his death in 1963, Du Bois’ efforts were geared toward gaining equal treatment for Black people in a world dominated by whites and toward marshaling and presenting evidence to refute the myths of racial inferiority. Produced and directed by Rita Coburn (Marian Anderson: The Whole World in Her Hands, Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise).