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W.E.B. DuBois Is Dead

Aug. 27, 1963 - W.E.B. DuBois (left in 1958), the American Negro philosopher and writer, who settled in Ghana a few years ago, died today. He was 95 years old. For more than half a century, Dr. DuBois was a monumental and often controversial leader of Negro thought. As a sociologist, educator, and writer, he frequently disagreed not only with whites but with members of his own race. Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Dr. DuBois grew up in a relatively tolerant and integrated community. After completing graduate work at the Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin, Germany, and at Harvard University, where he was the first Negro to earn a doctorate, he became a professor of history, sociology, and economics at Atlanta University. Dr. DuBois was one of the founders of the NAACP, for which his primary duty was editing the organization’s monthly magazine, which he named “The Crisis,” but he later broke with the organization under conditions of bitterness. During his time with the NAACP, Dr. DuBois used his position to oppose a variety of racist incidents. When the silent film “The Birth of a Nation” premiered in 1915, he and the NAACP led the fight to ban the film because of its racist portrayal of Negroes as brutish and lustful. The fight was not successful. Dr. DuBois also waged an ongoing campaign against lynching. During his later years, he was active in many left-wing and Communist activities. In 1959, Dr. DuBois received the Soviet Lenin Peace Prize “for strengthening world peace.” In the fall of 1961 — at the age of 93 — he joined the Communist party. Surviving are his widow (right), the former Shirley Graham, and a daughter, Mrs. Yolanda Williams of Baltimore. Dr. DuBois’ home in this country was at 31 Grace Court, Brooklyn.


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