William Edward Burghardt

Essay by playa15University, Bachelor's February 2009

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DuBois was born on February 23, 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. He was not born into slavery like many African Americans of his time were. Dubois was a passionate student and was fortunate enough to attend high school which he graduated early. By the age of fourteen, DuBois was so interested in furthering his education that he began publishing the community's newspaper. After high school DuBois enrolled at Fisk University where he received his baccalaureate degree. Then he received a scholarship at the University of Berlin, where he studied for two years and then went to Harvard where he was the first African American to earn a doctorate at Harvard. Realizing the great opportunity that he had to be educated, DuBois was determined that every African American should have the chance to do the same. He believed that every person, regardless of race, should be able to receive a true education, one that included the teachings of history, English, science, and math.

He opposed Washington's idea that blacks should only be taught a single trade and was not supportive of Tuskegee Institute which did just that. During his life, DuBois spent all of his time advocating equal rights for blacks. He got involved in numerous organizations and periodicals and made great contributions to history, politics, and African American lives. DuBois promoted self-help, education, and black pride. He did not want to sit back and watch segregation take over black rights, which Washington believed was okay. Instead he took political action. DuBois challenged Washington's acceptance of black social inequality. He was more of an idealist, scholar, activist, writer, radical, and international diplomat. He wanted equality so he fought for it, he didn't want to let his people be discriminated. DuBois said, "When we can change my to our, I to...