Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Du Bois, W. E. B.
Addressing national and international challenges of race, class, and power, Black intellectual, sociologist, and educational leader William Edward Burghardt (W. E. B.) Du Bois (1868–1963) engaged highly contested, groundbreaking debates throughout his adult life. Du Bois observed in 1900 that race was, in essence, the problem of the coming century—a belief that was fundamental to his vision for a democratic U.S. society. This view put him in opposition to the leading educator of the era, Booker T. Washington, who downgraded equality and civil and political rights in the list of Black priorities. Washington's leadership supported an agenda of industrial education, racial solidarity, institution building, and small business development. In one of his most noted speeches given at the Atlanta Exposition, 1895, Washington argued that agitating for social equality was an extremist folly, and that Black people must continue to struggle rather than artificially force a socially just society. Opposition to ...