The Correspondence of W. E. B. Du Bois: Selections, 1944-1963

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University of Massachusetts Press, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 512 pages
Scholar, author, editor, teacher, reformer, and civil rights leader, W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) was a major figure in American life and one of the earliest proponents of equality for black Americans. He was a founder and leader of the Niagara Movement, the NAACP, and the Pan-African Movement; a progenitor of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance; an advocate of anticolonialism, anti-imperialism, unionism, and equality for women; and a champion of the rights of oppressed people around the world.The three-volume Correspondence of W.E.B. Du Bois offers a unique perspective on Du Bois's experiences and views. In recognition of the significance of the Correspondence, the final volume was named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review.Herbert Aptheker has provided an introduction and notes to each volume, illuminating the circumstances and identifying the personalities involved in the correspondence."An excellent job of editing.... There is not an editorial comment nor an editorial footnote that is superfluous. There is not a single letter nor an exchange of letters that does not contribute to the reader's understanding of Du Bois himself or of the history of the times through which Du Bois lived and upon which he had a very considerable effect". -- Jay Saunders Redding, Phylon"Du Bois's long life and committed scholarship were devoted to a belief in the ultimate realization of one world free of racial or ethnic division and strife, economic exploitation and inequity, capable of unlimited intellectual, scientific and technological development for the benefit of humankind". -- David Graham Du Bois"It is a remarkable fact that this volume brings to completion the firstcollection of the correspondence of any black American. As such, it is a milestone in the coming of age of Afro-American history, a subject whose scholarly acceptance is among W.E.B. Du Bois's most outstanding legacies". -- New York Times Book ReviewThis correspondence

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About the author (1997)

Civil rights leader and author, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts on February 23, 1868. He earned a B.A. from both Harvard and Fisk universities, an M.A. and Ph.D. from Harvard, and studied at the University of Berlin. He taught briefly at Wilberforce University before he came professor of history and economics at Atlanta University in Ohio (1896-1910). There, he wrote The Souls of Black Folk (1903), in which he pointed out that it was up to whites and blacks jointly to solve the problems created by the denial of civil rights to blacks. In 1905 Du Bois became a major figure in the Niagara Movement, a crusading effort to end discrimination. the organization collapsed, but it prepared the way for the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), in which Du Bois played a major role. In 1910 he became editor of the NAACP magazine, a position he held for more than 20 years. Du Bois returned to Atlanta University in 1932 and tried to implement a plan to make the Negro Land Grant Colleges centers of black power. Atlanta approved of his idea, but later retracted its support. When Du Bois tried to return to NAACP, it rejected him too. Active in several Pan-African Congresses, Du Bois came to know Fwame Nkrumah, the first president of Ghana, and Jono Kenyatta the president of Kenya. In 1961, the same year Du Bois joined the Communist party, Nkrumah invited him to Ghana as a director of an Encyclopedia Africana project. He died there on Aug. 27, 1963, after becoming a citizen of that country.

Herbert Aptheker was a professor of history at the University of Massachusetts. His works include American Negro Slave Revolts, Abolitionism: A Revolutionary Movement, and The Correspondence of W. E. B. Du Bois.