W.E.B. DuBois

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Possibly known as one of the greatest writers of all time, WEB DuBois is most known for writing the Souls of Black Folk. This renowned book was written when he was a faculty member at Atlanta University — now Clark Atlanta University.

Dr. W.E.B. DuBois was a scholar all of his life. In 1884, he finished high school as valedictorian. He completed a bachelor’s degree from Fisk University and earned 3 additional degrees from Harvard University.

Early in his career, Du Bois served as professor of economics and history at Atlanta University. It was at Atlanta University that he organized conferences titled the Atlanta University Studies of the Negro Problem and edited 16 of its annual publications.

It was at Atlanta University, Du Bois published studies that examined black conditions in the state. In 1901, he published The Negro Landholder of Georgia, which explored how in only a generation after slavery, blacks had accumulated more than a million acres of land.

In 1905, he founded civil rights group, the Niagara Movement and in 1909 he helped found the NAACP, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization. During these years, Du Bois wrote The Souls of Black Folk, as well as John Brown and A Litany of Atlanta which he wrote in response to what he witnessed during the Atlanta race riots in 1906.

Du Bois’ years in Georgia were some of the most productive in his 70-plus years of scholarship and activism. In 2000, Du Bois was inducted as a charter member into the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame.

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