WEB DuBois's Influence on Literature and People
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In his work The Souls of Black Folk, WEB DuBois had described the life and
problems that blacks in America was not easy. DuBois had a very different
plan in the struggle for black equality and the struggle for the
abolishment of racism than other people that wanted a "separate black
nation" and others that just wanted the blacks to stay submissive. DuBois
only wanted blacks to work hard to become active parts of American society.
Through his writings, speaking, and political activism, WEB DuBois devoted
his life to advancing black movement to a higher level.
DuBois always practiced what he preached. His speeches influenced many, and
always used the pen as his mightiest weapon. He used it to encourage blacks
to be proud and have pride in everything they have accomplished. DuBois had
used the pen to encourage blacks to fight for the rights that they have had
It has not been our fault. Rather we have been the blamed and
blamed ourselves for this lack of "economic progress", as it is
called. We are rather ashamed that we have not developed more
millionaires and more big business. (Paschal 154)
DuBois believed that assimilation was the best means of treating
discrimination against blacks in the 1920's. Education was a key to a
diverse and cultural society. DuBois being a well-respected intellectual
and leader, worked to reach goals of education and peaceful resolutions
between the races and classes.
DuBois felt that the black leadership, of Booker T. Washington, was too
submissive. Washington wanted black to try and get along with society
"trying to fit in". He was encouraging blacks to become educated in the
"white man's world". He tried to get blacks into working in agriculture
helping with industry and, to accepting that they get a second class status
in American society. DuBois felt that Washington's plan would cause blacks
to give up.
While DuBois respected Booker T. Washington and his accomplishments, he
felt that blacks needed political power to protect what they had and what
they earned. DuBois called for a new plan of action. He felt that the
greatest enemy of blacks was not necessarily whites but it was the
ignorance of the whites concerning the capabilities of the black race.
DuBois's answer was to encourage the development of black youth in America
so that they understand why racism started.
The most talented of the youth
should be educated to be leaders.
Some people seem to think that the fight against segregation
consists merely of one damned protest after another. That the
technique is to protest and wail and protest again, and to
keep this thing up until the gates of the public opinion
are opened and the walls of segregation fall down. (Paschal 144).
A lot of blacks suffered in the 1930's during the affects of the Great
Depression. At the time DuBois was bringing blacks together in what was
called " voluntary segregation", that is, blacks making up their own
organizations and working together. Only at that time he said that if they
would be free of dependence on interference from whites. Now
the movement adopted this idea as part of philosophy (Shaub111).
Thought DuBois's own thoughts and speeches he always had a strong belief
that one day blacks will be among whites in the same standard level as if
they were equal.
The responsibility for their own social regeneration
ought to be placed largely upon the shoulder of the Negro
people. But such responsibility must carry with it a grant
of power is a mockery and a farce. If, therefore, the American
people are sincerely anxious that the Negro shall put forth his
best efforts to help himself, they must see to it that he is not
deprived of the freedom and power to strive....(Shaub104).
This would mean a social power and the growth of energy among Negroes, the
spread of the independent thought, and making manhood larger for all. These
ideas are feared because of a plan to empower millions of minorities raised.
DuBois was in an environment of very little racism. It was not until he was
older attending a university that he encountered discrimination when he was
not accepted because of the color of his skin. Then he tried to deal with
the fact that poor illiterate whites thought themselves to be superior
towards him (DuBois 416). From there he met former slaves and heard stories
and the "Black" experiences.
WEB DuBois was a great fighter for the people, a true scientist, thinker
and humanist. He held aloft a bright torch of poetic inspiration that
lightens the way and illuminates the path of all who struggle for freedom.
The questions that DuBois posed and dealt with along the way of a long and
arduous life of unceasing service and dedication to the cause of the
freedom of colored people are still challenging responses today.
The Negro race like all races is going to be saved by its leaders. The
problem with that is the education among Negroes must first of all deal
with the undereducated persons. The problem is death in their own race.
DuBois is trying to get blacks to gain in political power and that is the
way that there will be growth in blacks in America.
DuBois appeared at the wrong time in history. Movement might have been
appreciated and installed pride in the blacks of today. True awareness
developed too late for him or anyone else of that time period to see its
affect on people today.
In conclusion the movement that Dubois fought for made everyone think of
what a difference one person can make. Even if the time they did it was not
according to the time today. The people of today should fight for their
beliefs by using the pen and writing about the cause. Education is the key
to wining fights in or out of classrooms. Through his writings, speaking,
and political activism, WEB DuBois devoted his life to advancing black
movement to a higher level.
Bennett, Lerone. The Negro Mood. Johnson Publishing Co, 1964.
Du Bois, Burghardt E. W. DarkWater. AMS Press. NY.1969.
Du Bois, Burghardt E. W. " Writings". The Suppression of African Slave
Paschal, G. Andrew. a W.E.B. Du Bois Reader . Macmillan pub co. NY.1971.
Shaub, Debrnah Gillun, ed. African American Voices, USA. Gale Research 1996.