People & Events|
W.E.B Du Bois
In the opinion of W.E. Burghardt Du Bois, most African Americans in 1900 were "still serfs bound to the soil or house servants." The Harvard-educated professor of economics, history, and sociology was not content with the gradualism of Booker T. Washington's approach toward racial equality. In Du Bois's opinion, such accommodation to the status quo would lead only to further "humiliation and inferiority" for African Americans. His opinions regarding the unjust plight of African Americans were solidified when he witnessed the brutal burning of an African American man named Sam Hose who was accused of killing his boss over money. The sheer brutality of the act-Hose's charred knucklebones were later displayed by a local drugstore-made clear in Du Bois's mind that African Americans would gain equality only through radical measures. He turned down a position at Booker T. Washington's Tuskegee Institute, and went on to help organize the Niagara Movement, out of which grew the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Du Bois, frustrated with the progress of civil rights in the US, emigrated to Ghana in 1962 and renounced his American citizenship.