WEB DuBois the Fight for Equality
William Edward Burkhardt abbreviated as “W. E. B.” Du Bois was a History Professor at Atlanta University and the founder of NAACP in 1909 which is an activist foundation that aimed at advocating for equal rights to people of color and especially the blacks (Lewis, 256). NAACP marked the crucial steps employed by DuBois to fight for the rights of the marginalized minority. He was the first Afro American to attain a doctorate and this placed him in a better position of advocacy. As a prolific author, W.E.B rose to national politics because of his constant critics on the ongoing racial discrimination in the United States. DuBois major work comprised of The Souls of Black Folk, Black Reconstruction in America and many other pieces published by the NAACP journal called The Crisis (Lewis 191). He argued that the significant problem facing the nations in 20th century was the color line issue which according to him was as a result of the capitalist economy. This essay will explore how he advocated for equality and the steps he took in ensuring Blacks, whites, Indians or whichever color is viewed and treated as equal American citizens.
Ways in Which W.E.B Promoted Equality
Firstly, he was the man behind the Pan African Conference in 1921 whose primary aim was to ask the United States and other European countries to appreciate and respect the rights of people from Africa. He drafted a letter titled Address to the Nations of the World which was adopted at the end of the conference by all the delegates. The letter was appealing to European countries to grant their African colonies the right to self-rule. The meeting was successful in demanding for the rights of Afro American (Lewis 415)
Secondly, he organized the Niagara Conference which was a union of most prominent African-Americans. The conference was the beginning of activism movements as it acted as the prerequisite of NAACP. At the end of the meeting, a declaration was issued that Afro Americans deserved equal rights and treatment just like any other citizen of the American society. A movement was formed to spearhead the activism of these rights (Lewis 215). The first responsibility of the said group was to lead in the rebellion against Booker Washington`s philosophy which was advocating for the presence of second-class citizenship which in this case referred to the blacks. The theory was meant to disseminate economic development for these class of citizens
Thirdly, as the chief editor of The Crisis, a publication under the NAACP whose main aim was to set out the dangers that racial prejudice could have to any society (Lewis 252). The idea of the magazine was to lay on the table facts and arguments that could stir up the feeling of unity and love among the various races occupying the United States then. Du Bois employed the use of sarcasm in his editorial column especially to the dishonest parochial black churches which just did nothing about the ongoing discrimination. He was responsible for making the magazine an essential reference of investigating the reports of crimes that were conducted against the blacks (Lingeman, 19). The publication was also a vital element of advocating for the economic and sociological empowerment of the people of color as well as pointing out at areas where federal governments needed to indulge and restore justice. One of the most outstanding cries that this magazine presented was the desire to have blacks registered in the labor unions and thus empower them through collective bargaining (Lewis 285). In the year 1919, he announced the creation of The True Brownies, which was the first magazine written for the sole readership of the African-American teenagers and youngsters. Such a significant milestone in the realization of self-identity of the blacks’ kids was facilitated by the editorial column of The Crisis. Other achievements of the magazine included the increased readership to about 100 000 in 1920 (Lewis, 270) thereby creating awareness to most Americans on the presence of this evil called racial discrimination.
Another quest for equality by W.E.D was in the era of Harlem Renaissance which was reflected as a revival of African-American art in the mid-1920s`. Although a great supporter of African-American creativity his passion for the Harlem Renaissance diminished especially after realizing that most whites came to Harlem for prurience and not for honest gratefulness of black art (Lewis, 471). He, therefore, insisted that the black artists should first recognize that there are blacks and use their creativity to promote their cause. His concerns were that these artists were not using their art to advocate their justice. He even disregarded any wok that did not have activism or the desire for the Afro Americans to be liberated. In 1926, he stopped using his editorial column in support of arts.
Another significant contribution of Du Bois was in activism for equal rights, peace, and empowerment of all the races. In 1949, Du Bois had a chance to address a World Peace Conference that was held in the New York City. During this conference, his activism prawns were seen when he told everyone that the blacks deserve their freedom and sooner or later they will have it whether by force or by peace (Lingeman 22). Du Bois went ahead to criticize the authority of the then regime in advancing their political goals while the people of color continue asking for equal treatment. He was calling for action. Stirring up the emotions of the people to stand up and defend themselves something that is common for most activists.Based on the Du Bois contribution in racial equality it is hard to argue and talk about racial equality in the United States and fail to mention Du Bois. His contribution to the achievement of equal rights for all the American Citizens cannot be underestimated. He is the one man who was ready to renounce his American citizenship if that meant freedom for the African colonies under the European Nations. He faced a lot of opposition in his actions of advocating for human rights to the extent of The U.S revoking his passport (Lewis 471). Despite all these, he was able to maneuver and make several trips to Africa, Asia and Japan all in trying to empower the people of color. This is a man who left a legacy such that even after his death in 1963 while in Ghana, one year after The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was adopted in the United States which was one of the many reforms he had advocated for during his lifetime. Du Bois persistence in the fight for the racial equality teaches the society it should always stand for justice, fairness and trust despite of the criticisms and obstacles.