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  • Writer's pictureAdelaide Fuller

Happy birthday, W.E.B. Du Bois.

Updated: Jun 26, 2021

The first African American to receive a PhD from Harvard. Expert on economics, history, languages and literature, and sociology. Intellectual. Author. Activist. "His conceptions were historical and global, his methodology empirical and intuitive, his values and commitments involving both mobilization of an elite vanguard to address the issues of racism and the conscious cultivation of the values to be drawn from African American folk culture." Today we celebrate the birthday of a man who lived life as a dedicated scholar and political organizer; who reshaped how issues of race and racism could be understood (and combated); whose legacy of intellectualism continues to challenge this nation to move toward social justice. The most important lesson he taught us is that intellectualism must always be paired with meaningful action. Racial equity is achieved through agitation and protest supported by critical thought.

An animated excerpt of an article from W.E.B. Du Bois on the alienation experienced by African Americans.

Consider what you've learned in your reading and take action. Make a donation. Sign a petition. Start a conversation. Reframe a history lesson. Knowledge without action is not enough. To honor W.E.B. Du Bois, go beyond the bookclub.

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