W.E.B. Du Bois

Born in New England and educated at Harvard University and the University of Berlin (Germany), W.E.B. Du Bois authored "Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others," an essay later collected in his landmark book The Souls of Black Folk (1903). Du Bois carefully demonstrates that despite his many accomplishments, Washington had, in effect, accepted segregation -- that is, the unequal and separate treatment of black Americans -- and that segregation would inevitably lead to inferiority, particularly in education. Du Bois, a founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), also wrote sensitive appreciations of the African-American traditions and culture; his work helped black intellectuals rediscover their rich folk literature and music.