The Crisis was born out of a need to tell the world of the accomplishments of the Negro, but not only that, it would illustrate to the entire world the injustices committed against him. The voice and the lifeblood of the Crisis was William Edward Burghardt DuBois. W.E.B. DuBois was born on February 23, 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. At that time Great Barrington had very few Black people. Out of a population of about 5,000 there were probably about 50. Consequently, there were little signs of overt racism there. Nevertheless, it certainly existed and through a constant barrage of suggestive innuendoes and vindictive attitudes of its residents, DuBois felt the unrelenting sting of racism. This changed the personality of DuBois from good natured and outgoing to sullen and withdrawn. This was later reinforced and strengthened by inner withdrawals in the face of real discriminations.
DuBois gained his bachelor's degree from Harvard University and then worked for and received a masters and doctorate from the same institution after which he proceeded to do the most comprehensive study of the Negro and race relations even undertaken. .
The year 1896 was the dawn of a new era for DuBois. With his doctorate degree and two undistinguished years at Wilberforce behind him, he readily accepted a special fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania to conduct a research project in Philadelphia's seventh ward slums. This responsibility afforded him the opportunity to study Blacks as a social system. DuBois plunged eagerly into his research. He was certain that the race problem was one of ignorance. And he was determined to unearth as much knowledge as he could, thereby providing the "cure" for color prejudice. His relentless studies led into historical investigation, statistical and anthropological measurement, and sociological interpretation. The outcome of this exhaustive endeavor was published as The Philadelphia Negro.