WEB Du Bois was born a free man in his small village of Great Barington, Massachusetts, three years after the Civil War. For generations, the Du Bois family had been an accepted part of the community since before his great-grandfather had fought in the American Revolution. Early on, Du Bois was given an awareness of his African-heritage, through the ancient songs his grandmother taught him. This awareness set him apart from his New England community, with an ancestry shrouded in mystery, in sharp contrast to the precisely accounted history of the Western world. This difference would be the foundation for his desire to change the way African-Americans co-existed in America.
As a student, Du Bois was considered something of a prodigy who excelled beyond the capabilities of his white peers. He found work as a correspondent for New York newspapers, and slowly began to realize the inhibitions of social boundaries he was expected to observe every step of the way. When racism tried to take his pride and dignity, he became more determined to make sure society recognized his achievements. Clearly, Du Bois showed great promise, and some influential members of his community. Although Du Bois dreamt of attending Harvard, these influential individuals arranged for his education at Fisk University in Nashville. His experiences at Fisk changed his life, and he discovered his fate as a leader of the black struggle to free his people from oppression. At Fisk, Du Bois became acquainted with many sons and daughters of former slaves, who felt the pain of oppression and shared his sense of cultural and spiritual tradition. In the South, he saw his people being drive!.
n to a status of little difference from slavery, and saw them terrorized at the polls. He taught school during the summers in the eastern portion of Tennessee, and saw the suffering firsthand. He then resolved to dedicate his life to fighting the terrible racial oppression that held the black people down, both economically and politically.