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The Life Of W.E.B. Du Bois

             B Du Bois was a black American historian and sociologist, who conducted the initial research on the black experience in the United States. His work established the way for the civil rights, African, and Black Power movements in the United States.
             William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts 1868, three years after the end of the Civil War. Unlike most black Americans, his family had not just emerged from slavery. His great-grandfather had fought in the American Revolution, and the Burghardt's had been an accepted part of the community for generations. Du Bois is a descendant of African American, French, and Dutch ancestors. After he was born his father left, leaving his mother alone to raise him. She encouraged his studies and his devotion to the Victorian virtues and characteristic of rural New England in the 19th century. Du Bois in turn accepted a sense of duty toward his mother that transcended all other loyalties. .
             Du Bois excelled at school and outshined his white schoolmates. While in high school he worked as a correspondent for New York newspapers and became something of a prodigy in the eyes of the community. As he became a young man he began to become aware of the subtle social boundaries, which he was expected to observe. This made him all the more determined to force the community to recognize his academic achievements.
             He demonstrated his intelligents at an early age. He graduated from high school at age 16, the valedictorian and only black in his graduating class of 12. He was orphaned shortly after his graduation and was forced to pay for his own college education. He won a scholarship to Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, where he also did extremely well.
             His mother had died during the summer he had left Fisk and Du Bois entered a world that he would claim for his own. Du Bois arrived in Nashville a serious, contemplative, self-conscious young man with habits and attitudes formed from growing up in Victorian New England.

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