W E B DuBois: The Color-line Problem

“The problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color-line.  It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity. One ever feels his two-ness — an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.”

“The history of the American Negro is the history of this strife—this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to merge his double self into a better and truer self. In this merging, he wishes neither of the older selves to be lost. …He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American.”

“The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.”

“The American Negro Academy believes that upon those of the race who have had the advantage of higher education and culture, rests the responsibility of taking concerted steps for the employment of these agencies to uplift the race to higher planes of thought and action. Two great obstacles to this consummation are apparent: (a) The lack of unity, want of harmony, absence of a self-sacrificing spirit, and no well-defined line of policy seeking definite aims; and (b) The persistent, relentless, at times covert opposition employed to thwart the Negro at every step of his upward struggles to establish the justness of his claim to the highest physical, intellectual and moral possibilities.”

“Ignorance is a cure for nothing.”

“Most men today cannot conceive of a freedom that does not involve somebody’s slavery.”

“To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.”

“Education is that whole system of human training within and without the school house walls, which molds and develops men.”


“Either America will destroy ignorance, or ignorance will destroy the United States.”
-W.E.B. DuBois #quote #BlackHistoryMonth

Who was W.E.B. Dubois?

W.E.B. Dubois is most famous for  founding the Niagara Movement in 1905 and co-founding the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909. He was one of the most important leaders of African-American protest in the United States. In the ealy 1900’s he became the leading black oponent of racial discrimination. He opposed the African-American educator Booker T. Washington, who believed that black people could advance faster through hard work than by demands for equal rights. DuBois believed that black people should speak out constantly against discrimination. His most famous books are “The Souls of Black Folk (1903) and “The Autobiography of W.E.B. Dubois” (1968). I hope that this has been a help to you.
Source: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081007173135AAUYn96

Du Bois’s most lasting contribution is his writing. As poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, sociologist, historian, and journalist, he wrote 21 books, edited 15 more, and published over 100 essays and articles.

Source: http://www.naacp.org/pages/naacp-history-w.e.b.-dubois



  • Angela Grant is a medical doctor. For 22 years, she practiced emergency medicine and internal medicine. She studied for one year at Harvard T. H Chan School Of Public Health. She writes about culture, race, and health.

1 thought on “W E B DuBois: The Color-line Problem

Share your thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.