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February 23

 

February 23, 1868

W.E.B. DuBois Born in Massachusetts

William Edward Burghardt DuBois was one of the most important, and controversial, African-American leaders of the early 20th Century. DuBois, popularly known as W.E.B. DuBois, was born on this date in Great Barrington, Mass.

DuBois, an author, educator and orator, was one of the founding members of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored Peoples. However, he generally positioned himself as a proponent of more radical challenges to discrimination and inequality. He was an outspoken opponent of the 'gradualism' advocated by Booker T. Washington and other more moderate leaders, demanding immediate racial equality.

In 1961, DuBois joined the Community Party. Two years later, he renounced his American citizenship and moved to Ghana, where he died on Aug. 27, 1963.

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