Copyright 1998, 1999 , 2000 ASET, M. Mbulu All rights to everything on this web site are reserved.

Title of Course: Profiles In Black Mba Mbulu, Instructor

Textbook: None. Selected writings found online will constitute the textbook.

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Read the following information on WEB DuBois. Relate the information to the following questions to the best of your ability.

(1) WEB DuBois was a very well educated person. Is there evidence of this in his analysis of racism and Black / white relations in the United States?

(2) What did DuBois find out about white scholarship as he researched the social and political history of Black People?

(3) Do you know what Pan-Africanism is? what role did Dubois play in its development and propagation?

(4) Why did DuBois choose to leave the United States and spend his final years in Africa?

(5) Do you think DuBois was right when he concluded that "ignorance alone was the cause of race prejudice and that scientific proof could dispel it?" If yes, why? If no, why not?

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Class #9: WILLIAM EDWARD BURGHARDT DUBOIS (1868-1963)

Scholar, Educator, Historian, Social Scientist, Pan-Africanist

Early in his life, WEB DuBois was a concerned man and committed to the removal of all color bars to the progress of Black People. With unceasing dedication and discipline he used his wide range to serve the cause of his people.

DuBois' wisdom and teachings are a legacy for the ages. More than 20 volumes of his major works were published. DuBois wrote insightfully about a large range of subjects and set forth some very dependable guidelines for the future of his people. Essentially a man of ideas, DuBois had the rare capacity to make his ideas accessible to the activities of ordinary people.

WEB DuBois was a tireless explorer and gifted discoverer of social truths. His singular greatness lay in his quest for truth about his own people. Since during his early years there were very few scholars who honestly studied Black People, DuBois had to confront a vicious army of white liars, propagandist and myth makers of Black History. DuBois took them all on.

Long before sociology was a science DuBois was doing a social study of the life of Black People. DuBois came to believe that the solution to the "Negro problem" was "a matter of systematic investigation," that ignorance alone was the cause of race prejudice and that scientific proof could dispel it. Following this line of thought, DuBois researched and wrote The Suppression of the African Slave Trade, recognized the importance of the bonds between Black People in America and Africa, and extended his studies and activities to include African affairs.

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In the years between 1935 and 1941, DuBois produced Black Reconstruction in America, which took 33 years of research and preparation and six years to write. It is without question the most thorough study ever made of Black Peoples' role in the Reconstruction of the United States immediately after the Civil War. DuBois revealed that, far from being the tragic era white historians described, it was the only period in which a sizable amount of democracy existed in the South-- in fact, in America.

DuBois was one of the giants of Pan-Africanism. Kwame Nkrumah described DuBois as a "source of inspiration in our struggle for freedom and the right of the African to govern himself." As a result of his Pan-Africanist efforts, a process was begun that resulted in the decolonization of much of the African continent. This decolonization of Africa weakened many of the racial barriers in the United States that had plagued Black People for centuries.

DuBois eventually left the United States, choosing to spend his last years in Ghana, on the continent of his forefathers. DuBois personal solution can serve as a message for Black People in general. In order to experience any appreciable element of peace and equality, Black People will have to separate from white America. Protesting and assailing "the ears of America," DuBois probably discovered, has some serious limitations. We need to go beyond that, and with the help of information and examples provided by WEB DuBois, We will be able to do so.

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