Today in black history: Du Bois organized Pan African Congress

W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963)  was an early proponent of Pan-Africanism and helped organize several Pan-African Congresses to free African colonies from European powers. The first of those was on Feb. 19,1919.

Sociologist, historian, civil rights activist and communist, Du Bois  first rose to prominence as leader of the Niagara Movement, a group of African-American activists fighting for equal rights for blacks.

Du Bois opposed the Atlanta Compromise since the agreement provided that Southern blacks would work and submit to white political rule, while Southern whites guaranteed that blacks would receive basic educational and economic opportunities. Du Bois insisted on full civil rights and political representation.

As part of that effort he made several trips to Europe, Africa and Asia. After World War I, while in Europe, he surveyed the experiences of American black soldiers in France and documented widespread bigotry in the U.S. military.

Photo: 1905 Niagara movement: meeting. Top row (left to right): H. A. Thompson, Alonzo F. Herndon, John Hope, James R. L. Diggs (?). Second row (left to right): Frederick McGhee, Norris B. Herndon (boy), J. Max Barber, W. E. B. Du Bois, Robert Bonner. Bottom row (left to right): Henry L. Bailey, Clement G. Morgan, W. H. H. Hart, B. S. Smith. Wikimedia Commons.



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