W. E. B. Du Bois

image for W. E. B. Du Bois
Exhibition Label
Born Great Barrington, Massachusetts
In 1903 William Edward Burghardt Du Bois famously declared that "the problem of the Twentieth Century is the problem of the color line." He uttered this prophetic statement understanding, perhaps better than anyone, the social and political standing of African Americans at the beginning of the new century. Having received a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1895, Du Bois focused his extraordinary intellectual energies on studying the question of race in America. The author of more than twenty books, he was also an activist and helped to found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1910. Du Bois came to oppose the policy of political conservatism and racial accommodation favored by Booker T. Washington, insisting that African Americans receive full civil and political rights. His activism extended well beyond the United States and prompted him to move permanently to Ghana in 1961.
Addison N. Scurlock, 18 Jun 1883 - 1964
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, 23 Feb 1868 - 27 Aug 1963
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in
National Portrait Gallery Collection
c. 1911
Object number
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Mustache
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Goatee
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois: Male
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois: Literature\Writer
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois: Education\Educator\Professor\University
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois: Literature\Writer\Poet
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois: Society and Social Change\Reformer\Activist\Civil rights activist\Civil rights leader
William Edward Burghardt Du Bois: Literature\Editor
United States\District of Columbia\Washington
Gelatin silver print
Image: 41.8 x 34.1 cm (16 7/16 x 13 7/16")
Sheet: 43.3 x 36 cm (17 1/16 x 14 3/16")
Mount: 49.4 x 39.9 cm (19 7/16 x 15 11/16")
Mat: 71.1 x 55.9 cm (28 x 22")
National Portrait Gallery