This Movement became the ideological foundation of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), organized in 1909, with DuBois being the only African American speaker at its founding conference in New York City. He had no idea that within a year, he would become its director of research and publications, the most visible product being his creation of The Crisis, now still the official voice of the NAACP, which he needed more than a conference group such as the Niagara Movement. With the NAACP, he had a permanent organization and a periodical which eventually reached over 100,000 persons monthly. Through the medium of print, Washington and DuBois carried on the debates about the strategies and goals best suited for Black liberation.[66]  When Washington died in 1915, the growing urbanization of Black and white America had shifted the social foundations of the debate in the direction of DuBois and the NAACP.

        Over the span of his 95 years, DuBois produced more than a dozen full-length books, including the controversial Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880 (1935), three autobiographies and literally hundreds of articles and essays. Always outspoken, he remained always near the center of the racial storm during his heyday. Unlike Douglass and Washington, DuBois kept his distance from the world of material wealth, often finding himself unable to cover his personal medical expenses. In 1903, DuBois was earning $1,200 annually as a professor at Atlanta University. As late as 1953, his income was less than $10,000 annually (in contrast to Douglass who made his money as a real estate speculator, fee-earning recorder of deeds and professional orator, and Washington who was financially "taken care of" by America's millionaires).[67]  He lived in small houses and rented apartments most of his life. Yet when DuBois travelled abroad he often was treated as a head of state, especially in China, which proclaimed a national holiday in his honor, and in Africa. In 1961 he moved to Ghana to spend his final years and to die during the night just before the August 28, 1963 March on Washington.

continued on next page>

 

cologo2.gif (6442 bytes)

August 1999