W. E. B. Du Bois was an American civil rights activist, leader, Pan-Africanist, sociologist, educator, historian, writer, editor, poet, and scholar. Born in Massachusetts, he attended Fisk University and Harvard University. As a sociologist, Du Bois began to study and document the oppression of Black Americans and their striving for equality in the 1890s. By 1903 Du Bois had produced one of his major works, The Souls of Black Folk, in which he wrote: “The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.” A few years later, Du Bois joined other black leaders to found the Niagra Movement, a group that tried to abolish all distinctions based on race. In 1963, at the age of 95, he became a naturalized citizen of Ghana; he died there that year, and was given a state funeral.
More By This Poet
The Song of the Smoke
I am the Smoke King
I am black!
I am swinging in the sky,
I am wringing worlds awry;
I am the thought of the throbbing mills,
I am the soul of the soul-toil kills,
Wraith of the ripple of trading rills;
Up I’m curling from the...