African-American Mt. Rushmore: Who's on Yours?
Black Enterprise Magazine January-March 2019 Issue

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W.E.B Du Bois Du Bois was recognized as the outstanding African American intellectual of his period in America. His literature is the backbone of black pride. As poet, playwright, novelist, essayist, sociologist, historian, and journalist, Washington wrote 21 books, edited 15 more, and published more than 100 essays and articles.

For many young African Americans in the period from 1910 through the 1930s, Du Bois was the voice of black America. He attacked Woodrow Wilson when the president allowed his cabinet members to segregate the federal government. He continued to fight against the demand by many whites that black education be primarily industrial and that black students in the South learn to accept white supremacy. In 1909, Du Bois was among the founders of the NAACP and served as director of publicity and research, a member of the board of directors, and editor of the Crisis, its monthly magazine.

He was also the first African American to receive a Ph.D. at Harvard University. Although he reportedly joined the communist party in 1961 and became a naturalized Ghanian citizen, his lasting contributions to the black community is a legacy that cannot be denied. According to PBS.org, Du Bois had hoped that social science could help eliminate segregation, but eventually concluded that the only effective strategy against racism was agitation. He also famously challenged the ideology of Booker T. Washington in his book, The Souls of Black Folk, saying his policies kept the black man down rather than elevated him. He died in Ghana in 1963, on the eve of the civil rights march in Washington, D.C.

What African American leaders would be on your Black Mt. Rushmore? Take our BlackEnterprise.com poll or leave a comment below:

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