William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (1868 – 1963) was an American sociologist, socialist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, writer, and editor. Born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, Du Bois grew up in a relatively tolerant and integrated community, and after completing graduate work at the University of Berlin and Harvard, where he was the first African American to earn a doctorate, he became a professor of history, sociology, and economics at Atlanta University. Du Bois was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909. Earlier, Du Bois had risen to national prominence as the leader of the Niagara Movement, a group of African-American activists that wanted equal rights for blacks. Du Bois insisted on full civil rights and increased political representation, which he believed would be brought about by the African-American intellectual elite. He referred to this group as the Talented Tenth, a concept under the umbrella of Racial uplift, and believed that African Americans needed the chances for advanced education to develop its leadership.
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