tv Discussion on the Philosophy of W.E.B. Du Bois CSPAN January 16, 2017 2:35pm-3:41pm EST
clearly for us the march on washington and king's "i have a dream" speech is a very important jumping off point for discussing king's career. i think, though, that it's important and i hope that the exhibition conveys this, that there's far more to martin luther king than one speech and one dream. anyone can have a vision or a dream for the future, but it's the extraordinary individual that can dedicate his or her life to making that dream a reality. and through the exhibition, through the various photographs and representations of king, we're able to trace the trajectory of his career. to see those high points as well as the setbacks that he endured and to understand how they shaped him and the quality of his leadership. the photographs help us remember that king was such a young man during all of these activities. he was just 39 when he was killed. he was 25 when he went to montgomery and he was 26 when he
led the boycott. he was 34 when he delivered the "i have a dream" speech. and i think that it's important to understand what his life was like and i'm hoping that these images will do that for our visitors. on lectures and history, georgetown university professor maurice jackson teaches a class on the fill los of w.e.b. du bois an influential african-american civil rights activist in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. he describe's du bois's early life and his relationship with other activists of the time. this class is about an hour. >> thank you today. as you know, we just entered african-american history month and carter wilson established that in 1926 and he established
that for three reasons. one, it was the birthday of frederick douglas. we don't know the exact date. the birthday of abraham lincoln, who established emancipation proclamation and also the birthday of w.e.b. du bois. he was bonn 1868 in massachusetts. my wife was pregnant with our second child and she went into labor of february 22nd. and so as we went to the hospital i said, dear, if you have this child tonight, he'll be born on george washington's birthday. and i have -- i didn't say anything about mr. washington, but if you hold out a couple hours we'll have a du bois's baby and you can imagine a young man and ladies what you would say to your husband ten or 15 years down the road. you would call them a name but a child of god is what she called me. he was born on february 23rd. so we have a du bois's birthday. and in a course like this talking about freedom, there's just no person that exemplifies
the struggle of freedom in the world more than w.e.b. du bois. of course he became famous for his many rights. let's look at his life and his sayings. his early years, he was born in massachusetts. as he is born there, he's born to his mother and father. his father alfred left the family not long after he was born. his grandfather alexander was of haitian background. spent time in santa doe mingo. his grandfather had some goings back to haiti, some mixture we just don't know. his grandmother no doubt some german mixture somewhere along the line. what is your makeup? i'm a little german, a little french, a little haitian, a little dutch, but thank god no
anglo-saxon. of course what would he mean by that? the anglo-saxons were the original people who traded in slaves. therefore we can see a bit of his early life, of the early life in the early years of du bois there. ats age of the, he purchased a copy of history of england and this becomes very important. this is a book that people -- salesmen would take door to door. as a young boy, he read these five or six volumes. it's like the encyclopaedia britannica and he went from page to page reading the history of the world and the history of the ancient world. and instead of him -- understanding great barington, there were no other blacks, maybe one or two families. and he was a precocious young man but very early he became attuned to the study of the books. he didn't want to let his mother down. he wanted to educate her son, only child. in a school with many whites he
excelled, probably more than others. in a place like that, you know how it is with children, people accept each other. races and culture don't really matter that much. it's how good you can play the game. how you can play jump rope. how you can bring your mother's cookies to school and all those type things. show never had any incidents. one day, he goes to school and kids are passing out cards. cards, you know, like greeting cards and they exchange them with each other. and this one girl wouldn't accept his card. then he saw the first incident. if you are african-american or perhaps spanish or some other minority who has come and can be considered oppressed, you most likely remember the first time you had an incident. i remember the first time i did. it was in the south. my brother and i are walking. someone was driving a pickup truck and he said i smell a -- he said a knee and you can know the rest of the words there.
i can remember it just as yesterday. you know when people make racial phrases they're always going away from you, never coming towards you. so he early recognized that. his times were recognized very early. and so he excelled in school. his mother told -- once he wanted german textbooks. he didn't have the money to buy them. he had worked in little stores in the morning and things like that. his best friend lucas had -- he was somewhat mentally challenged i guess would be the best word. he had some difficulty in learning, but they became best friends. and his friend's mother bought him a set of german books. the mother would never accept anything else du bois's mother but in this case she did for her son and he excelled early on in german. and won many debate prizes. people saw how talented this young man was, so they wanted to make sure he went to college and he applied to many, of course he was from great barington of
course want to go to harvard. that was his dream school. as they took up money the people who owned the stores and others raising the money for him to go his first year but not to harvard because they could accept him as a black man, a smart black man but not to their premier institution. he went to two years at frisk university in nashville, tennessee. he excelled. he had never been down south. in his early years there became just a very important to him. he left and went to -- as he went to fisk university, this is livingston hall, the main hall on the campus. even when i went there, many, many years later for a year or two, a young man walk up and they could never go into the dorm because he was all girls. and fisk became famous for its jubilee singers. school opened in 1866. he went there late. jubilee singers as we talked before, were the authors of the
modern version of the nigro spirituals. the choir traveled throughout the world and sang many, many songs. now, we'll come back to it in a moment, but at fisk, he learned something that he had not seen before. he went down south and he went to other parts of tennessee. fisk is in nashville, tennessee. there for the first time he saw poverty, the poverty of his people. he saw blacks who couldn't read or write. people who walked around barefoot. people who had spi toons and stuff in the house. he saw people who had to wash their clothes outside with the boiling pots. he saw the experience of people no one had ever gone to school. and as you read about a young girl named josi and others. at fisk, however, he excelled. and in his work he finished in a four-year course in two years. then he applied to harvard and
then he was accepted and encouraged a rigorous study there. at harvard, he studied with the great philosophers in america. one of the great historians in america. one of the first great ones that of the 19th century. he taught du bois the importance of learning facts in a variety way. william james of course the writer. he wrote his -- he won a prize in his senior year and he wrote of all people on jeffer sochb davis and wrote about jefferson davis in the south and the rise of slavery. from there, he applied to graduate school, but first he wanted to go to germany. and he wanted to go to germany for several reasons. first, because of the way under the school and others the way women learn empirical knowledge.
facts. anybody ever seen the film koe jack, the movie koe jack, the bald head guy and he says, just the facts, baby. du bois wanted to learn the facts. show he the facts and i can interpret it myself. kwauker said i don't need to word preacher, just show me the way and i'll find the bible myself. du bois was very much in that sense. he spent two years in germany. he wanted to get a doctorate in germany there at humburg university, but the german -- his german peers resented him because he was in many ways smarter than them. and protested and he did not get his doctorate there. at the same time when he was in germany, he has different feelings. he sees the racism of his fellow students, yet as he walks around in german, he sees something different. he doesn't experience that racism. it's what he became later on he talks about the duelness of things. at germany of course as you see there he studied economics. and he studied political
economy. political economy is the betterment of ideas based on the ideas of ricardo, perry and later on carl marx in the theory of political economy, use of economic structures to understand the modern world using the theories of hagel and theory of hagel that we speekt before. start looking at concepts of race and germanism and he saw race as a positive force in history. in other words, being black was not a negative for him. it was a positive. it was who he was. and he wanted to explore that. later on he came back to look. after he left germany, he went back to harvard and completed his dock teerl studies. and last years of his writing he takes a job at a university. he looked at many schools all over and applied. he continue get a job. then he taught classes. greek and latin.
he also taught science and biology and developed -- he was a young man in town. and of course he was wearing the top hat as germans were. he wore three piece suits all the time. he is there and invited to dinners almost every night. he is a young man. so as a young man, he's thinking maybe about marriage or his future. so he saw all these young ladies and everybody was inviting him to dinner and the families. he made two lists. and on one list it was the young women who could do what? speak french, what else? could cook. serve tea and set a table. and then on another list, it was those who had great intelligence. he had one woman who was on both. of course, this may sound a bit silly but it's true. on the list, this is the woman
who was on both. nina. and soon he married her. not long they had children. in the process of doing is this, he finished his doctoral thesis. it's a classic. what this study did more than any, it looked at everybody and developed a list and documentation about the way the slave trade worked in each and every state. the first time it had ever been done. and he did it based on his empirical knowledge of facts and going back through every colonial institution. south carolina and virginias and others. he wanted to make the connection between scholar inquiry and truth. there are many schools of social thought during that time. some called the nationalist school. that school only to preserve the integrity of america.
another school called the imperial school. it was to reflect the idea of british impeerism of the british society. later on the progressive school which was sought to include africans in the equation but not just the slaves but as men and women. so he wrote this book. it came out in the harvard it became a classic in his own day. these international slave trades end in 1808 but slavery continued in america to 1865 until the civil war. the first year he finishes this study and becomes doctor du bois. he applies for other jobs. wilbur force not too many places
to go. he liked opera, he likes concerts. he liked museums. and he applied for job. lo and behold he got a job in philadelphia. and in philadelphia he got a job working on a study of the city. and what he was to do was to study the plight of africans in the african-american in that city to look at the social economic conditions. it became first empirical social work of its kind. in fact, this ushered in the period of what we call urban sociology. and he went wars in d.c. -- three-year you heard of in new orleans where the flood was, it was what the lower ninth. he went into the eighth ward and spent hours and hours. now here is a man attune to all the great language and empirical learning and he goes door to door. there should be four people
doing it but they only hire him one. and then this is where he went map to map interviewing people and really set the stage for what we see now as the modern interviews. as you know, when people went to see the type of people who are going to vote, they do it. now they said they can do what, they can say working class whites are voting for donald trump. you answered that to me. i don't know why. african-americans in the south, they can look at the numbers and say many will go to mrs. clinton. they can go to vermont and see who is voting for who. du bois was the first to actually do this. ward by ward. and there came a book called the philadelphia negro. now, in the philadelphia negro he did something else. he paid great tribute to role of the kwaukers and played great role in the education of blacks
to this blacks min anthony who became the founder of anti-slavery movement. but the beauty of him is the du bois spoke, he found the first school for blacks continuous school for blacks in philadelphia and one of the first few in america. the african free school. and of course in the other book suppression of slave trade, he said on motion of one, probably anthony beneza, a resolution was put forth to call for the quakers to bring a end of slavery in america. he had great appreciation for that. the next year he got a job and moved to atlanta, georgia. empirical studies could mean statistics. could mean some forms of science. he taught greek and latin. his son burgard. of course after the -- anybody watch the andy griffin show?
nobody. what is the other guy's name? you can see how precocious the lad is and see the dress he has and looks like a young girl's dress, but that is the way of the victorian style. du bois is very much a victorian. the child gets sick. he takes him throughout atlanta. no white doctor will help him. it will be common up until late '60s in some places. he wrote one of the great works on the passing of the first born. and this in his book. we'll come to that later. while du bois is there studying this, he noticed other things,
other tragedies occurred. one is the tragedy of lynching. he's walking somewhere and he passes a place and he -- and there's a clan display and then he comes upon a jaw and looks very much like pickles in a jar which you've seen. instead of pickles, what are they? knuckles of a human being. i can remember being in the south in the late '60s and early '70s and i actually have seen men's body parts put in pickle jars outside of southern clans men's building there. it was a token, a token of the repression, a token of the fear that we've spoken about. and he sees that, he starts documenting. remember the year he was born, 1868, 291 blacks are lynched. the years he's in atlanta, in
early 1900s, you can see the numbers of lynched. of course we've talkin' about lynchings before. du bois, he gets a post to work to begin a study of the american negro as he said. he did it with the work of a.p. murray, a printer from a prestigious family. he starts putting together an exhibit of the achievements of african-american men dawn of 20th century. photographs and many pictures of scientific and technological process of africans. and as he's there at the paris expo sigs, he wears the clothes that he had worn in germany. top hat, three piece suit, vest, pocket watch, pocket square, very much the victorian. and as he's there, he used it to
contradict and chastise and criticism theories of washington which we spoken about. booker t. washington is spoken at the cotton state exhibit a couple years ago and with his famous saying, cast down your buck buckets where you are. as you put your hands to pick it up, your hands can operate in two ways. in all things economic, they can be as one, but all things social, they will be separate as the five fingers. and of course we know that there's no such thing as separate but equal. but booker t. washington put forth the theory that du bois was not challenging and we'll speak a bit about it. more on the paris exhibit. in 1908 he publishing work is perhaps what people call the negro bible. he becomes the voice when he writes, social black folks is written first in serial form in
a magazine and articles in atlantic monthly. as you look in the book, you can see that he does something unique. he has a verse -- a verse of a negro spiritual and then he'll have a poem on the other side, very much in tradition of du bois and his own work. very much like this. you see the poem on one side and this. his frame poem was -- favorite poem was one that dr. king always read. this is by james russell lowe, the great poet. and the most famous lines are, yet the scaffold suedes the future. send god within the shadow keeping watch above his own. of course king used that. truth on the scaffold, wrong forever on a thrown. what is a scaffold?
what is a scaffold off your head? if you're an artist you know what a scaffold is. >> framework. >> it's a framework, like a ladder. something you stand on. i told you, i used to work on ships for some years. go out in the middle of the ocean there would be a scaffold. if you've gone to the washington monument you see the scaffolds and men and women in this case go up on the scaffolds to help. if you want to paint, they don't do it now but in the old days if they were painting a building made of hard plaster, men would go on the scaffold and paint. if you watched anybody paint the sistine chapel. they go lay on their back. michael anglo laid on his back for a long time to paint. what is he saying? truth ever in the scaffold represents who? who does the scaffold represent? it represents the average human
being, the working men and women. the throne represents what? off your head what does the throne represent? the high and the mighty the kings, the ones who were words you must always follow. but, the truth will last forever. and a lie will stand alone. see, they're playing with words. so he used those as he thinks about the soul's of black folks. the duelne nedualness of people. with this, he wrote this book and it became many ways called the negro bible. it's written in three parts. i played in this class some of the negro spirituals for you. and you can see the names of some of those if you look on the side there. nobody knows the trouble i've seen. that was the poem. nobody knows the trouble i've seen. nobody knows -- anybody know the words? huh? my sorrow. but before that, nobody knows
but jesus. now, in the original way it was nobody knows like jesus. and there's a difference between like jesus and but jesus. in the civil rights people later on changed the words. if you said like jesus, then you mean somebody else knows the troubles. if you said nobody knows but jesus, it means --? only jesus knows. >> only jesus knows. if you say like jesus, mean other people can join you in the struggle. that you're not giving up. if you say but jesus, means you only look for salvation or freedom in heaven. so the words steal away to jesus, steal away home. means what? steal away to jesus means what? stealing away to heaven. steal away to home means steal away to freedom. and others. swing low sweet chair yacht, coming forth to carry me home. if you get there before i do,
tell all god's children i'm coming too. swing low sweet char -- if you get to heaven before i do, tell everybody how good heaven is, but if you get freedom, tell them what? i'm coming, too. i'm coming after you. so he used those those beautiful terms and he wrote about the meaning of the spirituals. he called them sorrow songs. but he called them sorrow songs because they tell of death, suffering and unforced longing toward a truer world. of mystery wanderings and hidden ways. now, du bois spoke of as sorrow songs. as i mentioned before in class, a little differently because douglas says that often the people who are pristine also seem to forget about, sing about them. i'm happiest when i sing, but also i can be sad when i sing. so you look at the different songs. as i told you about the blues. people would sing the blues. they sing the blues when they're happy, or sing the blues when they're sad? you don't always sing the blues when you're sad.
ray charles, i got a woman right across town, she's good to me, she's good to me. she gives me lovin' and money too, nothing for me she wouldn't do. is he sad? he's only sad one time and that's when his wife catches him with the lady over town. otherwise he doesn't have the blues. but it is the blues. and if i've often said sometimes you listen to country western music, which i do sometimes on sunday mornings because they have good music on nothing but the white man's blues. different forms. as we listen to that. now, in his book he takes on again souls of black folks booker t. washington. and booker t. washington, of course, is the leader of african-americans at the time. and du bois says this, easily the most striking thing in the history of the negro since 1867 is the assent of mr. booker t. washington. it began at time when ideas were
rapidly passing. a sense of doubt and hesitation overtook the freedom of sun. then leading man began and his career of booker t. washington with a single definite program at psychological moment when the nation was little shamed -- it having bestowed so much sentiment on the negro. it was concentrating its energies elsewhere. his program of industrial education conciliation to the south and submission in silence to political rights. and so he challenged the idea of booker t. washington, which was to accept things as they are, to go slow, to participate in industrial education. and the best way to establish a difference between booker t. and w.e.b. was this poem but a great poet dudley randall. it seems to me says booker t. study chemistry and greek. he needs a hand to hold a cotton on this hand. when ms. ann looks for a cook, why stick your nose inside a
book? i don't agree said w.b. as i should have the drive to seek knowledge of chemistry or greek, i'll do it. charles and miss can look for place for another hand cook. some mep rejoice. but there are things others who maintain the right to cultivate the brain. and so what is he saying there? it's the struggle between industrial education and advanced education, between mental education and the right to knowledge. and du bois and booker t. took on this with glee. now, it's very interesting by booker t. because even though he disagreed with du bois's programs and in one case in the early 1900s when du bois was looking for a job, he wanted to become assistant principal in the public schools in washington, d.c. of the negro schools and booker t. washington undermined the effort. but when he was at wilbur force some years ago and applied for a
job, come to find out, one of his classmates margaret who had been at fisk, was his second wife. booker t. washington offered him a job at tuskegee. this was before du bois so openly disagreed to his policies. a year or so later he founded something called the niagara movement. it was the forefront of the naacp. they met in du bois say niagra but niagra falls joined by other great leaders. ida b. wells would become the great writer against lynchings in the south. and they both wanted to start -- they all three wanted to start this to refute the idea of booker t. washington submissive fight. it was time for blacks to fight and du bois listed three things, the right to education, the right to vote and the right to full participation in the
american political system. and so all of these people came and met in niagra near the canadian border to found this organization called the niagra movement. and the -- you can see the dates. 1905 to 1909. in 1909 they had initial meeting at harper's ferry. harper's ferry represents what? harper's ferry is the place where john brown had his raid. and of course they're black and white because people they found naacp were wealthy white philanthropists and of course many black leaders and they found this at harper's ferry in 1909. the journal the magazine is the crisis, and there's du bois there. found the crisis at the same time they found naacp on 100th anniversary of lincoln's birth. it is interracial. it is about legal struggles,
grand versus u.s. case outlaws the grandfather clause. he's writing for that. it's fighting for that grandfather clause was notion if your grandfather didn't vote, you wouldn't be able to vote. so quickly fights for the rights of african-americans all over. the magazine is thus called "the crisis." and "the crisis" magazine starts with many different issues on many different topics. the next year he publishes his similar book "john brown." he often said that was his favorite book. he wrote it from head, no documents, no footnotes. he wrote it in tribute to john brown. as we've said the naacp is founded at harper's ferry. now, as you know he had great appreciation for john brown. do you remember what douglas said about brown? i have lived the life of a slave. he died in slavery. who was the better man? and for douglas it was john brown. he said it was probably his worst book but also his most
enjoyable book. and since then of course many books have been written about this man john brown. the next year he goes international. he found something called the pan african movement. the pan african movement is a movement to bring forth africans and people from african caribbean, blacks in america latin america and the united states together for an international conference to speak about the oppression of black people. and he wrote the same year to the nations of the world there was a plea signed by all these leaders. and here you can see there to develop policies to decolonize, the after kri african countries. to stop the lynchings. to stop the hate. stop robbing of haiti and ghana and many other places. by 1919 it is fed up so much they cannot call for a pan african congress called in
manchester, england. they had five of those. in 1940 to 1945. he'd want to have the first in america in the united states in new york, but woodrow wilson would not allow the other delegates a visa. they did not want these blacks to come in. remember by 1919 many africans had fought in world war i with the french forces. many blacks have gone and fought with european forces and they've come back to america. they went to france and got great dignity. in america they were treated the same as they were before. and this is the first international gathering of people of color period. during that same time, world war i has started. and du bois for the first time falters really. during world war i, he called for americans and soldiers to close ranks. what he said is now is not the time for political education. it's time to close ranks and fight against the german forces.
many black leaders criticized him. put down all of our desires and strugglings we've been pushing for an army and people who don't accept us at home? created a great debate amongst the soldiers there. and he had these ideas, as you see in the crisis, we make no ordinary sacrifice, but we make it gladly and willingly with our eyes lifted to the hills. here he is saying, this is the great founders of modern jazz there. this is the 369th regiment out of harlem. of course the 372nd kwam out of washington, d.c. as i told you the story of perhaps i didn't they go to france and they're playing this jazz, this version and all of a sudden, what is this? the frenk looking bewilders. when they see that, they applaud in glory and the french have never stopped liking jazz and
jazz musicians have never stopped liking france. and as du bois writes that in the criticism and then he changes his tune because politicians and people change and he writes later on as people come back from the war, we return fighting. we return to fight. we shall be victorious and he's calling again for african-americans to join together. and of course that's in the mist of the 1919 riot which is i spoke to you before where many soldiers who fought in the war come home including washington, d.c. and are lynched. as he does -- as he is moving the rise of another popular figure comes and that's marcus garvey. eloquent speaker. there's a base many times more he plays on the sentiments of black people as african people who've never deeply gotten their
rights. he walks around in military uniform. the women are dressed in white such as the eastern stars. and creates a great wonderful organization. but it's based on one notion, and that is of the back to africa movement assuming that he will be able to go there. where in africa? we don't know. you don't know where you're from. you don't know what country you're from. you know what region, as i mentioned perhaps before oprah winfrey for years thought she was zulu because she wanted to be like mandela. she takes a dna test and finds she's from west africa. but she finds that she is 100% black. there's been no white blood that is mixed in her family. oprah winfrey. so she's pure black and she's a billionaire. you couldn't be better than that in my opinion. and so garvey was of course deeply suspicious. he walks into the naacp office
one day and he looks -- as everybody said light, bright and almost white. and as du bois is criticizing him because he has narrow base or wants to go back to africa, garvey is chastising and criticizing du bois, too. another class we'll deal with their great differences over political philosophy and things like that. a couple years later du bois -- marcus garvey tries to restore the ship line going to take africans back to some parts in africa. it fails. the ship cannot get out of port. takes a lot of money -- i spent a couple years working on big ships, takes a lot of money going into a ship and to repair it. he bought a ship didn't get out of the water. during the period of time du bois is constantly disillusions with american society and feels more radical answers should be developed. he has contradiction within naacp. you remember that during the
skotsboro case where the nine african-american men are pulled off a train and accused of raping white women. the naacp takes no action, takes no action because naacp is leery of taking on a case number one they don't think they can win and number two find out they might be guilty. find out the young boys were absolutely not guilty. accused of something they were not involved in. he becomes disillusioned with the role of the naacp. and he moves steadily to the left. as i said to you, he studied in germany. so in germany, he started reading some of these works -- the bible, of course. critique poor reason, origin of species by -- darwin. thank you. carl marx. and hoe reads especially the preface to the condition on
political economy and there he writes about critique of the political economy and there he writes the just as human error cannot judge itself by that particular error, men cannot judge each other by what they do at that particular time. it is not man who determines consciousness. it's the consciousness that determines the man's reasoning. in essence it's not you determine external conditions but external conditions help form who you are. and conditions of life help form your conscious about things. one does not have to be a working man to understand the plight of working people or working people who work every day do understand the plight a little bit better. so he was trying to use philosophical understandings to look at the problems of the world. and he used that critique to write one of the great books of american history, the black reconstruction, and what he basically says in this book he treated the black slaves as workers who were exploited. book came out in 1935, reviewed
in almost every publication in the country, but pan by the naacp and also pan by the mainstream white press. couple years later the greatest colombian historian, a -- gave great praise to this original work. because he was channelling the dunning school and others and many early schools said reconstruction was a failure. it led to the rape of whites by blacks, it led to the tearing of the south. if you look at records there were very few examples of african-american men actually raping white women. but many, many other examples of the lynchings as i've given you in your chart. so du bois is going back to his scholarship. he has a robe.
he's back and forth at the naacp because of his differences. but then something happens 1937 this organization is found southern negro youth conference. esther jackson now 98, she's my god mother, this is the great paul robeson. here young people from the south, james jackson from richmond, esther jackson from arlington, louis burnham born in giana. his wife who just turned 100 and they moved down south. all these northerners moved down south to find this organization that's going to fight for democracy and two people there, two greatest americans living at the time in my opinion, paul robeson and of course w.e.b. du bois. becomes very active in the south. here again are some of the pictures of the founders. and many others. the southern negro youth conference is the predecessor to organizations like the student nonviolent coordinating
committee. based on principles revolutionary democracy. du bois continues to fight and continues to be active and plays a major role as a consultant to the founding of the united nations in san francisco. he's there because he wants to bring together the plight -- discuss the plight of the african nations as in the pan african congresses. as he goes there of course soon he comes in conflict with mrs. roosevelt. mrs. roosevelt of course the grandam of american political society. she would go and work with blacks in the south. she was chastised. she fought for the rights of blacks in washington, d.c. when anderson could not perform at the constitution hall, mrs. roosevelt is there. when she goes to meetings and blacks and whites in the front
and blacks in the front or blacks in the one side and whites on the other side, she sticks in the middle to show. and she also becomes a great leader. she fights for the institution of the antilynching bill. her husband would not sign the anti-lynching bill because he felt if he signed he would lose votes of the south and going to georgia every year in klan country where because of his condition of his legs he goes to the hot springs. but his wife does not. but they disagree on the pace of of du bois -- mrs. roosevelt and du bois disagree on the pace of that. soon after that in 1947 he presents u.n. with an appeal to the world. his main appeal to help the colored people of the world. the next year he becomes involved in a campaign i guess would be somewhat similar to bernie sanders campaign the '48 election. the man of course there is henry wallace. and of course the great paul robeson. wallace had been vice president under roosevelt but dumped in favor of harry truman who later becomes president.
they worked with something called the progressive party. and many of the progressive action entertainers as there many with mr. sanders, some of course with mrs. clinton, some of course with mr. trump, some of course who are with mr. bush, but here the progressive party and ideas. understand du bois when he was in germany at the turn of the last century he sees the movement of the german socialist -- not the national socialist but the german social democrats, the progressive group. during this period of time also is progressive party forms the cold war is developing. the americans and russians have been allies during the war but now they are bitter at hand. so progressive part of this does bring out ideas of corporate control and the rights of african-americans, the rights of african-americans to vote, the rights of women and many activists have become involved. du bois, paul robeson and of course the late pete seagal who just died about a year ago.
he also becomes again involved in issues around africa. and found something called consulate of african affairs. couple years ago you remember something called transafrica, it's a movement that led the struggle against apartheid. it was head by the guy who was provost and gave it up in order to work for these causes. he was a member of the communist party the fbi found out and did everything it could for him never to work again. robeson as far as i know was never member of the communist party but never denounced communism in the way. consulate of african affairs led by hutton wrote a wonderful book called decisions on africa and perhaps the first great africans of the 20th century. here you see his wife dorothy and paul robeson and dr. du bois
are there. as he becomes active, the cold war is having a tremendous effect, but it's having tremendous effect at the same time there's a movement to end the decolonization in vietnam, in jamaica, came bode ya and haiti and throughout the west. and he helps organize a peace conference and forms the paris conference to support the paris peace accords. and there he's with a victor who was the famous new york city councilman and informs the peace information center. as he's protesting, he very close to the white house he's castigated because he's accused of being a foreign agent. he's no foreign agent because he
has said russia's not our enemy. so they demand that he sign an oath that he's a foreign agent. he refused. and he's handcuffed when he's indicted at union square in new york. and he says, i am 83 and have been treated as nothing but a -- and you know the words from there. one day i'll play them for you, but he's still there, sharp as a tack still proud with his shoes. of course he's getting -- soon he also plays another role in founding this magazine, one of the greatest magazines of the 20th century again by esther jackson as i've shown you before. and part of it and others and shirley graham du bois, nina died some yooers ago, shirley graham du bois, a children's book writer. and this new magazine, and you can see with all the pictures and it features the rise of
ghana, john henry clark, paul robeson, james baldwin, of course as you know, and great artist, elizabeth the great print maker and artdist who is from washington, d.c. and graduated a couple years at dunbar high school beforester jackson. and her statue's there and one of the great leaders of american art. in publication launches the career of people like alice walker and many others. there's no place for progressives to write-in and harry belafonte and others. and this magazine becomes the key of freedom magazine in the country. but soon of course he is getting old he is disillusioned. there he is with my god mother esther and jack, my god father, he died some years ago. he's in their house. how do they know him? everywhere du bois went there was a circle.
this notion of the talented tenth. it was the idea that a tenth of the black population would lead the race to freedom. and he developed this notion at the beginning of the century. when he developed this notion, there were 9 million african-americans. 90% were in the south. of this 9 million, less than 20,000 had a college degree. there were about 700 lawyers, 250 doctors, about 17,000 black educators or about 17,000 preachers, but preachers aren't necessarily educated. du bois once said preacher most unique individual god ever produced. part savant, part hustler, part intellectual, part preacher. he's all things to all people. and the preacher is indeed african-american preacher is indeed a very unique and spell bounding in many cases progressive individual but he had these notions of the talented tenth to lead the race. and of course it did not
he becomes disillusioned so in 1961 he decides to join the communist party and writes a letter to his chair w.e.b. du bois. he also left early and went to ghana. went to ghana to complete -- there he is studied at lincoln university with hughes. so he founded the convention party in ghana and led the country to independence. and he invited dr. du bois there to work and help complete the -- he's married there and you see the suit he has. i have a couple of those. he's there married to his egyptian wife his 95th birthday they have in freedom hall there and he became -- and his goal was to complete this sigh cloe
pediaof africana. collect information of people ofry african. only a couple centuries ago it was completed at harvard. and then ghana he had many, many people come as he's completing his work and ghana gives him a citizenship, he renounces his own u.s. citizenship there. the next year in america as the march in washington is being formed, roy wilkins, a great man could not tolerate du bois's radicalism and in many ways asks him short of prematurely to take volunteer retirement and du bois of course was fed up with that. he is after all du bois. he is after all trained in europe. he does have these languages. he is not a mild man. he's not a man who lacks any confidence in himself. but roy wilins comes to the podium and announces the death of w.e.b. du bois and dr.
-- the leader of the naacp who played a great role on organizing the march on washington and announced his death. and dr. king, to end dr. king on du bois's birthday, february 23, 1968, on the 100th anniversary event held again biester jackson and others and new york's carnegie hall in honor of the freedom where he had a fundraiser, dr. du bois, not only an intellectual giant he was in the first place a teacher. he would have wanted his life to teach us something about our tasks, our emancipation. du bois confronted -- du bois recognized that the keynote in the arch of oppression. he was never handicapped. this was the life of w.e.b. du bois, perhaps our greatest intellectual. thank you. [ applause ] now, i don't know how much time we have.
we have a little time left. let's have a little discussion of dr. du bois for next 15 minutes. you all have a sheet i gave you of just some quotes. i find them quite fascinating. but if i were to ask you what shaped this man, why did he become what he was, what would you tell me just off your head? go ahead. >> i think because he was educated at such a young age he was able to have a level of learning that kind of was expressed throughout his entire life. and that he realized was the key to success in both his life and to the advancement of black people in america for like the future generations. >> thank you. because, you see, you're exactly right. it's not enough just to be black or to be oppressed if you're oppressed, if you're jewish and oppressed or if you're mongolian and oppressed, it's not enough
to feel oppression. you must find ways to fight the oppression. it's not enough to say that i have been -- but you must find ways. he saw knowledge as not just being the property of whites but knowledge to advance the race. and that's why of course he had differences with booker t. washington because he saw education as a way. sometimes if i -- for you not taking advantage of the great advantage you have, it's for a reason. you are here. somebody is paying all this money for you to have this great opportunity. no matter what it is to learn and to explore. and if i say just leave the campuses and go out to the city to learn more about it, it's for a reason. because each of us has a role in society one way or another. so that was that was du bois, education. anybody else? stephanie? [ inaudible question ] i'm sorry.
children will learn better from what you are than what you teach and he kind of practices what he preaches. well, i just lost it. children learn more from what you are than what you teach. and i think it's important to note that he really practices what he preaches. >> that's very interesting. i have two children. and i wasn't always, you know, a teacher. i was a working man most of the time. my wife and i was struggling to get the kids through school. and i got them into some of these -- one of these fancy schools up the street. and one of my friends said you can't send your kids there. they may learn but they won't understand about being black. so i laughed at him. i said, in my house, he would just know it's no problem because he would learn by me being. not that black is something all in itself, but he would learn from my dignity. he would learn from the -- he and she would learn from the books in the house. they would learn from the company who comes in.
they will learn from the affection that we give them. they will also learn from the demonstrations we go to and the marches. and they would learn by watching how hard their mother works as i'm trying to go to school. and sacrifices of a mother. they would learn all those things. it's not always what you say, it's who you are. so as you walk around the campus and walk with your head held high, that sets an example. something else on du bois that made him. what else made him? go ahead. >> i would add that what made him was not only studying what was happening but also actually going down, like for example when he was writing the philadelphia negro when he actually went down and saw the conditions people were living in because if i remember he was like in the backdrop -- and the idea people thought it was also possible to be separate but equal but very clearly when he went down there it was not. >> thank you very much. so he goes to philadelphia.
it is an aftermath somewhat after the percy. separate but equal. he goes to birthplace of american democracy and sees the conditions of african-americans. is swedish does something called the american dilemma. here du bois is doing this hard nitty-gritty work from neighborhood to neighborhood asking questions, surveying. in another class tonight we will look at a book about washington, d.c. and the struggles and it's a study a person just went in one neighborhood, but du bois went in this whole city. i'm doing a study for the city in washington, d.c. on trying to find about why so many african-americans have been forced out. but the problem is that the city government and the planners and people keep the statistics have no systematic way of keeping it. it's almost as if they didn't care. i suppose they do, but it's almost as if they didn't care and so many african-americans are being forced out and city changes so much. and people who decry are
justification yet in some ways happy with it because it creates a neighborhood where there are more young well off faces but what about the people who are forced out? so du bois was the first to study and look at that, day by day education, economic. you see people talk about poverty and often it's not understood. we have poverty in washington, d.c. you have a kid who's 13 -- let's say 6 or 7 and he's behind or she's behind because they didn't have the chance to go to preschool. why don't they have these opportunities? chances are maybe they're 6, maybe their mother's 20 and maybe the mother had a child very young and didn't have the opportunity or didn't take the opportunity. and i often go the days i'm not teaching i walk to the corner store where i live and i talk to mo. and mo is from guinea and we'll talk about african things just get a cup of coffee before i go home and start reading and writing. and young kids would come into the store 4, 5 and 6 and they come in to get candy and things like that when they should be in preschool, but they're not.
so if that person is 6, their mother is what? maybe 20, 22. and then the grandfather is maybe 42 and the great grandfather is maybe 62. it's not just a generation, it's the generations that preceded them that may not have had the opportunities. and of course as an african-american man 70% of african-american men never finish high school in d.c. on time, which means and if they have a record, good job they are not able to get them. so du bois is doing this study but we have not learned as much about this study because we are not engaged in the day-to-day work to try to understand. it's not enough to say what the social problems are. one must try to solve them. du bois also founded these organizations. so he's not just the intellectual. he's an organizer. what does that say about him? now, you know, dr. king was a great speaker. and they said oh the jokes -- he couldn't organize himself out of a paper bag. but see he didn't have to because all he had to do was
figure out the theory. he's with you, he's marching. why was he necessarily do the day-to-day work. and du bois he is organizing, he's not writing the leaflets. today to organize is quite simple, you, i don't know the stuff, hash tag or tweet, come out and people come out. but this is a different day. one has to do leaflets and have to buy the paper and they have to set the leaflets, they have to set the print and then have to go out and distribute them. so it's not as easy as it was before. one wants to find a movement around pan africa, one has to go to paris and other countries and meet these leaders. so he has this unique ability to organize but in a different way by intellect. and of course as you look at it his work i would be remiss without saying du bois is one of the early writers on the role of african-american women. has a great appreciation of the role of african-american women.
he wrote many books and he many others and he preaches. why? for the same reason i do. because he was raised by a single mother and he was raised and he saw how hard she worked to produce for him. so he always had that great -- so as he's making this list, it's part in jest he says it and then he of course has a daughter, du bois, her first name burkhart son and then he marries again shirley graham, he has great appreciation for that. and one more question. why do you suppose du bois saw the need to leave america? it's very complex. he's fought.
he's participated in the world war i, world war ii, he writes books, he goes down south to stop lynchings, but then at a certain point he feels necessarily to leave. no one should ever feel that way, but he felt in the sense to leave at the age of perhaps 91. what's happening during that time? what's happening in the early '60s? >> the civil rights movement. >> and concurred on the other side what is happening? >> opposition to the civil rights movement. >> but the great period of political repression. starts in the early '50s, starts right after world war ii has ended and lasts for a generation where people like du bois were arrested and paul robeson's passport is taken, where my god father was put in jail and did some run underground, which means he didn't see his wife for four, five years as he has to go and live in a farm somewhere in idaho because the fbi is chasing him because he's accused of being a communist and perhaps he was and everybody had to sign an
oath. so it was a great period of political repression. you have other things, the bay of pigs invasion in cuba. americans' contradiction with the russia ha had been allies. the space race. all those things. but thousands of blacks passports were taken, many denied jobs, one has to sign loyalty oath, if you saw the movie "trumbo," you saw what happened in hollywood, many great writers blacklisted lose jobs. great period of political repression. du bois feels that. in fact, enough credit is not given to martin luther king because it's a civil rights movement and it's fighting and bringing in people like bob dillen and harry bell monta and many leaders across the board that helps bring in, usher in the end of the cold war, but he has to leave because of that. and in the end, du bois goes to africa, but he goes there with the mission that he always
wanted and that was to write this book encyclopedia africana. so we'll end with that and have a nice break. think about what you're going to write your next papers on. and always when you write your next papers hope they're better than the first ones. and they will always be. thank you. i'll give you papers out today and then we can discuss them. okay. [ applause ] thank you. you're watching american history tv on c-span 3 every weekend, during congressional breaks and on holidays, too. follow us on twitter, like us on facebook and find our programs and schedule on our website, c-span.org slash