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This Day in Georgia History

February 23, 1868

W.E.B. Du Bois Born

Sociologist, author, and pioneering civil rights activist William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was born in Great Barrington, Mass. He received his doctorate from Harvard University in 1895. For almost 25 years, Du Bois taught and wrote as a faculty member at Atlanta University, later recalling that it was this period where he developed many of his thoughts and beliefs on black equality. He is probably best remembered for helping organize the Niagara Movement in 1905 and for co-founding the NAACP four years later. Later in life, Du Bois became bitter about the progress of civil rights in America. In 1961, he openly embraced communism and moved to Ghana, where he renounced his U.S. citizenship. Du Bois died in Accra, Ghana on Aug. 27, 1963 at age 95.