April 23, 1904

W.E.B. DuBois Returns to Harvard


On this day in 1904, W.E.B. DuBois gave a lecture on "the race question" at Harvard, where nine years before he had been the first black person to receive a Ph.D. From his childhood in Great Barrington, where he was relatively sheltered from racism, to his old age in Africa, where he moved to escape it, DuBois devoted his energies and talents to helping his fellow African Americans gain political and economic power. Founder of the NAACP, he later became more militant than most of its members. His involvement in the Pan-African Movement led him to support African independence. He moved to Ghana in his 90s and died there on August 27, 1963, the very eve of the historic civil rights march on Washington.

Related Moments

Mass Moments is a project of Mass Humanities, whose mission is to support programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life throughout the Commonwealth.

Please consider helping us towards our goals with a donation today.

Interested in sponsoring Mass Moments?

Please calculate 2 plus 1.