The Wisdom of W.E.B. Du Bois

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The Wisdom of W.E.B. Du Bois (ISBN 080652510X and ISBN 1453202412) was first published by Citadel Press in 2003 to commemorate the centennial of the publication of The Souls of Black Folk by the renowned historian and educator W.E.B. Du Bois. It is composed of selected quotations from Du Bois's voluminous writings as well as original essays by the editor.


From The Wisdom of W.E.B. Du Bois[edit]

  • The time must come when, great and pressing as change and betterment may be, they do not involve killing and hurting people.
    • Du Bois (p. 74)
  • Human nature is not simple and any classification that roughly divides men into good and bad, superior and inferior, slave and free, is and must be ludicrously untrue and universally dangerous as a permanent exhaustive classification.
    • Du Bois (p. 10)
  • The world is shrinking together; it is finding itself neighbor to itself in strange, almost magic degree.
    • Du Bois (p. 11)
  • The Negro slave trade was the first step in modern world commerce, followed by the modern theory of colonial expansion. Slaves as an article of commerce were shipped as long as the traffic paid.
    • Du Bois (p. 104)
  • The cause of war is preparation for war.
    • Du Bois (p. 75)
  • I am one who tells the truth and exposes evil and seeks with Beauty for Beauty to set the world right.
    • Du Bois (p. xi)
  • I believe in God who made of one blood all races that dwell on earth. I believe that all men, black and brown and white, are brothers, varying through Time and Opportunity, in form and gift and feature, but differing in no essential particular, and alike in soul and in the possibility of infinite development.
    • Du Bois (p. 132)


Quotes about Du Bois[edit]

  • He [Du Bois] was at once a scientist in his skillful use of history as a tool for comprehending the present, and a prophet in the application of his gift for analyzing the present as an indicator of the future. Because he lived simultaneously firmly entrenched within his time and decades ahead of it, the light of his wisdom, like that of his great love for humanity, is one that never diminishes.
  • Completing the story of slavery meant acknowledging the many black abolitionists who advocated for the freedom of slaves. It further meant recognition of the thousands of African Americans who fought to free themselves during the Civil War as opposed to waiting for emancipation.
    • Aberjhani (p. 96)
  • Very possibly it washis hope that one day someone might have reason to say of him what he imagined at the end of his essay on Crummell that Christ must have said upon greeting the priest's weary spirit: "Well done!"
    • Aberjhani (p. 130)


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