W. E. B. (DuBois) Du Bois
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William Edward Burghardt (DuBois) Du Bois (1868 - 1963)

William Edward Burghardt (W. E. B.) Du Bois formerly DuBois
Born in Great Barrington, Berkshire, Massachusetts, USAmap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 12 May 1896 in Cedar Rapids, Linn, Iowa, USAmap
Husband of — married 1951 [location unknown]
Descendants descendants
Died in Accra, Ghanamap
Profile last modified | Created 7 Oct 2009
This page has been accessed 10,223 times.
US Black Heritage Project
W. E. B. (DuBois) Du Bois is a part of US Black history.
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Notables Project
W. E. B. (DuBois) Du Bois is Notable.
US Black Heritage Project
W. E. B. (DuBois) Du Bois was awarded the Spingarn Medal for founding and calling the Pan-African Congress.
W. E. B. was a Freemason.

W. E. B. Du Bois was an American sociologist, historian, civil rights activist, Pan-Africanist, author, and editor. He was a founding member of the Niagara Movement and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. It was at his suggestion that the more inclusive "Colored" became part of the name.[1]

He was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, on 23 February 1868, a son of Alfred Dubois, a barber from Haiti and Mary Silivina Burghardt, of Massachusetts.[2] In about 1932, he sketched a genealogical pedigree for himself, his daughter, and his grand-daughter. He identified his father as Alfred Du Bois, whose father, Alexander Du Bois, had a white father, Dr. James Du Bois, and a mulatto mother. He showed James Du Bois as a descendant of the French Huguenot Louis Du Bois, but did not show a line of descent from him. He showed his mother, Mary Burghardt, as daughter of Othello Burghardt, granddaughter of Jack Burghardt, a Negro man, great-granddaughter of Tom Burghardt, a Negro man who served as a Revolutionary War soldier, and great-great granddaughter of a "Slave of Dutch." He showed Mary's mother as Sarah Lampman, a Dutch mulatto.[3]

W. E. B. Du Bois was 28 and teaching Latin at Wilberforce University in Ohio when he married Nina Gomer in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on 12 May 1896.[4][5]

Children of the marriage:
  1. Burghardt Gomer Du Bois (1897-1899)
  2. Nina Yolande Du Bois (1900)

In 1895, Booker T. Washington, scientist and universally respected head of the Tuskegee Institute, announced his "Atlanta Compromise" agreement of Black submission to white segregationist policies in exchange for access to basic education and justice. From 1897 through 1910, Du Bois was a professor of history and economics at Atlanta University,[1][6] (now Clarke Atlanta University). A brutally ghastly lynching of a Black man near Atlanta in 1899 spurred Du Bois to rethink his initial support of Washington's compromise and become more involved in activism. He started the Moon Illustrated Weekly, the first African-American illustrated weekly, and two years later, The Horizon: A Journal of the Color Line.[1]

In 1905, DuBois co-founded and led the Niagara Movement, a civil rights organization created in reaction to Booker T. Washington's overly-accommodating "Atlanta Compromise" and his supporters' domination of the National Afro-American Council, the first nationwide African-American civil rights organization.[7]

In 1910 Du Bois resigned his professorship and moved to New York to edit The Crisis, the monthly news magazine of the NAACP, which he did for over twenty years.[1][8][9] He continued that work but had moved to Manhattan by 1925,[10] where he and his family remained at least through 1930.[9]

Nina Du Bois died in 1950,[1] and in 1951, when he was 83 years old, W. E. B. Du Bois married Shirley Graham, with whom he had become acquainted in the 1930s. It was the second marriage for both.

He was working on his Encyclopedia Africana when he died at age 95 on 27 August 1963 in Accra, Ghana. His body and his second wife's ashes were re-interred at their former home after it became the Du Bois Memorial Centre for Pan African Culture, in Accra, Ghana.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Wikipedia contributors, "W. E. B. Du Bois," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=W._E._B._Du_Bois&oldid=1073069303 (accessed February 22, 2022).
  2. "Massachusetts Births, 1841-1915," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HY-DH4G-JP?cc=1536925&wc=M61J-23D%3A73572601 : 1 March 2016), 004341186 > image 752 of 1046; Massachusetts Archives, Boston.
    The birth record gives the child's name as William E. Dubois A., and names his parents as Alfred and Mary Dubois, natives (respectively) of "San Domingo, Hayti" and Egremont (Massachusetts).
  3. Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963. W. E. B. Du Bois family tree, ca. 1932. W. E. B. Du Bois Papers (MS 312). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries. http://credo.library.umass.edu/view/full/mums312-b158-i173
  4. "Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:S3HT-D1V9-3GP?cc=1805551&wc=M6TH-668%3A148934501 : 8 March 2016), 004321319 > image 1401 of 1575; county courthouses, Iowa.
    According to the marriage record, W. E. B. was 28 years old, born in Barrington, Massachusetts, a son of Alfred DuBois and Mary Burghardt. He was a resident of Wilberforce, Ohio, and a "Teacher Prof of Latin." Nina was a resident of Cedar Rapids and was born in Quincy, Illinois, a daughter of C. S. Gomer and Jeanette Pease, and she was to be 26 years old at her next birthday. It was the first marriage for both. Both bride and groom were described as "Color: Black" and "Race: African." Witnesses to the marriage were C. S. Gomer and Winnifred Gomer.
  5. "Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934", database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:XJDJ-2YF : accessed 27 April 2016), W. E. B. Dubois and Nina Gomer, 1896.
  6. "United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:33SQ-GRJZ-CVY?cc=1727033&wc=QZZQ-GPF%3A133641201%2C137083101%2C139347301%2C1589089381 : 24 June 2017), Georgia > Fulton > Atlanta Ward 1 > ED 48 > image 47 of 52; citing NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.).
    William was born in Massachusetts to a father born in Connecticut and a mother born in Massachusetts. He worked as a teacher in a university. Nina G. was born in Illinois to a father born in Michigan and a mother born in Germany. She and William were both in their first marriage and had been married 14 years; she had had two children, of whom only one was living. Daughter Nina Y. was born in Massachusetts to a father born in Massachusetts and a mother born in Illinois. All were recorded as mulatto.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Niagara Movement," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Niagara_Movement&oldid=1073015175 (accessed February 22, 2022).
  8. "United States Census, 1920," Enumeration sheet for Brooklyn Assembly District 17, Kings, New York; Roll: T625_1170; Page: 1B; Enumeration District: 1018. Accessed on Ancestry.com at https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/6061/4313893-00747
    1920 living in Brooklyn. All were recorded as mulatto. According to the census sheet, Wm Du Bois was born in Massachusetts to parents born in Massachusetts. William was a magazine editor; he owned their home. Nina Y. had attended school within the year.
  9. 9.0 9.1 United States Census, 1930. Enumeration sheet for Manhattan, New York, New York; Page: 30B; Enumeration District: 1226; FHL microfilm: 2341313. Accessed on Ancestry.com at https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/6224/4639127_00240?pid=41909056
    The 1930 U.S. Census recorded 62-year-old William Du Bois, a magazine editor, on West 150th Street, in Manhattan, New York, with wife Nina G. Du Bois, 55, and daughter Nina Y. Du Bois, who was 29, divorced, and a public school teacher. All were described as Negro. William was born in Massachusetts to parents born in Massachusetts. He had been 28 at his first marriage; his wife Nina was 20 at her first marriage.
  10. New York State Archives; Albany, New York; State Population Census Schedules, 1925; Election District: 15; Assembly District: 21; City: New York; County: New York; Page: 8. Accessed on Ancestry.com at https://www.ancestry.com/interactive/2704/32849_b094297-00214
    The New York State Census of 1925 recorded him as magazine editor Burghardt Du Bois, 56, living in Manhattan, with wife Nina Du Bois, 53, and daughter Nina Yolande Du Bois, 24, a college student.

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We are featuring this profile in the Connection Finder this week. Between now and Wednesday is a good time to take a look at the sources and biography to see if there are updates and improvements that need made, especially those that will bring it up to WikiTree Style Guide standards. We know it's short notice, so don't fret too much. Just do what you can.



posted by Abby (Brown) Glann

Rejected matches › William Dubois (abt.1882-)