28 Great W.E.B. Dubois Quotes

28 Great W.E.B. Dubois Quotes

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William Edward Burghard Dubois, better known as W.E.B. Dubois, was a activist and sociologist from Massachusetts. He is most known as the first African American to earn a doctorate degree. He went on to become a history professor at Atlanta University. He died on August 27, 1963 at the age of 95.

“A little less complaint and whining, and a little more dogged work and manly striving, would do us more credit than a thousand civil rights bills.”

“All men cannot go to college but some men must; every isolated group or nation must have its yeast, must have for the talented few centers of training where men are not so mystified and
befuddled by the hard and necessary toil of earning a living, as to have no aims higher than their bellies, and no God greater than Gold.”

“And yet this very singleness of vision and thorough oneness with his age is a mark of the successful man. It is as though Nature needs must make men narrow in order to give them force.”

“Believe in life! Always human beings will progress to greater, broader, and fuller life.”

“But what of black women? . . . I most sincerely doubt if any other race of women could have brought its fineness up through so devilish a fire.”

“Education is that whole system of human training within and without the school house walls, which molds and develops men.”

“How shall Integrity face Oppression?”

“I am one who tells the truth and exposes evil and seeks with Beauty for Beauty to set the world right.”

“In my own country for nearly a century I have been nothing but a ni–er.”

“It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one’s self through the eyes of others, of measuring one’s soul by the tape of a world that looks on in
amused contempt and pity.”

“It is the trained, living human soul, cultivated and strengthened by long study and thought, that breathes the real breath of life into boys and girls and makes them human, whether they be
black or white, Greek, Russian or American.”

“Liberty trains for liberty.”

“Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year. It is today that we fit ourselves
for the greater usefulness of tomorrow. Today is the seed time, now are the hours of work, and tomorrow comes the harvest and the playtime.”

“One ever feels his twoness-an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being
torn asunder.”

“The cause of war is preparation for war.”

“The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.”

“The function of the university is not simply to teach bread-winning, or to furnish teachers for the public schools or to be a centre of polite society; it is, above all, to be the organ of
that fine adjustment between real life and the growing knowledge of life, an adjustment which forms the secret of civilization.”

“The Negro cannot stand the present reactionary tendencies and unreasoning drawing of the color line indefinitely without discouragement and retrogression. And the condition of the Negro is
ever the cause for further discrimination.”

“The power of the ballot we need in sheer defense, else what shall save us from a second slavery?”

“The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line — the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea. It
was a phase of this problem that caused the Civil War.”

“The shadow of a mighty Negro past flits through the tale of Ethiopia and of the Egypt the Sphinx. Throughout history, the powers of single blacks flash like falling stars, and die sometimes
before the world has rightly gauged their brightness.”

“The theory of democratic government is not that the will of the people is always right, but rather that normal human beings of average intelligence will, if given a chance, learn the right
and best course by bitter experience.”

“The worker must work for the glory of his handiwork, not simply for pay; the thinker must think for truth, not for fame.”

“The world is shrinking together; it is finding itself neighbor to itself in strange, almost magic degree.”

“There is but one coward on earth, and that is the coward that dare not know.”

“To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.”

“To stimulate wildly weak and untrained minds is to play with mighty fires.”

“Unfortunately there was one thing that the white South feared more than Negro dishonesty, ignorance, and incompetency, and that was Negro honesty, knowledge, and efficiency.”