Following are top WEB Du Bois quotes about history, civil rights, sociology, racism, and human rights. Du Bois was born on February 23, 1868. He was a prolific writer and famous civil rights activist. He believed in Pan-Africanism and Socialism. He was against capitalism and believed it to be the root cause of racism. W.E.B. Du Bois was the first African American to earn a doctorate. He was also one of the Co-founders of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

“Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“Believe in life! Always human beings will progress to greater, broader, and fuller life.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

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

“Either America will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“Herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor, — all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked, — who is good? not that men are ignorant, — what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“Why did God make me an outcast and a stranger in mine own house?”
WEB Du Bois quotes, The Souls of Black Folk

“One ever feels his two-ness – 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.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

web dubois quotes

“There is but one coward on earth, and that is the coward that dare not know.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, Dusk of Dawn

“The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“The world still wants to ask that a woman primarily be pretty and if she is not, the mob pouts and asks querulously, ‘What else are women for?”
W.E.B. Du Bois, A W.E.B. Du Bois Reader

“Ignorance is a cure for nothing.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“A resistless feeling of depression falls slowly upon us, despite the gaudy sunshine and the green cotton-fields. This, then, is the Cotton Kingdom–the shadow of a marvelous dream.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“Golden apples are beautiful–I remember the lawless days of boyhood, when orchards in crimson and gold tempted me over fence and field–and, too, the merchant who has dethroned the planter is no despicable parvenu.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

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“What do nations care about the cost of war, if by spending a few hundred millions in steel and gunpowder they can gain a thousand millions in diamonds and cocoa?”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“I believe that all men, black, brown, and white, are brothers.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“To the real question, How does it feel to be a problem? I answer seldom a word.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“Honest and earnest criticism from those whose interests are most nearly touched,- criticism of writers by readers, of government by those governed, of leaders by those led, – this is the soul of democracy and the safeguard of modern society.”
WEB Du Bois quotes, The Souls of Black Folk

“The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color line.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“Education must not simply teach work – it much teach life.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“Only that saner selfishness, which Education teaches men, can find the rights of all in the whirl of work.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

web dubois quotes

“For education among all kinds of men always has had, and always will have, an element of danger and revolution, of dissatisfaction and discontent.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“The South believed an educated Negro to be a dangerous Negro. And the South was not wholly wrong; for education among all kinds of men always has had, and always will have, an element of danger and revolution, of dissatisfaction and discontent. Nevertheless, men strive to know.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“But art is not simply works of art; it is the spirit that knows Beauty, that has music in its being and the color of sunsets in its handkerchief; that can dance on a flaming world and make the world dance, too.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

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

web dubois quotes

“Eastward and westward storms are breaking,–great, ugly whirlwinds of hatred and blood and cruelty. I will not believe them inevitable.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Wisdom of W.E.B. Du Bois

“But we do not merely protest; we make renewed demand for freedom in that vast kingdom of the human spirit where freedom has ever had the right to dwell:the expressing of thought to unstuffed ears; the dreaming of dreams by untwisted souls.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“And yet not a dream, but a mighty reality- a glimpse of the higher life, the broader possibilities of humanity, which is granted to the man who, amid the rush and roar of living, pauses four short years to learn what living means.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“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, and adjustment which forms the secret of civilization.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“No approximately correct history of civilization can ever be written which does not throw out in bold relief, as one of the great landmarks of political and social progress, the organization and administration of the Freedmen’s Bureau.”
WEB Du Bois Quotes, The Souls of Black Folk
web dubois quotes

“In all things purely social we can be as separate as the five fingers, and yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“America is not another word for Opportunity to all her sons.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“The return from your work must be the satisfaction which that work brings you and the world’s need of that work. With this, life is heaven, or as near heaven as you can get. Without this — with work which you despise, which bores you, and which the world does not need — this life is hell.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

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“He began to have a dim feeling that, to attain his place in the world, he must be himself, and not another.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“The true college will ever have but one goal – not to earn meat, but to know the end and aim of that life which meat nourishes.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“The price of culture is a Lie.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“When you have mastered numbers, you will in fact no longer be reading numbers, any more than you read words when reading books. You will be reading meanings.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“We have no right to sit silently by while the inevitable seeds are sown for a harvest of disaster to our children, black and white.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

web dubois famous quotes

“We have come to a generation which seeks advance without ideals – discovery without stars.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“And herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor,—all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked,—who is good? not that men are ignorant,—what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“The hushing of the criticism of honest opponents is a dangerous thing. It leads some of the best of the critics to unfortunate silence and paralysis of effort, and others to burst into speech so passionately and intemperately as to lose listeners.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“I add that I who speak here am bone of the bone and flesh of the flesh of them that live within the veil.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

web dubois famous quotes

“The opposition to Negro education in the South was at first bitter, and showed itself in ashes, insult, and blood; for the South believed an educated Negro to be a dangerous Negro.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“Then it dawned upon me with a certain suddenness that I was different from the others; or like, mayhap, in heart and life and longing, but shut out from their world by a vast veil.”
WEB Du Bois Quotes, The Souls of Black Folk

“But the chief problem in any community cursed with crime is not Punishment of the criminals, but the preventing of the young from being trained to crime.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk: By W. E. B. Du Bois – Illustrated

“High in the tower, where I sit above the loud complaining of the human sea, I know many souls that toss and whirl and pass, but none there are that intrigue me more than the Souls of White Folk.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“All life long crying without avail, As the water all night long is crying to me.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

web dubois famous quotes

“Be honest, frank and fearless and get some grasp of the real values of life… Read some good, heavy, serious books just for discipline: Take yourself in hand and master yourself.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“Only in the chamber of death writhed the world’s most piteous thing—a childless mother.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“He simply wishes to make it possible for a man to be both a Negro and an American, without being cursed and spit upon by his fellows, without having the doors of Opportunity closed roughly in his face.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“And the final product of our training must be neither a psychologist nor a brick mason, but a man. And to make men, we must have ideals, broad, pure, and inspiring ends of living, not sordid money-getting… The worker must work for the glory of his handiwork, not simply for pay; the thinker must think for truth, not fame.”
WEB Du Bois Quotes, The Souls of Black Folk

“South of the North, yet north of the South, lies the City of a Hundred Hills, peering out from the shadows of the past into the promise of the future.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

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“Its police system was arranged to deal with blacks alone, and tacitly assumed that every white man was ipso facto a member of that police.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“Not even ten additional years of slavery could have done so much to throttle the thrift of the freedmen as the mismanagement and bankruptcy of the series of savings banks chartered by the Nation for their especial aid.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“At best, the natural good-nature is edged with complaint or has changed into sullenness and gloom. And now and then it blazes forth in veiled but hot anger.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“It was not, then, race and culture calling out of the South in 1876; it was property and privilege, shrieking to its own kind, and privilege and property heard and recognized the voice of its own.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, Black Reconstruction in America 1860-1880

“He would not Africanize America, for America has too much to teach the world and Africa. He would not bleach his Negro soul in a flood of white Americanism, for he knows that Negro blood has a message for the world.”
WEB Du Bois Quotes, The Souls of Black Folk

web dubois famous quotes

“Until I had wandered beyond railways, beyond stage lines, to a land of “varmints” and rattlesnakes, where the coming of a stranger was an event, and men lived and died in the shadow of one blue hill.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“I have called my tiny community a world, and so its isolation made it; and yet there was among us but a half-awakened common consciousness.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“In its place stood Progress; and Progress, I understand, is necessarily ugly.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“War, murder, slavery, extermination, and debauchery,—this has again and again been the result of carrying civilization and the blessed gospel to the isles of the sea and the heathen without the law. ”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

web dubois famous quotes

“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.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“The shades of the prison house closed round about us all: walls strait and stubborn to the whitest, but relentlessly narrow, tall, and unscalable to sons of night who must plod darkly on in resignation, or beat unavailing palms against the stone, or steadily, half hopelessly, watch the streak of blue above.”
WEB Du Bois Quotes, The Souls of Black Folk

“That the present social separation and acute race-sensitiveness must eventually yield to the influences of culture, as the South grows civilized, is clear.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“But the very voices that cry hail to this good work are, strange to relate, largely silent or antagonistic to the higher education of the Negro.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“The South ought to be led, by candid and honest criticism, to assert her better self and do her full duty to the race she has cruelly wronged and is still wronging.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

web dubois famous quotes

“And the Nation echoed and enforced this self-criticism, saying: Be content to be servants, and nothing more; what need of higher culture for half-men? Away with the black man’s ballot, by force or fraud,—and behold the suicide of a race!”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“Not simply for pay; the thinker must think for truth, not for fame.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“A university is a human invention for the transmission of knowledge and culture from generation to generation, through the training of quick minds and pure hearts, and for this work no other human invention will suffice, not even trade and industrial schools.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Talented Tenth

“The most important thing to remember is this: to be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“The shadowy, formless thing—the temptation of Hate, that hovered between him and the world—grew fainter and less sinister. It did not wholly fade away, but diffused itself and lingered thick at the edges.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk
web dubois famous quotes

“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.”
W.E.B. Du Bois

“The Music of Negro religion is that plaintive rhythmic melody, with its touching minor cadences, which, despite caricature and defilement, still remains the most original and beautiful expression of human life and longing yet born on American soil.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“The stream of fugitives swelled to a flood, and anxious army officers kept inquiring: “What must be done with slaves, arriving almost daily? Are we to find food and shelter for women and children?”
WEB Du Bois Quotes, The Souls of Black Folk

“And herein lies the tragedy of the age: not that men are poor,—all men know something of poverty; not that men are wicked,—who is good? not that men are ignorant,—what is Truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“How many heartfuls of sorrow shall balance a bushel of wheat? How hard a thing is life to the lowly, and yet how human and real! And all this life and love and strife and failure,—is it the twilight of nightfall or the flush of some faint-dawning day?”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The W. E. B. Du Bois Collection

web dubois famous quotes

“Then it dawned upon me with a certain suddenness that I was different from the others; or like, mayhap, in heart and life and longing, but shut out from their world by a vast veil. I had thereafter no desire to tear down that veil, to creep through; I held all beyond it in common contempt.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“The power of the ballot we need in sheer self-defence, —else what shall save us from a second slavery? Freedom, too, the long-sought, we still seek, —the freedom of life and limb, the freedom to work and think, the freedom to love and aspire.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“And yet this does not touch the kernel of the problem. Human advancement is not a mere question of alms giving, but rather of sympathy and cooperation among classes who would scorn charity.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“Thus one can see in the Negro church to-day, reproduced in microcosm, all the great world from which the Negro is cut off by color-prejudice and social condition.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“How does it feel to be a problem? I answer seldom a word.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

“Awakening will come, when the pent-up vigor of ten million souls shall sweep irresistibly toward the Goal, out of the Valley of the Shadow of Death, where all that makes life worth living—Liberty, Justice, and Right—is marked “For White People Only.”
WEB Du Bois Quotes, The Souls of Black Folk

“The white economic and political elite often failed to recognize blacks as American, just as blacks often failed to recognize their potential for advancement outside of the limited opportunities afforded them by whites.”
W.E.B. Du Bois, The Souls of Black Folk

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