I never realized how important W. E. B. Du Boise was to the African American community until I read one of Maya Angelou’s autobiographies. I knew, from my college Black history classes, that he was an activist, an intellectual and a scientist. I knew some particulars about his accomplishments, but I had no idea what he meant to people.
For Blacks who grew up in the 30’s and 40’s, Maya said that Du Bois was their greatest hero. Maya wrote that her and her friends almost worshipped him and didn’t accept his mortality. Even when Du Boise was in his 90’s, they rejected his right to die. She brought home to me the importance and influence of Du Boise. The Souls of Black Folks is always listed as an African American classic. I am excited to learn more about Du Bois and his ideas.