One of the founders of the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People ( NAACP) in 1909,
Du Bois served as that organization's director of publications and editor
of Crisis magazine until 1934. In 1944, he returned from Atlanta University
to become head of the NAACP's special research department, a post he held
Dr. Du Bois traveled to Africa in 1961 and became editor-in-chief of the Encyclopedia Africana, an enormous publishing venture which had been planned by Kwame Nkrumah who was later deposed as president of Ghana.
Du Bois's books include The Suppression of the Slave Trade (1896), The Philadelphia Negro (1899), The Souls of Black Folk (1903), John Brown (1909), Quest of the Silver Fleece (1911), The Negro (1915), Darkwater (1920), The Gift of Black Folk (1924), Dark Princess (1928), Black Folk: Then and Now (1939), Dusk of Dawn (1940), Color and Democracy (1945), The World and Africa (1947), In Battle for Peace (1952), and a trilogy, Black Flame (1957-1961).
Du Bois was one of the first male civil
rights leaders to recognize the problems of gender discrimination. He was
among the first men to understand the unique problems of black women and
to value their contributions. He supported the women's suffrage movement
and strove to integrate this mostly white struggle. He encouraged many
black female writers, artists, poets, and novelists, featuring their works
in Crisis and sometimes providing personal financial assistance to them.
Several of his novels feature women as prominently as men, an unusual approach
for any author of his day. Du Bois spent his life working not just for
the equality of all men, but for the equality of all people.