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At the conclusion of this e-seminar, you will be able to:

  • explain the significance of W.E.B. Du Bois's contribution to the civil rights movement and intellectual climate of twentieth-century America;
  • identify major turning points in Du Bois's life that may help explain his increasingly radical worldview;
  • relate Du Bois's artistic, sociopolitical, and educational contributions to the transformation of modern American society;
  • describe Du Bois's actions and thoughts in relation to significant events in United States history.

Please read the entire contents of this page to learn about systems requirements and features of this seminar. You may want to print this page for your reference. You should also bookmark it because it will remain your entry point to the seminar for the time that the seminar is open to you.


This course is divided into three modules and contains a number of interactive elements to engage you as a participant in the course. Each module begins with a "Conversation Starter" which is a series of questions that provide a preview of the module's content. Forum questions will be provided to guide your exploration as you move through the rich resources we have provided. At the end of each "Conversation Starter" and throughout the module itself, Professor Marable asks open-ended questions to which students may respond using a discussion board (this will be explained in the seminar). You can then post your response to the Course Forum where you can interact with your peers and instructor.

There are no required outside reading assignments. At the end of the seminar, Professor Marable has listed additional Web resources and a reading list of books for those students interested in further study of W.E.B. Du Bois.

About Manning Marable:

Manning Marable is Professor of History and Political Science, and the Founding Director of the Institute for Research in African-American Studies at Columbia University. Dr. Marable was the founding director of Colgate University's Africana and Hispanic Studies Program, from 1983 to 1986. He was Chairman of the Department of Black Studies at Ohio State University, from 1987 to 1989, and was also Professor of Ethnic Studies, History and Political Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1989 to 1993. Dr. Marable is the author of thirteen books, including--among others--Dispatches from the Ebony Tower: Intellectuals Confront the African American Experience (2000); Black Leadership (1998). In January 1999, Dr. Marable initiated Souls: A Critical Journal of Black Politics, Culture and Society, a new quarterly journal examining key theoretical issues within black America, Africa and the Caribbean. Since 1976, Dr. Marable has written "Along the Color Line," a syndicated commentary series on African-American politics and public affairs. Dr. Marable was a co-founder of the Black Radical Congress, a progressive coalition of African-American activists. He is a national co-chairperson of the Committees of Correspondence, a democratic socialist organization. Dr. Marable also donates much of his time with civil rights, labor, religious and social justice groups.



Module I: The Cultural Imagination of Du Bois
  1. Conversation Starter
  2. Module Content:
    1. W.E.B. Du Bois
    2. Du Bois's Theory of Double-Consciousness
    3. African-Americans and the Creative Arts
    4. African-American Athletes and Racial Segregation
    5. Du Bois and African-American Education
    6. Du Bois and African-American Children and Families
    7. Du Bois as Author and Poet
  3. Features
    1. Souls of Black Folk
    2. Du Bois as Scholar
    3. Du Bois as Artist

Module II: The International Vision of Du Bois

  1. Conversation Starter
  2. Module Content:
    1. Du Bois's Internationalist Goals
    2. The Pan-Africanist Movement
    3. Du Bois and Marcus Garvey
    4. Socialism and the African-American Community
  3. Features
    1. Father of Pan-Africanism
    2. Socialist Perspective
    3. Asia and the Soviet Union
  Module III: Du Bois as Radical Democrat
  1. Conversation Starter
  2. Module Content:
    1. Architect of the American Social Protest Movement
    2. The Birth of the Niagara Movement
    3. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington
    4. The Origins of the NAACP
    5. Du Bois and Socialism and Communism
    6. Du Bois's Final Years
  3. Features
    1. The Niagara Movement
    2. NAACP
    3. Civil Rights and Social Reform




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