W.E.B. Du Bois Quotes

Enjoy the top 252 famous quotes, sayings and quotations by W.E.B. Du Bois.

W.E.B. Du Bois Quotes

From the day of its birth, the anomaly of slavery plagued a nation which asserted the equality of all men, and sought to derive powers of government from the consent of the governed. Within sound of the voices of those who said this lived more than half a million black slaves, forming nearly one-fifth of the population of a new nation.
— W.E.B. Du Bois —

Joseph Stalin was a great man; few other men of the 20th century approach his stature. He was simple, calm and courageous. He seldom lost his poise; pondered his problems slowly, made his decisions clearly and firmly; never yielded to ostentation nor coyly refrained from holding his rightful place with dignity. He was the son of a serf but stood calmly before the great without hesitation or nerves. But also - and this was the highest proof of his greatness - he knew the common man, felt his problems, followed his fate.
Stalin was not a man of conventional learning; he was much more than that: he was a man who thought deeply, read understandingly and listened to wisdom, no matter whence it came. He was attacked and slandered as few men of power have been; yet he seldom lost his courtesy and balance; nor did he let attack drive him from his convictions nor induce him to surrender positions which he knew were correct.

— W.E.B. Du Bois

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

It is not enough for the Negroes to declare that color-prejudice is the sole cause of their social condition, nor for the white South to reply that their social condition is the main cause of prejudice. They both act as reciprocal cause and effect, and a change in neither alone will bring the desired effect. Both must change, or neither can improve to any great extent."(p.88) ... "Only by a union of intelligence and sympathy across the color-line in this critical period of the Republic shall justice and right triumph,

— W.E.B. Du Bois

One reads the truer deeper facts of Reconstruction with a great despair. It is at once so simple and human, and yet so futile. There is no villain, no idiot, no saint. There are just men; men who crave ease and power, men who know want and hunger, men who have crawled. They all dream and strive with ecstasy of fear and strain of effort, balked of hope and hate. Yet the rich world is wide enough for all, wants all, needs all. So slight a gesture, a word, might set the strife in order, not with full content, but with growing dawn of fulfillment. Instead roars the crash of hell ...

— W.E.B. Du Bois

Hear my cry, O God the Reader; vouchsafe that this my book fall not still-born into the world wilderness. Let there spring, Gentle One, from out its leaves vigor of thought and thoughtful deed to reap the harvest wonderful. Let the ears of a guilty people tingle with truth, and seventy millions sigh for the righteousness which exalteth nations, in this drear day when human brotherhood is mockery and a snare. Thus in Thy good time may infinite reason turn the tangle straight, and these crooked marks on a fragile leaf be not indeed

— W.E.B. Du Bois

Among this people there is no leisure class. We often forget that in the United States over half the youth and adults are not in the world earning incomes, but are making homes, learning of the world, or resting after the heat of the strife. But here ninety-six per cent are toiling; no one with leisure to turn the bare and cheerless cabin into a home, no old folks to sit beside the fire and hand down traditions of the past; little of careless happy childhood and dreaming youth.

— W.E.B. Du Bois

Comrade, you and I can never be satisfied with sitting down before a great human problem and saying nothing can be done. We must do something. That is the reason we are here on Earth.

— W.E.B. Du Bois

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

Capitalism cannot reform itself; it is doomed to self-destruction.

— W.E.B. Du Bois

For most people, it is enough for the world to know that they aspire. The world does not ask what their aspirations are, trusting that those aspirations are for the best and greatest things. But with regard to the Negroes in America, there is a feeling that their aspirations in some way are not consistent with the great ideals.

— W.E.B. Du Bois

I believe in Liberty for all men: the space to stretch their arms and their souls, the right to breathe and the right to vote, the freedom to choose their friends, enjoy the sunshine, and ride on the railroads, uncursed by color; thinking, dreaming, working as they will in a kingdom of beauty and love.

— W.E.B. Du Bois

Progress in human affairs is more often a pull than a push, surging forward of the exceptional man, and the lifting of his duller brethren slowly and painfully to his vantage ground.

— W.E.B. Du Bois

The emancipation of man is the emancipation of labor and the emancipation
of labor is the freeing of that basic majority of workers who are yellow, brown and
black.

— W.E.B. Du Bois

The cause of war is preparation for war.

— W.E.B. Du Bois

The severest charge that can be brought against the Christian education of the Negro in the South during the last thirty years is the reckless way in which sap-headed young fellows, without ability, and, in some cases, without character, have been urged and pushed into the ministry.

— W.E.B. Du Bois

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