It’s the birthday of W.E.B Du Bois (books by this author), born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts (1868). His town was virtually all white. But he didn’t really notice racial discrimination — he said that he was only aware of it when people visited from out of town. He was smart; he went to Fisk University in Nashville and then to Harvard, where he was the first African-American to get a Ph.D. He taught sociology at the University of Pennsylvania, and he carried out the first serious sociological study of African-Americans, which showed that poverty and crime in black communities were a result of racial barriers in education and employment. In 1909, he founded NAACP, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
from The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor