W.E.B. DuBois: A Biography in Four Voices (1996)

  |  Documentary, Biography


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27 July 2020 | Sasha_Lauren
| Documentary about the fascinating and important life of W.E. B DuBois
I watched this documentary to gain knowledge and understanding about the extraordinary life of Dr. William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B) Du Bois, the African American scholar on race and an avid activist who was born in 1868, three years after the end of the civil war, and died in 1963 in Ghana, the first independent African state.

Four prominent African America writers, Wesley Brown, Thulani Davis, Toni Cade Bambara and Amiri Baraka, (whose works I am ashamed to say I am unfamiliar with), describe the impact Du Bois had on their lives and writing. They detail how Du Bois experienced the imposition of Jim Crow and its defeat by the Civil Rights Movement. They speak about his role as founder of the N.A.A.C.P., organizer of the first Pan-African Congress, editor of Crisis, a leading journal of the black cultural renaissance and author of significant sociological studies, including The Souls of Black Folk.

I found the content of the film fascinating and the presentation dry. I fell asleep watching it, and went back the next day to pick up what I slept through. I recommend this film both for people who are followers of the work of Du Bois, and for people like me who have gaps in knowledge of this morally earnest man.

Throughout his writings, Du Bois supported women's rights, but he found it difficult to publicly endorse the women's right-to-vote movement because leaders of the suffragism movement refused to support his fight against racial injustice. In Germany, he was horrified by the Nazi treatment of the Jewish people, which he described as "an attack on civilization, comparable only to such horrors as the Spanish Inquisition and the African slave trade."

I now have more questions than answers as happens when I learn a little about a person or topic that is vast and vital.

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Documentary | Biography


Release Date:

11 September 1996



Country of Origin


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