UMass Amherst
Du Bois: Activist Life
I had again at Berlin as at Harvard, unusual opportunity...I began to see the race problem in America, the problem of the peoples of Asia and Africa, and the political development of Europe as one.
-- W.E.B. Du Bois
Du Bois continued his studies at Harvard and at the University of Berlin, earning his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1896. At Harvard, Du Bois studied with the best minds of his generation. William James and Albert Bushnell Hart were among his mentors. His doctoral dissertation on the "Suppression of the African Slave Trade" was published as the first volume in the Harvard Historical Series. With a grant from the Slater Fund, Du Bois studied at the University of Berlin, where he became a convert to the new science of sociology which held out the promise that social problems could be solved by the application of scientific principles.
Harvard commencement portrait Du Bois (at right) was one of six speakers at his Harvard commencement. While at Harvard, Du Bois wrote, "I was quite voluntarily and willingly outside its social life... I asked no fellowship of my fellow students. I found friends-- and most interesting and inspiring friends-- among the colored folk of Boston and surrounding places."

Admission card, University of Berlin Admission card, signed by economist Gustav Schmoller, admitting Du Bois to his seminar at the University of Berlin

C.W. Eliot to R. B. Hayes Letter from Harvard's President, Charles W. Eliot, to former President of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes, recommending Du Bois for a scholarship to study at the University of Berlin.

Du Bois birthday activitiesDu Bois birthday activities Even as a young man, Du Bois was meticulous in his habits. While in Berlin, he observed his 25th birthday with a carefully drawn schedule of activities.

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