“Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year. It is today that we fit ourselves for the greater usefulness of tomorrow. Today is the seed time, now are the hours of work, and tomorrow comes the harvest and the playtime.” _ W.E.B. DuBois
Civil Rights activist, protest leader and contributor to the creation of the N.A.A.C.P., William Edward Burghardt DuBois left a legacy that helped change the face of racial issues in America. His friends and colleagues saw him as a devoted, spirited, and erudite defender of freedom and individual rights. DuBois graduated from Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee and later received a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1895.
As opposed to his contemporary, Booker T. Washington who preached hard work as the avenue to a better life, DuBois preached that change would only come with protest, and with actively getting involved in making sure that voices were heard and systems were changed. Change comes hard and he knew enough to recognize that it usually needs an advocate, someone to champion the cause for a better life. He was willing and prepared to be that guy, a servant of his fellow man, bent on exploring the truth of their lives and finding ways to make things different.
DuBois became a writer, editor and passionate speaker. He had a brilliant mind and a gift for delivering his message. He made a difference and his efforts stand out as a source of pride for all of us today.
In his own words, he said, “I have loved my work, I have loved people and my play, but always I have been uplifted by the thought that what I have done well will live long and justify my life, that what I have done ill or never finished can now be handed on to others for endless days to be finished, perhaps better than I could have done.”
Happy Birthday, Dr. DuBois! Thank you for your part in creating a better America!