Dubois and Trotter: My civil rights heroes


(NNPA)—In the interest of full disclosure, I have been a W.E.B. DuBois fanatic since my teenage years in Tuscaloosa, Ala. I have a healthy collection of books by and about DuBois, including David Levering Lewis’ two-volume biography of DuBois (W.E.B. Du Bois: The Fight for Equality and the American Century 1919-1963 and W. E. B. DuBois: Biography of a Race, 1868-1919), each a winner of the Pulitzer Prize.
I first became enamored of DuBois at Druid High School when I learned he was the polar opposite of Booker T. Washington. In his Atlanta Compromise speech in 1895, Booker T. said in defense of racial segregation, “In all things that are purely social we can be as separate as the fingers, yet one as the hand in all things essential to mutual progress.”
DuBois, on the other hand, was unwilling to settle for anything less than full economic, social and political equality for African Americans.
When I learned that DuBois and I shared the same birthday—Feb. 23—I was ecstatic. I was born at 11:30 at night and told Mama if she had waited another 31 minutes, I don’t know if I would have ever forgiven her, not that the timing of my entry into this world was under her control.
Enough disclosure.


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