WEB Dubois Exhibits Higher Calling
Alternating between personal and scientific writing, DuBois successfully appeals to the white majority on the basis of facts, evidence and sound logic even while he presents emotional outbursts at the failure of this same community to recognize the many benefits his heritage has to offer. Several of his writings strive to bring attention to the fact that the causes of certain attitudes regarding black people are directly traced to the actions of white people attempting to suppress the black community. As time progressed with little or no change in the status quo, DuBois drifted more and more toward the political left in his political life and his writings, finally crossing over to communist ideology in his later years. As he became more and more disillusioned with the American system and more impressed with the actions of countries such as Russia in trying to overcome social injustice, DuBois became more emotional in his texts and articles. This drift, as well as the differences in writing styles, can be seen by comparing some of his works such as The Negro published in 1915 with Gift of Black Folk published in 1924 and looking at some of the critical commentaries regarding Dubois’ work.DuBois was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts on February 23, 1868, as a happy and outgoing child, but the attitudes of the townspeople in his predominantly white neighbourhood quickly soured him and he became withdrawn and sullen.1 His attitude was reinforced throughout his life as the result of real discrimination against his race. By the time he reached high school, he was interested in trying to help black people in America achieve something better and became a writer for the New York Globe at the age of 15. He used his earnings from distributing the paper to purchase a set of volumes written by Thomas Babington McCauley, one of his earliest influences whose phrases, spliced by commas, would swell in his inner ear decades after GBHS.