W. E. B. Du Bois: “Marxism and the Negro Problem”

(1933)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

The 1920s was a decade of change for Du Bois. Following World War I, he became involved in a series of Pan-African Congresses that focused attention on the ties among the peoples of the African diaspora and on the struggle for the liberation of colonial peoples. In 1926 he made his first trip to the Soviet Union; he returned enamored of the Bolshevik Revolution and from then on grew more and more committed to Socialism. Also by the mid-1920s Du Bois was losing his clout within the NAACP, in part because of his political shift to the left but also because of a personal clash with the executive director, Walter White. Reflecting these changes, in the early 1930s Du Bois began to explore broader political themes, especially in his writings. Through 1933 and early 1934 he published a series of essays redefining his political views, addressing such topics as Pan-Africanism and segregation; in May 1933, he took a critical look at the...

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W. E. B. Du Bois (Library of Congress)

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