David Du Bois
National Visionary

March 9, 1925 - January 28, 2005
Born in Seattle, Washington

Professor and journalist

David Du Bois, stepson of famous civil rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois, led a distinguished career as a journalist, editor, writer, and social activist. By accurately reporting on events in this country and Africa, both as a journalist and a professor, Du Bois continually sought to educate all Americans about the insidious effects of racism..

DuBois as a young man
He was born in Seattle, Washington on March 9, 1925. Raised by his maternal grandparents in African Methodist Episcopal church parsonages in Indiana, he served as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II. He graduated from Hunter College in New York City with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and earned an M.A. in Western Hemisphere History from New York University.
Following a year’s study of Chinese at Peking University, People’s Republic of China, De Bois took up residence in Cairo, Egypt in 1960. He lectured at Cairo University on American literature; was news editor of The Egyptian Gazette; was a reporter and features editor for the Middle East News and Features Service agency; and was an announcer and program writer for Radio Cairo’s English-language transmissions to North America.

This interview has
been archived in the
NVLP Collection of
African American
Oral Histories at the
Library of Congress
American Folklife
In 1972, Du Bois returned to the U.S. where he lectured at the School of Criminology, University of California, Berkeley. From 1973 through 1975, Du Bois was Editor-in-Chief of the Black Panther, the weekend newspaper of the Black Panther Party published in Oakland, California. He returned to Egypt in 1977, making Cairo his second home. Du Bois returned to the University of Massachusetts, at Amherst, Massachusetts where he served as a visiting professor of Journalism and African American Studies.
He was the founding President of the W.E.B. Du Bois Foundation Inc., honoring his stepfather, and member of the Management Committee of the W.E.B. Du Bois Memorial Centre for Pan-African Culture in Ghana. He was also a member of the council of the China Du Bois Study Centre in Beijing, China.

At the time of his death, Du Bois was completing his memoirs, which begin with his departure from the United States and his new life in Nasser’s Egypt. Throughout his life, he remained committed to promoting the works of his stepfather, and acting as a voice of change for people of color throughout the world.



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