Reading Comprehension: W. E. B. Du Bois and the NAACP
In 1905, Du Bois organized the Niagara
Movement. The Niagara Movement demanded "full manhood rights" for black people.
It was a forerunner of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored
Du Bois helped to form the NAACP in 1909. The NAACP began as a joint effort
of black and white leaders. It was founded to protest abuses black citizens
were suffering and to seek equal rights for them.
In 1910, Du Bois established The Crisis. He edited the magazine for
24 years. The Crisis is the official publication of the NAACP. It
is still published today.
Many scholars believe that Du Bois's writings in The Crisis were the
main reason the NAACP grew so rapidly. Du Bois wrote to stir emotions. He
wanted both black and white readers to react with outrage over the injustices
of black life in the United States. Du Bois's writings elicited strong reactions
from critics of all races. Most notable was the response of Booker T. Washington,
who called Du Bois a "social agitator" because of his controversial
Besides drawing attention to the problems African-Americans faced, Du Bois
also used The Crisis to promote gifted African-American writers. The magazine
featured short stories and poems written by African-Americans. It also featured
African-American novelists, artists, and musicians. Thus, it became a leading
force behind the Harlem Renaissance.
|Do You Know These
|If you are not sure of the meanings of the following content
words, click here
to look them online.
When did the Niagara Movement
What was the significance of the Niagara
When did the NAACP begin?
Who besides Du Bois helped to found
What is the purpose of the
How did Du Bois contribute to the
rapid growth of the NAACP?
What movement did Du Bois encourage
through his work for the NAACP?
For Discussion . . .
How did the leadership behind the
NAACP differ from the leadership behind the Niagara Movement? Why was it
important for the NAACP to have both blacks and whites in key leadership
What was Du Bois's greatest contribution
to the NAACP? What were the characteristics of his writing? Why did his writing
make such an impact on society? It has been said that "the pen is mightier
than the sword." Do you agree or disagree with this statement?
What kind of criticism did Du Bois's
writing draw from Booker T. Washington? Do you think Washington's description
of Du Bois was accurate? Why or why not? Should writing ever serve to "agitate"
society? If so, when? If not, what tactics should be used to draw attention
to social problems and bring about social change?
For Further Study . . .
Visit the home page of the
National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Look for answers to the following
What is the primary objective of the
Does the NAACP advocate violent protest
against civil injustice?
How many people signed the petition
to found the NAACP?
How many chapters of the NAACP exist
How many members does the NAACP have
What kinds of services does the NAACP
Who is the president of the NAACP
Use the search engine link below to explore the Harlem Renaissance:
How did the Harlem Renaissance, originally
called the New Negro Movement, get its name?
Approximately how long did the Harlem
Who were some of the great writers
to emerge from the Harlem Renaissance?
Who were some of the great musicians
to emerge from the Harlem Renaissance? What style of music largely emerged
from the Harlem Renaissance?
What were some of the visual art forms
which emerged from the Harlem Renaissance?
What other talents were brought into
the national spotlight as a through the Harlem Renaissance movement?
What were the financial effects of
the Harlem Renaissance on the African-American community of Harlem?
What relation do you see between the
Harlem Renaissance on W. E. B. Du Bois's Talented Tenth theory?
Have an idea you want to
E-mail it to
Return to the Holiday Zone's Black History Month Activities.Return
to The Holiday Zone home.
All content not attributed to another source is original and may not be re-posted on any other website.
Material on this site may be reproduced in printed form for non-commercial use (including school, church, and community/civic club use) as long as proper credit, including a link to this site, is given.
Material may not be reproduced for commercial use without written permission.