W. E. B. Du Bois quotes

  • Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Teacher #Peace #Children

  • Strive for that greatness of spirit that measures life not by its disappointments but by its possibilities.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Disappointment #Greatness #Spirit

  • Begin with art, because art tries to take us outside ourselves. It is a matter of trying to create an atmosphere and context so conversation can flow back and forth and we can be influenced by each other.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Art #Atmosphere #Trying

  • A system cannot fail those it was never meant to protect
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Failing #Protect

  • The favorite device of the devil, ancient and modern, is to force a human being into a more or less artificial class, accuse the class of unnamed and unnameable sin, and then damn any individual in the alleged class, however innocent he may be.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Class #Justice #Devil

  • Herein lies the tragedy of the age: Not that men are poor, - all men know something of poverty. Not that men are wicked, - who is good? Not that men are ignorant, - what is truth? Nay, but that men know so little of men.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Lying #Knowledge #Men

  • The cost of liberty is less than the price of repression.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Inspirational #Inspiring #Freedom

  • One is astonished in the study of history at the recurrence of the idea that evil must be forgotten, distorted, skimmed over. We must not remember that Daniel Webster got drunk but only that he was a splendid constitutional lawyer. We must forget that George Washington was a slave owner . . . and simply remember the things we regard as creditable and inspiring. The difficulty, of course, with this philosophy is that history loses its value as an incentive and example; it paints perfect man and noble nations, but it does not tell the truth.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Philosophy #Men #Ideas

  • Either America will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Ignorance #America #United States

  • There is but one coward on earth, and that is the coward that dare not know.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Courage #Coward #Earth

  • To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Men #Land #Race

  • All womanhood is hampered today because the world on which it is emerging is a world that tries to worship both virgins and mothers and in the end despises motherhood and despoils virgins.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Mother #Trying #World

  • One ever feels his twoness - an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body, whose dogged strength alone keeps it from being torn asunder.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Dark #Two #Soul

  • Believe in life! Always human beings will live and progress to greater, broader, and fuller life.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Life #Hope #Believe

  • Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done and not some future day or future year. It is today that we fit ourselves for the greater usefulness of tomorrow. Today is the seed time, now are the hours of work, and tomorrow comes the harvest and the playtime.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Future #Years #Live In The Moment

  • But what of black women?... I most sincerely doubt if any other race of women could have brought its fineness up through so devilish a fire.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Race #Fire #Black

  • There is in this world no such force as the force of a person determined to rise. The human soul cannot be permanently chained.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Freedom #Soul #World

  • Education must not simply teach work-it must teach life.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Thinking #Teach #Working It

  • The worker must work for the glory of his handiwork, not simply for pay; the thinker must think for truth, not for fame.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Thinking #Pay #Glory

  • I believe that all men, black and brown, and white, are brothers, varying, through Time and Opportunity, in form and gift and feature, but differing in no essential particular, and alike in soul and in the possibility of infinite development.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Brother #Believe #Opportunity

  • The theory of democratic government is not that the will of the people is always right, but rather that normal human beings of average intelligence will, if given a chance, learn the right and best course by bitter experience.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Government #Average #People

  • A man does not look behind the door unless he has stood there himself
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Wedding Anniversary #Men #Doors

  • The Negro cannot stand the present reactionary tendencies and unreasoning drawing of the color line indefinitely without discouragement and retrogression. And the condition of the Negro is ever the cause for further discrimination.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Drawing #Color #Lines

  • Unfortunately there was one thing that the white South feared more than Negro dishonesty, ignorance, and incompetency, and that was Negro honesty, knowledge, and efficiency.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Honesty #Ignorance #White

  • As Negro voting increased, Congress got an improved sense of hearing.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Voting #Hearing #Congress

  • There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Determined #Force #Equal

  • Is a civilization naturally backward because it is different? Outside of cannibalism, which can be matched in this country, at least, by lynching, there is no vice and no degradation in native African customs which can begin to touch the horrors thrust upon them by white masters. Drunkenness, terrible diseases, immorality, all these things have been gifts of European civilization.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Country #Lynching #Civilization

  • The function of the university is not simply to teach breadwinning, or to furnish teachers for the public schools, or to be a centre of polite society; if is, above all, to be the organ of that fine adjustment between real life and the growing knowledge of life, an adjustment from which forms the secret of civilization.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Graduation #Education #Teacher

  • If there is anybody in this land who thoroughly believes that the meek shall inherit the earth they have not often let their presence be known.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Believe #Land #Earth

  • But art is not simply works of art; it is the spirit that knows Beauty, that has music in its soul and the color of sunsets in its headkerchiefs; that can dance on a flaming world and make the world dance, too.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Art #Sunset #Color

  • The power of the ballot we need in sheer defense, else what shall save us from a second slavery?
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Defense #Slavery #Needs

  • But we do not merely protest; we make renewed demand for freedom in that vast kingdom of the human spirit where freedom has ever had the right to dwell:the expressing of thought to unstuffed ears; the dreaming of dreams by untwisted souls.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Dream #Soul #Demand

  • It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness, this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Eye #Self #Soul

  • To stimulate wildly weak and untrained minds is to play with mighty fires.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Play #Fire #Mind

  • For education among all kinds of men always has had, and always will have, an element of danger and revolution, of dissatisfaction and discontent.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Men #Revolution #Kind

  • Education is that whole system of human training within and without the school house walls, which molds and develops men.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Education #Wall #School

  • I believe that all men, black, brown, and white, are brothers.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Brother #Believe #Men

  • A classic is a book that doesn't have to be written again.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Book #Writing #Classic

  • The main thing is the YOU beneath the clothes and skin--the ability to do, the will to conquer, the determination to understand and know this great, wonderful, curious world.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Determination #Clothes #Skins

  • Perhaps the most extraordinary characteristic of current America is the attempt to reduce life to buying and selling. Life is not love unless love is sex and bought and sold. Life is not knowledge save knowledge of technique, of science for destruction. Life is not beauty except beauty for sale. Life is not art unless its price is high and it is sold for profit. All life is production for profit, and for what is profit but for buying and selling again?
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Art #Sex #Love Is

  • Ignorance is a cure for nothing.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Ignorance #Cures

  • Today I see more clearly than yesterday that the back of the problem of race and color lies a greater problem which both obscures and implements it: and that is the fact that so many civilized persons are willing to live in comfort even if the price of this is poverty, ignorance, and disease of the majority of their fellow men.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Lying #Ignorance #Men

  • In 1956, I shall not go to the polls. I have not registered. I believe that democracy has so far disappeared in the United States that no 'two evils' exist. There is but one evil party with two names, and it will be elected despite all I can do or say.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Party #Believe #Names

  • A little less complaint and whining, and a little more dogged work and manly striving, would do us more credit than a thousand civil rights bills.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Work #Rights #Credit

  • The chief problem in any community cursed with crime is not the punishment of the criminals, but the preventing of the young from being trained to crime.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Punishment #Community #Criminals

  • Men must not only know, they must act.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Men

  • Life has its pains and evils-its bitter disappointments; but like a good novel and in healthful length of days, there is infinite joy in seeing the World, the most interesting of continued stories, unfold...
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Uplifting #Pain #Disappointment

  • One thing alone I charge you. As you live, believe in life! Always human beings will live and progress to greater, broader and fuller life. The only possible death is to lose belief in this truth simply because the great end comes slowly, because time is long.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Life #Believe #Long

  • Now is the accepted time, not tomorrow, not some more convenient season. It is today that our best work can be done.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Done #Today #Tomorrow

  • The problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line, -- the relation of the darker to the lighter races of men in Asia and Africa, in America and the islands of the sea.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Men #Race #Color

  • I am especially glad of the divine gift of laughter: it has made the world human and lovable, despite all its pain and wrong.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Pain #Laughter #World

  • This the American Black man knows: his fight is a fight to the finish. Either he dies or he wins. He will enter modern civilization in America as a Black man on terms of perfect and unlimited equality with any white man, or he will enter not at all. Either extermination root and branch or absolute equality. There can be no compromise. This is the last great battle of the west.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Fighting #Winning #Men

  • If you want to feel humor too exquisite and subtle for translation, sit invisibly among a gang of Negro workers.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Want #Gang #Subtle

  • I believe that there are human stocks with whom it is physically unwise to intermarry, but to think that these stocks are all colored or that there are no such white stocks is unscientific and false.
    -- W. E. B. Du Bois

    #Believe #Thinking #White