Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963
Looking back on fifty years of activism, Du Bois says that the central problem in the life of African Americans is poverty. However, his approach has changed from one of advocating expanded opportunities in business for African Americans to a broader view of the inherent problems in the economic system of the United States. The United States is alone in resisting the great tide of socialism, just as it was resistant to emancipating the slaves, and instead spends the greatest portion of its national wealth on preparing for war under the pretenses of the threats to Communism. Where do African Americans stand in relation to these issues? Du Bois says that "particularly we, as Negroes, whose toil built this land [...] have it as our bounden duty to hold this country back from lying, stealing and killing." Yet African Americans are largely buying into the anti-Communist propaganda. Du Bois says that it is imperative that African Americans learn to see the good in socialism and to lead the rest of the country by their example. "We should seek revolution not by war and force but by truth and reason."