Scholar, author, editor, teacher, reformer, and civil rights leader, W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963) was a major figure in American life and one of the earliest proponents of equality for black Americans. He was a founder and leader of the Niagara Movement, the NAACP, and the Pan-African Movement; a progenitor of the 1920s Harlem Renaissance; an advocate of anticolonialism, anti-imperialism, unionism, and equality for women; and a champion of the rights of oppressed people around the world.
The three-volume Correspondence of W.E.B. Du Bois offers a unique perspective on Du Bois's experiences and views. In recognition of the significance of the Correspondence, the final volume was named a Best Book of the Year by the New York Times Book Review.
Herbert Aptheker has provided an introduction and notes to each volume, illuminating the circumstances and identifying the personalities involved in the correspondence. A long time friend and colleague of Du Bois, Aptheker is a well-known historian of the African American experience. In 1939 and again in 1969, he won the history award given by the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. Among his most prominent works are American Negro Slave Revolts and the three-volume Documentary History of the Negro People in the United States.