Abraham Lincoln: Lawyer, President, Emancipator by Pamela Hill Nettleton

By Pamela Hill Nettleton

A quick biography that highlights a few very important occasions within the lifetime of the guy who was once President through the Civil battle.

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And called for improvement in the education of Southern blacks. S. Supreme Court’s 1896 ruling that separate accommodations for blacks and whites were legal as long as the separate facilities were roughly equal in quality. These laws invariably permitted state and city governments to treat black Americans as second-class citizens. As Du Bois watched racism and political oppression increase in the United States, he seemed to be caught between two movements: blacks who lobbied for racial solidarity and decried integration, and blacks who denounced racial separation and called for full assimilation into white society.

TEACHING AND TROUBLE AT WILBERFORCE Du Bois arrived at Wilberforce with great expectations. B. DU BOIS When Du Bois returned to America in 1892 after studying in Europe, he found that conditions for blacks had deteriorated, especially in the South. He became determined to use his education and intellect to become a leader and help his race. q 7/21/04 1:13 PM Page 37 Behind the Veil class in sociology—the study of society, which was then in its infancy as an academic discipline—to complement his teaching of Latin and Greek.

He was dapper and sharp tongued and independent minded—traits that did not go over well at a school run by the staid African Methodist Episcopal church. On one occasion, Du Bois created a furor while visiting a student prayer meeting. As he entered the room, the group’s leader told the other students that Du Bois would guide them in prayer. “No, he won’t,” the professor responded, unwilling to accept the impromptu religious practices that were a regular part of campus life. His refusal angered the members of the school board and almost cost him his job.

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