This Day in Black History: June 1, 1920

Scholar and activist W.E.B. Du Bois is awarded the sixth NAACP Spingarn Medal for founding the Pan-African Congress.

Posted: 06/01/2012 07:00 AM EDT

Often called the “father” of Pan-Africanism, William Edward Burghardt, aka "W. E. B.," Du Bois, was awarded the NAACP Springarn Medal on June 1, 1920, for his work founding the Pan-African Congress, a series of gatherings aimed at addressing the issues facing Africa as a result of European colonization.


As a scholar, author and activist, Du Bois worked tirelessly to advance the station of African-Americans and other people of African descent around the world. Du Bois paid a pivotal role in the founding of the NAACP and served as editor of the NAACP’s newspaper The Crisis until 1934.


The Springarn Medal is awarded each year by the NAACP to “call the attention of the American people to the existence of distinguished merit and achievement among American Negroes and … to serve as a reward for such achievement, and as a stimulus to the ambition of colored youth.”



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