International Journal of
Sociology and Anthropology

  • Abbreviation: Int. J. Sociol. Anthropol.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-988X
  • DOI: 10.5897/IJSA
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 322

Full Length Research Paper

W.E.B. Du Bois: Prophet of social justice in the 21st Century

Abolade Ezekiel Olagoke
  • Abolade Ezekiel Olagoke
  • Department of Criminal Justice and Social Science, Faculty of Sociology, Waynesburg University, United States.
  • Google Scholar

  •  Received: 12 July 2021
  •  Published: 31 July 2021


These are times that trouble the soul. American sociologist, pragmatist, and race historian, W.E.B. Du Bois can be helpful in examining and resolving some of the racial and political tensions in the United States. After the lynching of sixty-two African Americans in Atlanta in 1906, Du Bois wrote a year later that the problem of the nineteenth century is the problem of color line. An examination of his’ race theory is helpful in the same way as history is instructive. Black history is intertwined and forms with the mosaic of American history.  Du Bois as a sociologist cannot be separated from Du Bois as a social activist. His life was one of incessant struggle to challenge the status quo and to expose the contradictory nature of nation’s ideals. His intellectual pedigree underscores his political and social activism. Du Bois is relevant today to the secular as well and the religious world in the struggle for social justice. This paper argues that a re-reading of Du Bois should be examined in view of the totality of his own professed religious and spiritual temperament and sensibilities.  Du Bois challenges the discipline of sociology to probe into the unexplored dimension of his life and works. This is also a clarion call for young people of all races and ethnicities to interrogate the relevance of his work in addressing social justice. His theory informs his praxis more so today as the nation faces new challenges in post-Obama presidency and the ravaging effects of COVID-19.


Key words: Africanism, double consciousness, Africa, justice inequality, Jim Crow, racism, sociology, prophets, secular.