Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1,7, University of Leipzig (Institut für Amerikanistik), course: American Higher Education, 6 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: This paper is concerned with, as the title already suggests, the idea of how W.E.B. Du Bois got inclined to the problem which is presenting itself throughout the history of mankind: the issue of animosity and oppression against certain ethnic groups within society. In W.E.B. Du Bois' case that means in particular America's situation at the end of the 19th century: The Civil War had been fought, the Northern States and so the Yankees had won over the Republican South, and the equalization of America's black minority seemed established. Yet, how was this situation in the US to be changed in a few weeks, months or years that had instituted itself over more than two centuries? Exactly this question seemed most evident to those who were to be profiting from this new contribution to equality throughout the American nation. Even if in his own life this was not as evident as in many others', due to his home area being set in New England rather than in the much more hostile South, he still could feel some sort of inferiority of his family towards other citizens of his home town and had notions of people's differences other than just the color of their skin. W.E.B. Du Bois can be seen as an icon in the course of the fight that had been fought, and in some ways is still being fought today, for the political and social emancipation of the black minority in America. Thus, the importance of his person and his lifelong crusade for equality and social improvements does not have to be questioned. It seems interesting that despite growing up in the rather 'enlightened' environment and society of Great Barrington in terms of race relation and respecting one another disregarding any differences in color, Du Bois was able to evolve as a fighter for the emancipation of his black people in America in such an intense and profound way. Therefore, it appears somewhat contradictory and paradox that in the course of his life and work, as he became more of an international figure, Du Bois was accepted less and less by his contemporaries at home. When he left America to become a citizen of Ghana in 1961, however, he did not do so as a rejection of his countrymen: Returning to the land of his forefathers marked a resolution of many conflicts with which Du Bois had struggled all his life. His mature vision was a reconciliation of the 'sense of double consciousness' or the 'two warring ideals' of being both black and an American that he had written about fifty years earlier...