Virginia Hamilton Sheryl B. Andrews - Essay

Sheryl B. Andrews

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois struggled for ninety-five years as educator, writer, intellectual, and poet against prejudice and fear, so that black people throughout the world could claim their blackness with pride, their humanity with honor. There is no easy definition for such a man; perhaps the most honest approach is simply to chronicle his achievements and let them speak for themselves. [Virginia Hamilton in W.E.B. Du Bois: A Biography] has done just that. With grace and dignity she has recounted the story of W.E.B. Du Bois, quoting from his many works, detailing his very full life…. The book is an affirmation of Du Bois' life, and a fascinating historical document of the Black Movement in America. Comprehensive Notes, Bibliography, and Index complete a fine, scholarly work. Unfortunately, there are often more facts than characterization, and a young reader may find it, at times, a little dry and difficult. Still, this is unequivocally the best of all the biographies of Du Bois for young people—and clearly conveys the sense of his intellectual struggle, frustration, and search.

Sheryl B. Andrews, in her review of "W.E.B. Du Bois; A Biography," in The Horn Book Magazine (copyright © 1972 by The Horn Book, Inc., Boston), Vol. XLVIII, No. 5, October, 1972, p. 476.