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Exhibition Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

Frank Walts, artist. Portrait of W. E. B. Du Bois. Published as cover illustration for The Crisis magazine, February 1918. Gouache on black paper. Visual materials from the NAACP Records, Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (176.01.00)

W.E.B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and longtime editor of its monthly magazine, The Crisis. When the United States entered the Great War, Du Bois argued convincingly that full participation by African Americans in the war effort would lead to gains in civil rights. More than 350,000 African Americans served in the segregated American military and more than 200,000 were posted overseas. On the home front, many thousands more black men and women supported the war effort in a variety of ways, encouraged by Du Bois and others. Illustrator Frank Walts created an evocative portrait of Du Bois for the February 1918 cover of The Crisis.