Portrait of W. E. B. Du Bois

DuBois’ Message: “Believe in Life”

Years before his death on August 27, 1963, W.E.B. DuBois wrote this message to be released posthumously.

“It is much more difficult in theory than actually to say the last goodbye to one’s loved ones and friends and to all the familiar things in life.

I am going to take a long, deep, and endless sleep. This is not a punishment but a privilege to which I have looked forward for years.

I have loved my work, I have loved my people and my play, but always I have been uplifted by the thought that what I have done well will live long and justify my life; that what I have done ill or never finished can now be handed on to others for endless days to be finished, perhaps better than I could have done.

And that peace will be my applause.

One thing alone I charge you. As you live, believe in life! Always human beings will live and progress to greater, broader fuller life.

The only possible death is to lose belief in this truth simply because the great end comes slowly, because time is long.


W.E.B. DuBois

For Angela