William Edward Burghardt DuBois, 1904.
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Black and white photograph, head and shoulders of a balding man, with a mustache and short beard.

Credit: Library of Congress

In 1896 Philadelphia's College Settlement Association invited W. E. B. Du Bois, who had recently received his Ph.D. from Harvard University, to conduct a survey of Blacks living in the 7th Ward. Working under the title of "assistant in sociology" from the University of Pennsylvania, Dubois conducted a door-to-door survey and interviewing several thousand black households to document how African Americans lived and thus to help improve their circumstances. The book he produced from this research, The Philadelphia Negro, quickly became a landmark in the history of sociology, and of race relations in the United States.

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