Trotter, William Monroe

Trotter, William Monroe

(1872–1934) civil rights leader; born near Chillicothe, Ohio. Raised in Boston, he was an honors student at Harvard. He founded the Guardian (1901) as "propaganda against discrimination." He opposed Booker T. Washington, and he helped W. E. B. DuBois in founding the Niagra Movement (1905). He found the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People too moderate. He formed the National Equal Rights League and protested discrimination. He went to the Paris Peace Conference (1919) and tried to persuade the delegates to outlaw racial discrimination. Largely unrecognized during his lifetime, he employed methods—notably nonviolent protest—that were adopted by later 20th-century civil rights activists.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.