W.E.B Du Bois’ Daughter a Member of Delta Sigma Theta (ΔΣΘ) Grand Chapter

Written by Jae Jones

An interesting fact that many people do not know is ’ daughter, Nina (1900-1961), was member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  According to, a copy of the receipt from had been obtained from Delta Sigma Theta to W.E.B. Du Bois that showed his daughter’s dues paid and her financial obligations to the organization met.


Yolande was born in 1900 and because of her fathers’ role throughout the communities, she became one of the most sought after young ladies of her generation. According to an article published on Yolanda was considered one of the most prized mates of her Negro generation. At one time it was known that she had a love affair with young Jimmie Lunceford, a bandleader in Harlem jazz clubs. However, W.E.B Du Bois, her father, was not pleased with the relationship. Instead, her father gave her his blessings in 1928 to wed Countee Cullen, a handsome literary leader of the Harlem Renaissance. The wedding was the Negro social event of the decade, bringing together two generations of Amercia’s Talented Tenth. The marriage ended in with a big scandal. Rumors had it that Cullen was having a homosexual affair with the most “handsomest man in Harlem,”— the scandal inspired a popular play, “Knock Me a Kiss, by Charles Smith. It was a scandal that shook the Black upper crust.


It just so happen that Countee Cullen, Yolande’s first husband, and her father were both members of the Eta Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha. Yolande was a teacher at the Baltimore’s Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, she later remarried Arnette Franklin Williams, a football player. The two had daughter in 1932, Du Bois Williams, who was nicknamed (Baby Du Bois). Yolande died at the age of 61 from a heart attack. She was the last living child of W.E.B Du Bois.  Yolande’s grave went for years with a headstone, her grandchildren did not even know where she was buried, until her grandson Arthur McFarlane II was informed of it during a visit in 2012.

After Yolande’s death W.E.B Du Bois was in great grief. He had given up hope on living in the U.S and wanted to continue his work abroad. reported W.E.B Du Bois writing a letter to a friend saying this words, “I just can’t take any more of this country’s (America’s) treatment,” the old man wrote to a friend, Grace Goens, on Sept. 13, 1961. “We leave for Ghana October 5th and I set no date for return… Chin up, and fight on, but realize that American Negroes can’t win.” Read more here.

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About the author

Jae Jones

Jae Jones has been writing professionally for over 10 years. She holds a degree in Business Administration, and enjoys writing on various topics.

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