WEB Du Bois
W.E.B. Du Bois was a black sociologist, historian, civil rights activist and co-founder of the NAACP, the oldest civil rights organization in the United States. Creative Commons

The Department of Education, now led by Secretary Betsy DeVos, was lampooned on Twitter and social media Sunday night after two tweets published from its official account were caught with spelling mistakes, including a misspelling of the surname of the African-American author and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois.

“Education must not simply teach work…it must teach life. W.E.B. DeBois.” the tweet by the Department of Education said.

Chelsea Clinton, daughter of the former presidential Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, noticed the misspelled tweet.

The department followed up with an apology, which also included a typo.

The incorrect tweets were subsequently deleted by the department.

William Edward Burghardt Du Bois was an iconic sociologist, historian, and civil rights activist. An author of several influential books, including “The Souls of Black Folk,” Du Bois was also the co-founder of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

Du Bois, a notable proponent of the pan-Africanism movement also organized a series of pan-African congresses around the world, in 1919, 1921, 1923, and 1927 to improve the conditions of people of African descent, irrespective of where they lived. An advocate of peace and nuclear disarmament, through his discourse and polemic, Du Bois opposed a variety of instruments of oppression ranging from lynchings, Jim Crow laws, and discrimination in education and employment.

Having renounced his American citizenship a year earlier, by the time Du Bois died Aug. 27, 1963, in Ghana on the eve of the civil rights march in Washington, D.C, he published several seminal works including “Black Folk, Then and Now,” “Black Reconstruction” and “Dusk Of Dawn.”

Misspelling Du Bois’ name during Black History Month has not been the only such blunder by President Donald Trump’s administration. President Trump himself appeared to be unaware of Frederick Douglass, the 19th century champion of emancipation, during a White House “listening session” with African American community leaders on Feb. 1.

“Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice,” Trump said.