We welcome assistance with all aspects of the project, including extracting and editing article texts from PDFs and contributions of explanatory notes.

Code of Conduct

Our Code of Conduct governs this project and everyone’s participation in it. By participating, you are expected to uphold this code. Please report unacceptable behavior to

How you can help

Finding and Transcribing Articles

We need help transcribing Du Bois’s articles from PDF to text so they can be displayed on the website. We have been less than systematic about reviewing Crisis and transcribing articles, but we have a list of articles that we have completed, and a few more that we have identified as good candidates. So if you want to help:

  1. Find a Crisis article that looks interesting, either from our “to do” list (Out of date, but we will be updated soon!) or from your own perusing of the archives.
  2. Make sure we haven’t already done the article by searching either the Table of Contents, chronological list of articles or the specific volume on Github.
  3. Confirm that Du Bois is the author of the piece. Pre-1921 editorials at the back of the volume (not those labeled “Opinion,” which are from other African American newspapers) unsigned pieces in the Crisis are usually attributed to Du Bois. Starting in 1921, the Crisis switched from publishing “Editorials” to an “Opinion” column credit to Du Bois, and it was usually the first section in each issue. Finally, in the late 1920s, his section was renamed “Postscript” and moved to the back pages. If you aren’t sure, you can look it up in the Aptheker guide or post the question as an issue here, or send me an email.
  4. Copy the article text from the text version of the issue. Each PDF issue has an associated plain text file, which were generated by the Internet Archive, and then partially cleaned by me. The plain text versions of the issues, however, are not crisply divided by article and can sometimes be messy, depending on the page’s layout and scan quality.
  5. Carefully review and edit the text version to ensure that it matches the text of the original PDF.
  6. Format the article using our Markdown template, saving it in a text editor (not Word or Google Docs) as a plaintext file with a .md extension. You can use free online markdown editors if you want. Note that the formatting previews may not be completely accurate for more advance formatting specific to this project.
  7. Submit the article for inclusion by starting on “New Issue” on our GitHub issues page. Note that “issue” here is “I have an issue to discuss,” not “Our journal has a new issue.”. In the text of the issue, put the title, year, volume, issue, and page, along with a proposed section for the article to be posted in (existing or new), along with any notes or questions. Attach the markdown file to your post. It would be great if you also attached the relevant PDF pages from the original issue. We will review and respond, and, fingers crossed, it will soon be on the website.
  8. Folks who contribute article transcriptions will be listed on the credits page.


Each page of Dare Your Fight is written in Markdown and compiled into a website using JupyterBook.

Each Du Bois article is saved as a plain text file, such as

which appears on the site as:

General markdown Markdown formatting guidelines include: * *italics* if you want italics
* **bold** if you want bold * > to begin an indented paragraph * # for a top-level header, such as the page title, and ## for a subheader. * You can create a new paragraph with either a blank line or several trailing spaces at the end of a line. You can find more complete guides online.

To provide the identifying information for the article, each begins transcribed page begins with the article’s reference details:

title:   Homes
author:  Du Bois, W.E.B.
journal: The Crisis
year:    1912
volume:  3
issue:   5
pages:   200-201

We use this information to create the displayed article title and citation.

Specific Dare You Fight style is: * Start the file with the article meta data, as described above. * The final line is _____ * The title of the journal where it occurs in an article is in small caps, which can be accomplished with <span style="font-variant:small-caps;">The Crisis</span> This likely will not work in your online Markdown program, but will work for the final version, so don’t worry. * Ignore the drop cap and excessive capitalization that begins some articles. * Do not reproduce the narrow non-breaking space (espace fine insécable) that was sometimes used in front of colons and question marks. * Long quotes are indented using >. For quotes that run more than one paragraph, use a non-printing space between each paragraph to preserve the indent. Additionally, each paragraph, except the last, should end with two spaces:

    > Paragraph 1  
    > &nbsp;  
    > Paragraph 2
  • Long articles sometimes have section break lines, which can be recreated with <p style="text-align:center"> ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ </p>

  • You can review the Markdown version of any page on Dare You Fight by clicking the down arrow in the upper right corner and selecting “.md”. Reviewing these might be helpful for potentially complex formatting issues. There is also a sample markdown page.

  • Markdown file titles is a lower-cased version of the article title, replacing spaces with underscores (_).

  • Here is a sample poem:

<div class="poem">
<p class="verse">Shake your brown feet, Liza,
<p class="verse">Shake &rsquo;em Liza, chile,
<p class="verse">Shake your brown feet, Liza,
<p class="verse indent"> (The music's soft and wile).
<p class="verse">Shake your brown feet, Liza,
<p class="verse indent">(The Banjo's sobbin' low),
<p class="verse">The sun's goin' down this very night&mdash;
<p class="verse">Might never rise no mo'.

Shake your brown feet, Liza,

Shake ’em Liza, chile,

Shake your brown feet, Liza,

(The music’s soft and wile).

Shake your brown feet, Liza,

(The Banjo’s sobbin’ low),

The sun’s goin’ down this very night—

Might never rise no mo’.

Marginal notes

We seek to add marginal explanatory notes. These are usually a sentence or two that provide additional information about the subject that Crisis readers would likely know, such as details about a specific person or organization. In addition, these notes can include links and pictures. To submit one, a “New Issue” on our GitHub issues page with the page, where on the page the note should go, and text of the note in Markdown, ending with your initials (e..g, “- npc”). Folks who contribute marginal notes will be listed on the credits page.


The table of contents and the way articles are slotted to section is a work in progress, evolving as new texts are available. For example, some of the uncategorized might fit somewhere now, or several might make their own section. You can contribute to the project by proposing/editing book sections by posting your ideas as an issue.


If you spot any potential error in the text, double-check with the original issue. You can help fix the mistake by reporting it to us as an issue or sending me an email.


Ben Welsh’s gave me the idea to make this a participatory project.