Ernest E. Just was born in Charleston, South Carolina. He Graduated from the Industrial School of the State College in Orangeburg, South Carolina. He later attended Kimball Union Academy, Meriden, New Hampshire. Just earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dartmouth College (Phi Beta Kappa) and later a Doctor of Philosophy Degree from the University of Chicago. He was Awarded the Spingarn Medal by the NAACP in1915.