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New England News

Berkshire County Middle School Renamed For W.E.B. Du Bois

A bald man with a mustache in a suit sits looking into the camera
CORNELIUS MARION BATTEY
/
WIKIPEDIA COMMONS
W.E.B. Du Bois in 1918

The Berkshire Hills Regional School District Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to rename Monument Valley Regional Middle School in Great Barrington the W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School. 

Du Bois, a civil rights activist and NAACP cofounder, grew up in Great Barrington. The renaming decision came after voters from Great Barrington, Stockbridge and West Stockbridge approved the renaming effort at 2019 annual town meetings. Gwendolyn VanSant of Great Barrington’s W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Committee spoke with WAMC in August.

"I'm really encouraged that we have not only decided to name the middle school after Du Bois, but we also have all of the permissions to erect a statue after Dr. Du Bois in Great Barrington," VanSant said. "So I feel like Great Barrington has finally embraced Dr. Du Bois."

Opponents of the renaming cited Du Bois’ membership in the Communist Party of the United States.

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