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w.e.b. du bois

W.E.B. Du Bois
CORNELIUS MARION BATTEY / WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

Great Barrington, Massachusetts is celebrating the 51st anniversary of the dedication of civil rights icon W.E.B. Du Bois’s home on Sunday. 

A white church building
Clinton Church Restoration / https://www.facebook.com/clintonchurchrestoration

This weekend, the Triplex Cinema and Berkshire International Film Festival are presenting a movie series titled “W.E.B. Du Bois to George Floyd: 150 Years of Resistance.” Four documentaries about famous African American activists, thinkers and social movements will be screened live and online, with a portion of the streaming cost going to the Clinton Church Restoration project. WAMC Berkshire Bureau Chief Josh Landes spoke with Dr. Frances Jones-Sneed from the CCR’s board of directors about the effort to restore the historic Black church in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and how the film series plays into its larger mission to restore local Black narratives to the public consciousness.

A black and white photograph of a bald black man in a suit and bowtie with a mustache
Cornelius Marion Battey / Wikipedia Commons

The Berkshire Hills Regional School District has voted to rename a Great Barrington, Massachusetts middle school after local legend W.E.B. Du Bois.

A black and white photograph of a bald black man in a suit and bowtie with a mustache
Cornelius Marion Battey / Wikipedia Commons

The Berkshire Hills Regional School District committee will soon hold a public hearing on a petition that calls for the Monument Valley Regional Middle School in Great Barrington, Massachusetts to be renamed after local civil rights icon W.E.B. Du Bois. WAMC spoke with Gwendolyn VanSant of Great Barrington’s W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Committee to find out more about the decision, and why Du Bois’s support of Communism in his later years has led some in the community to resist past efforts at recognizing the NAACP co-founder. The public hearing is set for September 3rd.

Josh Landes / WAMC

Three years ago, Great Barrington, Massachusetts created the W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Committee in honor of the town native’s 150th birthday. Organizers say the black writer, activist, and scholar is still having an impact on America today. This weekend, the committee is continuing its exploration of his commitment to progressive education, civil rights, economic justice, and racial equality and equity with its third annual Du Bois birthday event. Gwendolyn VanSant is the vice chair of the Du Bois Legacy committee and founder of BRIDGE – Berkshire Resources for Integration of Diverse Groups through Education. She sat down with WAMC in her office in downtown Lee to talk about the two-day event, which begins Saturday with a discussion on Du Bois’s classic 1903 text “The Souls Of Black Folk.”

The Great Barrington Town Seal
Town Of Great Barrington

The W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Committee of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, is accepting nominations for its second annual W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Award.

The Great Barrington Town Seal
Town Of Great Barrington

Great Barrington, Massachusetts is marking the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the W.E.B. Du Bois boyhood home site.

Josh Landes / WAMC

Great Barrington, Massachusetts has made the guiding principles of one of its most famous residents a formal part of its identity.

W.E.B. Du Bois
CORNELIUS MARION BATTEY / WIKIPEDIA COMMONS

W.E.B. Du Bois was one of the most important African-American activists during the first half of the 20th century. He co-founded the NAACP, supported Pan-Africanism, and was the first African American to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

Du Bois was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts 150 years ago this month and Great Barrington's Du Bois anniversary celebration began on January 15 and will continue throughout 2018.

Here to tell us more are Dennis Powell, President of the Berkshire County Branch NAACP;and member of the Steering Committee Du Bois Lecture Series; Professor Dr. Whitney Battle-Baptiste, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst; Ted Thomas, poet and teacher who directs the student Du Bois spoken word programs; and Barbara Dean, musician, performer, and radio DJ who has worked on Du Bois issues and promotion in Great Barrington for about three decades.