The iconic American historian, sociologist, writer, and activist W.E.B. Du Bois was born in Great Barrington on Feb. 23, 1868 — three years after the end of the Civil War — and died in Accra, Ghana in 1963, one year before the passing of the Civil Rights Act. During his accomplished 95 years of life, Du Bois was the first African-American to earn a doctorate from Harvard University, became a professor of history, sociology, and economics at Atlanta University, co-founded the NAACP, led the Niagara Movement in a quest for equal rights for blacks, argued for access to advanced education and increased political representation, protested Jim Crow, and fought to end discrimination for Africans, Asians, and people of color everywhere. And he published, among other things, The Souls of Black Folk, a seminal work in African-American literature. To celebrate the 149th anniversary of his birth this week, read that incredible classic again — or, even more importantly, for the first time.
Celebrating the Birthday of W.E.B. Du Bois: Thursday, Feb. 23 at 1:30 p.m., W.E.B. Du Bois Library lobby, UMass Amherst, and in hearts and minds throughout the Valley.
— Hunter Styles