A Packed Weekend Celebrating W.E.B. Du Bois’ Birthday
The Town of Great Barrington W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Committee has announced another stellar lineup of events for the 3rd Annual Du Bois Legacy Festival to take place on the weekend of Du Bois’ 152nd birthday, Feb. 22-23.
“Each year we celebrate Du Bois with scholars and artists from the local area and also throughout the country to uplift the values of W.E.B. Du Bois in his hometown,” says Gwendolyn VanSant, Legacy Committee Vice Chair. “In Great Barrington, we celebrate his commitment to racial equity, civil rights, progressive education, and economic justice. We are joined by partners who uphold a commitment to these values in the workplaces and in our shared Berkshire community.”
This year, the program centers around Du Bois commitment to progressive education. “As an educator, Du Bois’ impact has been profound,” explained Randy Weinstein, Legacy Committee chair. “His works like The Souls of Black Folk have become springboards of the reflective mind, his lasting gift to our community readying to celebrate his 152nd birthday.”
The festival kicks off with the exhibit, “Du Bois: An Enduring Educational Legacy,” created by The Du Bois Center, at the Mason Library for the duration of February. Then, Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church (251 Main Street, Great Barrington) the event takes a deep dive into the songs, poems, and text that make up Du Bois’s 1903 'The Souls of Black Folk.'
A trumpet and voice performance, led by Donna Gouger and Bob Paynter, Ph.D. with MaryNell Morgan, Ph.D., and Barbara Dean, will accompany the community read. A book discussion follows, facilitated by VanSant, who is also CEO of BRIDGE, and Stephanie Wright, Legacy Committee member.
Free copies of 'The Souls of Black Folk' are available at BRIDGE in Lee, The Du Bois Center, Mason Library, Macedonia, Great Barrington Town Hall, First Congregational Church, Great Barrington, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Jacob's Pillow, and more locations around the county. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for your copy while books last.
The celebration continues with a free dance performance entitled 'Between Me and the Other World.' You can get all of the details on the dance performance by checking out Ron Carson's post here. In addition you can get a full schedule of weekend Du Bois' events by going here.
(press release sent to WSBS from Jacob's Pillow for online and on-air use)