January 4, 2018 – Great Barrington, MA – The Town of Great Barrington, birthplace of W.E.B. Du Bois, begins the Du Bois 150th Festival during the Martin Luther King holiday week of January 15. The celebration of the 150th anniversary of Du Bois’s birth will culminate on his birthday, February 23, 6 PM at the historic Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center with the Du Bois Educational Series in downtown Great Barrington with distinguished guests Dr. Reiland Rabaka, Ossie Davis, Dr. Whitney Battle-Baptiste and other celebrants. Earlier on the Birthday anniversary, The Town Of Great Barrington will be joined by Dr. Cornell Brooks and Dr. David Levering Lewis with Craig Harris at the First Congregational Church in Great Barrington at 1 PM.
“We are very excited about the Du Bois 150th Festival that will begin with a series of events on January 15th including lectures, readings, concerts, exhibits, performances and guided walking tours—hosted by the town and its partners,” said Gwendolyn VanSant, Committee Co-Chair of the Du Bois 150th Festival. “These events will provide occasions for celebration and a much needed opportunity to lift up the voice of Du Bois who led the fight for civil rights during the first half of the 20th century, a voice that continues to inform and inspire the fight for racial justice and human rights around the globe today.”
Town of Great Barrington Du Bois 150th Festival
Kickoff Schedule for MLK week Jan. 15-19:
Monday, January 15, 2018, 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Martin Luther King Day Interfaith Service (Reception to Follow)
Event Location: First Congregational Church, Main St. Great Barrington, MA
Thursday, January 18, 2018, 3:30pm – 5:00pm
Opening Reception, Festival Exhibit & Gallery Walk, Unveiling of Du Bois mural with Railroad Street Youth Project, Young Writers for Justice (Young Berkshire voices respond to work of Du Bois)
Event Location: The Triplex Cinema, 70 Railroad St, Great Barrington, MA
Friday, January 19, 2018, 6pm – 9pm
“W.E.B. Du Bois: A Man for All Times” a one-man 80 minute play written and directed by Alexa Kelly featuring Brian Richardson and a performer from Jacob’s Pillow. Free admission – donations accepted to support the Du Bois Center and Multicultural BRIDGE.
Invited Scholar Respondent: Dr. Jones-Sneed, Senator Adam G. Hinds, The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at Berkshire Community College
Event Location: Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, 14 Castle St, Great Barrington, MA
Partnering Organizations for Festival Kickoff:
Berkshire Community College OLLI; Railroad Street Youth Project; Bard College At Simon’s Rock; and local schools
Sponsoring Organizations for Festival:
Town of Great Barrington; Greylock Federal Credit Union; Multicultural BRIDGE, Committee Co-Chair; the Du Bois Center at Great Barrington Committee Co-Chair; the Triplex Cinema/Richard Stanley; UMASS at Amherst Library W.E.B. Du Bois Center
For a complete schedule of events go to https://dubois150th.com/announcements/
About W.E.B. Du Bois
William Edward Burghardt “W. E. B.” Du Bois (1868-1963) was born in Great Barrington, MA and was a leading African-American sociologist, writer and activist. Educated at Harvard University and other top schools, Du Bois studied with some of the most important social thinkers of his time. He earned fame for the publication of such works as Souls of Black Folk (1903), and was a founding officer of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and editor of its magazine. Dubois also taught at Wilberforce University and Atlanta University, and chaired the Peace Information Center. Shortly before his death, Du Bois settled in Ghana to work on the Encyclopedia Africana.