On behalf of the town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts, the birthplace of W. E. B. Du Bois, we invite you to join us for a celebration of the 150th anniversary commemoration of his birth. It will take place on Du Bois’s birthday, Feb. 23, 2018 at 7:00 PM, at the historic Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in downtown Great Barrington. This event will be streamed live and will be accessible to anyone with an internet connection. We invite you to join us for this occasion, and, whether or not you can attend, to submit a short video, sharing with the world your birthday wishes and thoughts about Du Bois’s influence in American history, on your own life, and why his legacy is so important today. Your video would be included in a compilation of videos from celebrities, social activists and scholars that will be shown on the 23rd.
The celebration will also feature keynote speaker Du Bois scholar Dr. Reiland Rabaka from the University of Colorado, a short a film of the 1969 Dedication of the Du Bois Boyhood Homesite, featuring Ossie Davis and Julian Bond, music and conversation with blues musician Guy Davis, son of Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee, and a spoken word performance by the Du Bois Youth Ensemble directed by Ted Thomas. This event will mark the culmination a series of events beginning in January— lectures, readings, concerts, exhibits, performances and guided walking tours—hosted by the town and its partners. These events will not only provide occasion for celebration, they will also provide 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. We hope you will be able to participate. Please RSVP to Barbara Dean at gbdean@ earthlink.net. To submit digital Du Bois birthday wishes (2 minute or less, please), please film your remarks and email Carol Connare at the W. E. B. Du Bois Library at UMass Amherst at firstname.lastname@example.org, to organize transfer of the file. If you have interest in any of the other Great Barrington Du Bois events, please visit an event page at https://www.dubois150th.com.