Happy birthday, W.E.B. Du Bois

Written Feb 23, 2021 by Randy F. Weinstein in The Berkshire Eagle

Today is a historic day in the life of our community. On this day, the town of Great Barrington has etched into law a fitting, if long overdue, tribute to its native son W.E.B. Du Bois. This unprecedented measure is even more remarkable knowing, as we do, that there was a time in our community […]

Town agrees to Du Bois Legacy Day

Written Jan 14, 2021 by in Berkshire Eagle

In what was a historic vote for the town’s Select Board, all five members Monday unanimously proclaimed Feb. 23 as W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Day. The proclamation to honor the civil rights giant every year on his birthday was brought to the board by the co-chairpersons of the town’s W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Committee, Gwendolyn […]

Great Barrington selectboard officially recognizes ‘Du Bois Legacy Day’

Written Jan 14, 2021 by Terry Cowgill in The Berkshire Edge

“I believe our proclamation encapsulates the heart and spirit of our town,” said Randy Weinstein. “By approving it, to my knowledge, Great Barrington will become the very first municipality in our country to designate an official annual day to honor Dr. Du Bois.” It’s official. The town of Great Barrington will recognize its most famous […]

Black Berkshires: A hidden and not-so-hidden legacy

Written Nov 27, 2020 by Andrew D. Blechman in Berkshire Edge Magazine

The story of being Black in the Berkshires is largely untold. It’s a legacy of injustices endured, freedom attained, of human hatred and human kindness, of lasting yet dissipating segregation… In 1771, Berkshire County property tax records show there were: • 19 enslaved humans of African descent in Sheffield; • 7 enslaved humans of African […]

In embrace of W.E.B. Du Bois, Great Barrington names middle school after the civil rights icon

Written Sep 4, 2020 by Deanna Pan in Boston Globe

Following more than a decade of public strife, Great Barrington, a small idyllic town in the Berkshires, has finally embraced hometown hero W.E.B. Du Bois, the iconic civil rights activist, scholar, and founder of the NAACP. At the end of a two-and-a-half-hour Zoom meeting — in which dozens testified, mostly in favor of the proposed […]

Move afoot in Massachusetts to make Juneteenth a state holiday

Written Jun 18, 2020 by Danny Jin in Berkshire Eagle

Juneteenth might become Massachusetts’ newest state holiday. On June 19, 1865, Union soldiers informed enslaved black people in Galveston, Texas, that the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation had made them free under law. The proclamation was signed in 1862, but news did not reach Texas until 1865. June 19, or Juneteenth, has since become a […]

152 years later: Myriad lessons surrounding Du Bois’ enduring legacy

Written Feb 22, 2020 by Hannah Van Sickle in Berkshire Edge

When Randy Weinstein came to live in Great Barrington at the age of 18, he remembered Du Bois’ name being “surrounded by controversy, [and] disparaging [comments],” at the time, something for which Weinstein had zero tolerance. Just two steps inside the Du Bois Center at Great Barrington, an essential lesson awaits: instructions, from W.E.B. Du Bois […]

Efforts to honor black scholar, activist continue in Great Barrington

Written Jun 22, 2020 by Heather Bellow in Berkshire Eagle

The nation of Ghana honored the late George Floyd this month by placing his name at the W.E.B. Du Bois Center, an act that linked the May 25 victim of police violence with one of this country’s most celebrated black intellectuals. Back in DuBois’ hometown of Great Barrington, efforts continue to honor him, at a […]