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 […]

Du Bois Legacy Festival to honor the Great Barrington native black scholar, civil rights leader

Written Feb 20, 2020 by Heather Bellow in Berkshire Eagle

In his book, “The Souls of Black Folk,” W.E.B. Du Bois talks about a kind of racist treachery that lives in sterilized language. “Instead of saying directly, `How does it feel to be a problem?’ they say, `I know an excellent colored man in my town.’” That book about the African American experience was published […]

‘Sacred ground’: Event pays tribute to 1969 dedication of Du Bois memorial

Written Oct 18, 2019 by Heather Bellow in The Berkshire Eagle

The wind piercing, they shivered while standing on “sacred ground,” holding holy a slice of homeland that never was forgotten by the man who spent his childhood at this place. It was the Burghardt farmstead, that of his maternal grandfather, that anchored the African American scholar, poet and activist W.E.B. Du Bois no matter where […]

Our Opinion: 50 years later, who is the communist sympathizer?

Written Oct 17, 2019 by editor in The Berkshire Eagle

A look back at the furor surrounding Great Barrington’s dedication of the W.E.B. Du Bois Boyhood Home Site a half-century ago reveals some juicy ironies. The Cold War was still raging in 1969 and Mr. Du Bois’ dalliances with communism and the Soviet Union were highly controversial. (“Events to make half-century since Du Bois site […]

Great Barrington to mark 50 years since Du Bois Boyhood Homesite dedication

Written Oct 16, 2019 by Heather Bellow in The Berkshire Eagle

At the height of the civil rights struggle in 1969, anything honoring scholar and civil rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois wasn’t going to be easy. But 50 years later, it’s all turned around. And on Friday, the dedication of the Du Bois Boyhood Homesite off Route 23 will be celebrated by the town with talks, […]

Indigenous Peoples Day OK’d in Great Barrington

Written Oct 4, 2019 by Heather Bellow in The Berkshire Eagle

Select Board replaces Columbus Day in town. The town last week became the sixth in the state to officially replace Columbus Day with Indigenous Peoples Day, celebrated on the second Monday of every October. On Sept. 23, Select Board members signed a proclamation that made the change, and will, in future, coincide with events and […]