W.E.B. Du Bois On My Mind

“…the problem of the twentieth century is the problem of the color-line”W.E.B. Du Bois

For the last few days, I have been mulling over the above quote in my mind which was in the first paragraph of  “The Forethought” at the beginning of his 1903 book, The Souls of Black Folk.

I was probably introduced to Du Bois by my mom who had gone back to college when I was about 6years old. It took her 10 years of night school to obtain her B.A., so as she grew, studied and read, so did I! I went onto learn a lot about Du Bois as I read his books and biographies about him. He has never left my mind. I know someone who just moved to Ghana and is teaching there. I told him, when he gets a chance, to please visit the W.E.B. Du Bois Museum in Accra, Ghana and send me a postcard. Du Bois died in Ghana in 1965.

“I’ll keep on wishing

We must always keep dreaming

Of a world

With equality and justice”-Tracy Chapman

“You Can’t Change History, but You Can Take Steps to Right the Wrongs of the Past.”-Mike Hubbard, House Speaker in the Alabama House of Representatives

I just had to do a 2nd posting today when I heard that the Alabama Governor will soon sign a pardon for the over 80-year old case against The Scottsboro Boys.  The first posting (below) celebrated Gregory Peck who portrayed Atticus Finch in Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.  Harper Lee was partially inspired by the case of The Scottsboro Boys in 1931 who were wrongly tried for the supposed raping of a white woman.

The case of The Scottsboro Boys was, “An historic miscarriage of justice.”-Ben Jealous,  President/CEO NAACP

How the lives of these young, innocent men were ruined!

I happened upon this You Tube documentary today made by a 9th grader which summarizes the case and, for those, not familiar with the case, it really does a good job and is worth viewing: The Scottsboro Boys.

I would also suggest reading this article: Alabama Lawmakers Vote to Pardon the Scottsboro Boys.

“Believe in life! Always human beings will live and progress to greater, broader, and fuller life.” W.E.B. Du Bois

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, W.E.B. DU BOIS!  The wonderful philosopher, writer, activist was born 145 years ago today, 2/23/13.  W.E.B. Du Bois was a fascinating intellectual. Imagine his hometown of Great Barrington, Mass., taking up a collection to send him to Fisk University in Nasville in the 19th Century!!!!!   Du Bois had much criticism concerning how Blacks were treated in his country and he sometimes butted heads with people like Booker T. Washington who founded the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, more of a training center for Blacks than a college.  Du Bois believed in rigorous education to fight racism. Both men believed in their people and wanted equality for all. Du Bois helped found the NAACP, which evolved out of “The Niagara Movement.”  Du Bois was the first African American to receive a degree from Harvard with a B.A. Cum Laude in History.  I remember reading and admiring Du Bois as a teenager and that admiration has never ceased. Du Bois lived his last few years in Ghana as a citizen of Ghana and he died there.

***Just an added note: Last June, 2012, I read You Need a SchoolHouse by Stephanie Deutsch who is married to the great-grandson of businessman/philanthropist, Julius Rosenwald noted for his generosity in founding the Rosenwald Schools throughout the U.S. to give Black children an educational opportunity in a time when good education, among many other things, was denied to them. Mr. Rosenwald founded

Sears, Roebuck & Co. Rosenwald said: “Treat people fairly and honestly and generously and their response will be fair and honest and generous.”

  He became fast friends and partners with Booker T. Washington. It is a book worth reading.

All three men, Du Bois, Washington & Rosenwald still have much to teach us about human potential and the innate desire for learning. Who among us does not want to excel?

Tuskegee Institute Rosenwald & Washington

Stephanie Deutsch

Happy Centennial Birthday Rosa Parks!

Each Person Must Live Their Lives as a Model for Others.” Rosa Parks, through her planned act of non-violent protesting, spotlighted the Jim Crow Laws governing southern states. Mrs. Parks and her husband, Raymond Parks, were very active in the Montgomery Alabama chapter of the NAACP, where she was their Secretary. Her refusal to give up her seat on the bus was not because she was tired nor was it a spontaneous act. It was a strategy that quickened the hearts of many around the world and ignited a generation to become the template of peaceful resistance resulting in many long struggles; the abolishment of unfair laws; the implementation of The Civil Rights Act and The Voting ActThe known heroes and unsung heroes of  The Civil Rights Movement continue to teach ALL of us that equality, justice, freedom, peace are precious and necessary for any society to flourish and must be vigilantly taken care of. The light cast by Rosa Parks, Dr. King, The Freedom Riders, Congressman John Lewis cannot be allowed to burn out for we must continue to work together to “Let it shine, Let it shine, Let it shine.”