Great Barrington Celebrates 4th Annual W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Festival With Events February 21 and 23

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass.— The Town of Great Barrington W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Committee will commemorate the 153rd birthday of native son Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois on Feb. 21 and 23, with performances, presentations and community reflections.

Community partner Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center joins the Town of Great Barrington to present this year’s W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Festival, which will be shared online for remote viewing.

The program centers on Du Bois’s commitment to racial justice, connecting his vision and work for liberation with ongoing protests for Black lives.

On Sunday, February 21 at 3pm, Reggie Harris and Greg Greenway will present Deeper Than The Skin, an experience of singing, listening, and connecting. More information and registration for the free event can be found at mahaiwe.org.

On February 23 at 7 p.m., the Du Bois Legacy Day event, ”Timeless Messages of Prophecy & Protest” is presented in collaboration with the Mahaiwe. The Du Bois Legacy Day proclamation will be read, and the 2020 and 2021 Du Bois Legacy Award recipients will be honored: activist and Clinton Church Restoration Founder Wray Gunn of Sheffield and musician-activist Reggie Harris. The free event can be viewed at mahaiwe.org.

Dr. Mary Nell Morgan, associate professor at SUNY-Empire State College, and local musician/singer Wanda Houston will join forces for a powerful rendering and examination of the sorrow songs from W.E.B. Du Bois’s 1903 biography The Souls of Black Folk.

Local activists, musicians, performance artists, community leaders and scholars will reflect on the meaning of Du Bois’s legacy and vision for racial justice in their own work in the time of uprisings and movements for Black lives and racial justice today.

Members of the W.E.B. Du Bois Regional Middle School community with Multicultural BRIDGE, a local racial justice organization, will also share celebrations and reflections about the recent re-naming of the school in Du Bois’s honor, after the overwhelmingly affirmative 2020 Annual Town Meeting vote to formally do so.

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