On this 128th anniversary of the birth of one of the greatest intellectuals of the 20th century, Dr William Edward Burghardt Du Bois--scholar, educator, sociologist, historian, activist, founding father of the modern civil rights movement, one of the fathers of African American Studies, co-founder of the NAACP, Pan Africanist, poet, journalist, writer, and communist--the W.E.B. Du Bois Petition Coalition, the W.E.B. Du Bois Club/CPUSA of Amherst, MA, the UMass/Amherst Young Communist League, the Anti-Racism Coalition, and the UMass Forum on Developing Nations join in celebration as the University of Massachusetts Amherst today formally dedicates its 28 story W.E.B. Du Bois Library, the tallest library in the world.
From his pioneering sociological study "The Philadelphia Negro," to his passionate cry from the heart in "The Souls of Black Folk," to his scholarly vindication of "Black Reconstruction," amongst many other works, Du Bois lashed out against white supremacy with a force and fury which echoes still today, and outlined a path for the liberation of African Americans, for other peoples of color, and still others who fight the oppression of racism, colonialism, imperialism, and capitalism. Du Bois's radicalism earned him an indictment during the McCarthyite anti-communist hysteria of the 1950s for being an "unregistered agent of a foreign principle" while undertaking work for the Peace Information Center and the Stockholm Peace Appeal.
Being perhaps the most widely known American in the first two decades of the Cold War in the Soviet Union, China, India, and Africa, Du Bois's legacy of radicalism, which moved him eventually to join the Communist Party USA before leaving to spend the remainder of his life in Ghana upon the personal invitation of President Kwame Nkrumah, is one which inspires unfaltering hope, undaunting perseverance, and the persistent quest for social and economic justice.
The W.E.B. Du Bois Club/CPUSA of Amherst, MA sees the formal dedication of the University's monumental library in honor of W.E.B. Du Bois as only fitting given the immense stature, both intellectually and politically, of the man. May the Library's towering nature ever serve as a reminder of its namesake, a fellow comrade, who drove a deadly spike into the blood-sucking corpse of racism, imperialism, colonialism, and capitalism. May we all be so inspired to finish Dr. Du Bois's work and organize for a socialist USA replete with the substance, and not merely the rhetoric, of democracy, where racism is outlawed, and human beings have the material means to live lives of dignity, promise, and freedom.
For further information contact one of the following spokespersons:
Fatimah Ihsan: (413) 546-0267
Colin S. Cavell: (413) 546-3408
Shyamala Ivatury: (413) 546-0405