A family enjoys a Berkshire County July 4th parade ©Author Adventures

W.E.B. DuBois Home Site

The W.E.B. DuBois Home Site, in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, is the birthplace of W.E.B. DuBois (1868-1963), a scholar and civil rights activist in the first half of the 20th century who was the first African-American to receive a doctorate from Harvard University.

Free guided walking tours are available in the summer. Great Barrington, near Pittsfield in Berkshire County, has vintage charm as an historic small town. According to https://www.duboisnhs.org/visit/: “The interpretive trail highlights DuBois’s journey from Great Barrington to the world stage, information from ongoing archaeological excavations, as well as the Homesite dedication in 1969. Visitors can also explore Du Bois’s legacy in the landscape of downtown Great Barrington. Take the W.E.B Du Bois in Great Barrington Walking Tour to learn about places and people important to Du Bois.”

DuBois and Washington in Conflict

W.E.B. DuBois is remembered as a fierce advocate against the teachings of African-American educator Booker T. Washington. Though both African-American scholars worked to benefit humankind, they disagreed on which path to take. By visiting both of the areas where these gentlemen were born and lived (Massachusetts, Virginia, and West Virginia), readers can get a better sense of the environments that influenced their thinking, as reading their written works provides only a partial view.

Despite their different worlds and philosophies, they came together to collaborate on a book in 1907 entitled The Negro in the South, which is available as a free ebook through https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks. One wonders how they managed to handle this partnership given their conflicting convictions.

For more about Booker T. Washington, click here: Booker T. Washington in West Virginia or Booker T. Washington in Virginia.

This is the fifth stop on the Massachusetts Author Adventures Trail Part 2.

Patricia Smart