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

The W.E.B. DuBois Home Site, in Great Barrington, is the birthplace of W.E.B. DuBois, 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. Free guided walking tours are available in the summer. Great Barrington, near Pittsfield in Berkshire County, has vintage charm as an historic town and has around 6,800 residents.

DuBois is remembered as a fierce advocate against the teachings of African-American educator Booker T. Washington. Though both scholars wanted 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 framed their thinking than simply reading their words on a page.

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 www.gutenberg.org. One wonders how they managed to handle this partnership despite their conflicting convictions.

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

This is the eighth stop on the Massachusetts Author Adventures Trail Part 1.

Patricia Smart