W. E. B. Du Bois’s special connection to rivers and environmental justice provides a unique lens through which to view his more well-known accomplishments. Readings from Du Bois’s 1930 speech The Housatonic River, Langston Hughes’s The Negro Speaks of Rivers, and Du Bois’s activism surrounding the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927. Musical interpretations. The event will be held on the anniversary of the first Niagara Conference in 1905. It will be followed by a walking tour of sites in Great Barrington that helped to shape the town’s iconic native son.
In his speech to the Annual Meeting of the Alumni of Searles High School, July 21, 1930, Du Bois said, "we should rescue the Housatonic and clean it as we have never in all the years thought before of cleaning it, and seek to restore its ancient beauty; making it the center of a town, of a valley, and perhaps—who knows? of a new measure of civilized life."
River Walk’s half mile of trail is fulfilling Du Bois’s vision, as it celebrates the beauty of the river and a healthy riverside habitat. The W.E.B Du Bois River Park, located on the downstream section, is lush with native plants and features a rain garden that captures and filters run-off waters, helping to support the health of the Housatonic River.
Meet at River Walk’s W.E.B. Du Bois River Park, Church & River Streets, Great Barrington at 2PM for this celebration.
Pre-registration suggested: email@example.com