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About Us

The all-volunteer W.E.B. Du Bois National Historic Site Working Committee, together with four partner organizations, plans programming and on-site interpretation in Great Barrington, and coordinates fundraising throughout the United States. A team of distinguished advisors is guiding the development of the organization, providing leadership in our current effort to raise $500,000 to build the organizational capacity of the National Historic Site.

Housatonic Heritage currently serves as the fiscal agent for the W.E.B. Du Bois National Historic Site. Creating an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization is a priority for the Working Committee in the next 12 months. 

Housatonic Heritage

Du Bois NHS is a project of the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area (or, for short, Housatonic Heritage).  www.upperhousatonicheritage.org/

Housatonic Heritage, in partnership with the National Parks Service, is dedicated to preserving and promoting the cultural, historical, and natural resources of the Upper Housatonic Valley region.

University of Massachusetts Amherst

The University of Massachusetts, Amherst is the custodian of the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite in Great Barrington. Du Bois’s personal and professional papers are housed in the Special Collections and University Archives at the University of Massachusetts Libraries. www.library.umass.edu/spcoll/dubois/

Also, the W.E.B. Du Bois Center, at UMass, supports ongoing scholarship emanating from the life and teachings of Du Bois. www.thewebduboiscenter.com/w-e-b-du-bois-center

Friends of the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite

Friends of the Du Bois Homesite is the local, community-based organization that supports the restoration, maintenance, stewardship and awareness of the W.E.B. Du Bois National Historic Site as a public memorial to the Great Barrington native who became a leading scholar and activist in the civil rights movement in the United States and around the world.

The Friends organize annual programs and in addition work within guidelines established by the University of Massachusetts at Amherst to serve as the university’s stewards of the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite.

The Friends’ founding leadership represents Great Barrington institutions with long-standing interests in promoting the legacy of W.E.B. Du Bois in the town and region.

Founding Organizations

Founding Leadership
Bernard Drew
Rachel Fletcher
Elaine Gunn
Wray Gunn
Frances Jones-Sneed
Cora Portnoff

African American Heritage Trail

The Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail encompasses twenty-nine Massachusetts and Connecticut towns in the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area, and celebrates African Americans in the region who played pivotal roles in key national and international events, as well as “everyday people” of achievement. The W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite is an anchor site along the African American Heritage Trail. www.africanamericantrail.org/

Bettina Aptheker
Professor of Feminist Studies, University of California at Santa Cruz

Dan Bolognani
Executive Director, Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area

Thomas W. Cole, Jr.
President Emeritus, Clark Atlanta University
Interim Chancellor, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Edmund W. Gordon
John M. Musser Professor of Psychology, Emeritus - Yale University
Richard March Hoe Professor of Psychology and Education, Emeritus - Teachers College, Columbia University
Cofounder, W.E.B. Du Bois Memorial Park

Frances Jones-Sneed
Professor of History, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
Co-Director, Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail

Odell Murry
President, MAI Financial Services, Inc.
Board Chair, W.E.B. Du Bois Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Trustee of the Du Bois Trust

Jay Schafer
Director, University of Massachusetts Libraries, Amherst

 

Whitney Battle-Baptiste
Professor of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Bernard A. Drew
Local Historian, Great Barrington
Friends of the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite

Rachel Fletcher
Director, Housatonic River Walk
Friends of the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite

David Glassberg
Professor of History, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Wray Gunn
Friends of the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite

Elaine Gunn
1968 W.E.B. Du Bois Memorial Committee
Friends of the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite

Robert Paynter
Professor of Anthropology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Cora Portnoff
Friends of the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite

Dolores Root
Consultant, Program and Organizational Development, Shelburne Falls, MA
Adjunct Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

 

 

Archive of Friends' Newsletters

 

The W.E.B. Du Bois National Historic Site!
Volume 5, Winter, 2012
Description: W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite

 

Smithsonian's Lonnie Bunch Absorbs GB
Volume 4, Summer, 2010
Insert
Description: http://www.duboishomesite.org/Images/BunchSummer2010.JPG
Dr. Lonnie Bunch (left), founding director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, views a video of the 1969 Homesite dedication, with David Glassberg and Barbara Krauthamer, UMass History, and Odell Murry

 
Building a Master Plan for Heritage Tourism
Volume 3, Summer, 2009
Description: Jack Rogala and UMass crew site improvements 
Jack Rogala and UMass crew install site improvements.

UMass Builds New Woods Trail, Parking Lot
Volume 2, Autumn, 2008
Insert
Description: http://www.duboishomesite.org/Images/BoulderBW.jpg

 

Du Bois Memorial Park in Great Barrington 
re-opens, thanks to UMass, Amherst
Volume 1, Summer, 2008
Description: http://www.duboishomesite.org/Images/HomesiteTour9_22_07.jpg
Visitors view documentary footage of the 1969 memorial dedication at the Route 23 property that took place around the very boulder on which the laptop computer is perched


Past Programs  

W.E.B. DU BOIS HOMESITE
28 July 2008: Preview of Improvements
at the W.E.B. Du Bois Homesite
View the Program   

Listen to Story  WAMC Northeast Public Radio

  
FRIENDS OF DU BOIS HOMESITE & 
CLINTON A.M.E. ZION CHURCH
18 October 2009: Fortieth Anniversary 
of the W.E.B. Du Bois Boyhood Homesite
and Memorial Park Dedication    
PROGRAM

DU BOIS CENTER UMASS AMHERST
26 February 2010: W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture 
Dr. Evelyn Higginbotham Speaks at UMass Amherst  
VIDEO

DU BOIS CENTER UMASS AMHERST
25 March 2010: Inaugural Symposium 
Dr. Lonnie Bunch, Director
Smithsonian's National Museum of 
African American History and Culture
 Speaks at UMass Amherst  
VIDEO

FRIENDS OF DU BOIS HOMESITE &
UMASS AMHERST PUBLIC HISTORY DEPT.
7 April 2011: Triplex Cinema, Gt. Barrington
Advance Screening
American Experience's FREEDOM RIDERS
Community Conversation with local  Freedom Riders
Exhibition:
Becoming a Son of Great Barrington: W.E.B. DuBois
PROGRAM

Other Resources

  • W. E. B. Du Bois River Park
    Housatonic River Walk
    W.E.B. Du Bois:
    Champion of Rivers at Home and Around the World

    Description: W.E.B. Du Bois: Champion of Rivers at Home   Description: W.E.B. Du Bois: Champion of Rivers Around the World
  • GUIDE  By Bernard A. Drew

Description: http://www.duboishomesite.org/Images/DuBois50SitesCover.JPG
To order the free brochure or 8-page booklet:

Friends of the Du Bois Homesite
PO Box 1018
Gt Barrington MA 01230