The Voice Of W.E.B. Du Bois

Date/Time

Location

The Mount (2 Plunkett St., Lenox, MA 01240)

Chad Williams, professor and chair of African and African American Studies at Brandeis University and author of Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era, comes to Edith Wharton’s house and gardens to talk about W.E.B. Du Bois and Darkwater, DuBois’ reflection on World War I.

For nearly two decades, he says, W. E. B. Du Bois attempted to write what he believed would be the definitive history of the African American experience in the Great War. Williams explores Du Bois’s complex relationship with the history and legacy of World War I and what it reveals about the struggle for democracy, racial justice and peace in the 20th century.

“A century after the publication of Darkwater, its message has never been more relevant,” Williams says in Du Bois Gave Voice to Pain and Promise, a related article in The Atlantic.

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Chad Williams is the Samuel J. and Augusta Spector Professor of History and African and African American Studies at Brandeis University. His first book, Torchbearers of Democracy: African American Soldiers in the World War I Era, was published in 2010 by the University of North Carolina Press. Widely praised as a landmark study, Torchbearers of Democracy won the 2011 Liberty Legacy Foundation Award from the Organization of American Historians, the 2011 Distinguished Book Award from the Society for Military History, and designation as a 2011 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title.

Williams has published articles and book reviews in numerous leading academic journals and collections, op-eds and essays in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, Time, and The Conversation. His next book, The Wounded World: W. E. B. Du Bois and World War I is under contract with Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.