Arthur E. McFarlane II, the great-grandson of W.E.B. Du Bois, will make his first visit to Great Barrington on Wednesday, Feb. 27 as part of the W.E.B. Du Bois Center’s commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the civil rights leader’s death.
“Du Bois at 50: A Hometown Retrospective,” is part of a year-long series of public events exploring various aspects of civil rights and social justice starting in February and the celebration of Black History Month.
At 3:30 p.m., McFarlane will lay a wreath at his family’s plot at Mahaiwe Cemetery. From 6-7:45 p.m., he will join with members of the general public in a public lecture and discussion about Du Bois held at the First Congregational Church, 251 Main St. McFarlane, professor Frances Jones-Sneed, local author Bernard Drew, historian Scott Christianson, center director Randy F. Weinstein and other speakers will discuss Du Bois’s relationship with Great Barrington and also pay special tribute to McFarlane’s grandmother Yolande. Afterward, a reception will be held at the center from 8-9 p.m.
A nonprofit organization providing educational programs that examine historical and contemporary aspects of social justice, the Du Bois Center consists of a bookstore, research library, program and classroom space, and recently opened Museum of Civil Rights Pioneers, which preserves artifacts relating to Du Bois, Frederick Douglass, James Weldon Johnson, Paul Robeson and other civil rights activists.