W.E.B. Du Bois Center Visiting Scholar Talk
March 20, 2019
4:00 pm-6:00 pm
Library, W.E.B. Du Bois
UMass Amherst Campus
Lecture Title: Sojourning Through the South: W. E. B. Du Bois and Prairie View State College
W. E. B. Du Bois traveled regularly to Prairie View State College during the 1930s and 40s to deliver Negro History Week lectures and consult with faculty and students about education’s role in freedom movements for people of color across the globe. This talk chronicles his friendship and collaboration with Prairie View’s President, W. R. Banks, and his spouse Glovina Banks, who were both Atlanta University alumni and his former students. It also delves into the intellectual production of Du Bois’s Prairie View lectures, speeches that addressed the pressing global concerns of the 1930s and 40s, including working-class struggles at home and abroad, economic equality, and Pan Africanism. Tracing Du Bois’s sojourns through the South at Prairie View State College demonstrates his deep commitment to popularizing black history in a global perspective, while it also brings to light the importance of African American intellectual and educational networks in the advancement of freedom and peace.
Phillip Luke Sinitiere is Professor of History at the College of Biblical Studies and a 2018-19 W. E. B. Du Bois Visiting Scholar at UMass Amherst. A scholar of American religious history and African American studies, his recent books are Protest and Propaganda: W. E. B. Du Bois, The Crisis, and American History (2014), and Salvation with a Smile: Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church, and American Christianity (2015). In August, Northwestern University Press will publish Sinitiere’s next book, Citizen of the World: The Late Career and Legacy of W. E. B. Du Bois.