Online Community Read of The Souls of Black Folk

Classic work by W.E.B. Du Bois to be explored during Clinton Church Restoration’s 14-week series

GREAT BARRINGTON, MA, September 22, 2020 — Clinton Church Restoration is hosting an online community read of The Souls of Black Folk byW.E.B. Du Bois. The 14-week series, which will take place via Zoom, will begin Tuesday, October 13 at 7pm, and held weekly on Tuesday evenings (with breaks for Election Day and holidays) through February 16, 2021, the week before Dr. Du Bois’ birthday. Each week, Dr. Frances Jones-Sneed, Clinton Church Restoration board member and Professor Emeritus at MCLA, will be joined by a guest scholar for a discussion of a single chapter of Du Bois’ classic text. There is no charge but donations are welcome and registration is required. Attendees of all ages are encouraged to participate.

“This is a book that everyone should read,” said Dr. Jones-Sneed. “Du Bois was an eloquent and approachable writer and his work helps us understand the history of racism in the United States, and how that history is relevant today.” The book’s fourteen essays combine classic elegy, autobiographical sketches, sociological studies, short fiction, theology, political protest, musicology, historical profiles, biblical allusion, education, collective economics, women’s issues, race relations, literature classics, and Greek mythology. 

Guest scholars joining Dr. Jones-Sneed during the series are Dr. MaryNell Morgan-Brown, Dr. Rashida Braggs, Dr. Barbara Krauthamer, Dr. Whitney Battle-Baptiste, Dr. Kendra Field, Dr. Barbara McCaskill, Dr. Horace Ballard, Dr. Gretchen Long, Kiese Laymon, Dr. Dolan Hubbard, Dr. Todd Allen, Dr. Nadine Wedderburn, Dr. Ruby Inez Vega, Dr. David Levering Lewis and Dr. Martha Jones.

Clinton Church Restoration is creating an African American Cultural Center at the historic Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church in downtown Great Barrington. The A.M.E. Zion Society which funded and built the church at 9 Elm Court in 1887, was a formative influence in the life of the Du Bois. The National Register property was purchased in 2017 with widespread support from the community. It is currently under renovation and plans to create a visitor and cultural center that will return it to the center of community life are underway.

This online Community Read is sponsored by Housatonic Heritage, Berkshire Property Agents, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Berkshire Money Management, Berkshire Coop, Lee Bank, Guido’s Fresh Marketplace, and David and Julie McCarthy. Inspiration for the series came from a Monday morning discussion series called “Breakfast with Du Bois” held at the W.E.B. Du Bois Center at UMass Amherst.

The full schedule and registration links are available on the events page.