Community Read of The Souls of Black Folk

October 13, 2020 – February 16, 2021

Join us for a virtual community read of The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois. This classic text combines 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. 

Dr. Du Bois is a major thinker in the American political thought tradition and he had a towering influence upon the study of race and racism in the United States. However, we rarely take the time to appreciate the entire sweep of his classic work; we typically stop short at a quick reading of “Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others” or the famous metaphors of the Talented Tenth, the “color line,” double consciousness, and veiled insightfulness. 

Dr. Frances Jones-Sneed, historian, scholar and Clinton Church Restoration board member, will moderate a weekly read of each of the fourteen chapters in Souls. She will be joined by guest scholars for a discussion of themes and concepts that seem to be perennial in African American life and culture. The read will begin October 13, 2020 at 7:00 pm and be held weekly on Tuesday evenings (with breaks for Election Day and holidays) through February 16, 2021, the week before Dr. Du Bois’s birthday. There is no charge but donations are welcome.

Register by clicking on the yellow chapter links below:

October 13, 2020
Chapter 1: “Of Our Spiritual Strivings”
Guest scholars Dr. MaryNell Morgan-Brown and Dr. Rashida Braggs

October 20, 2020
Chapter 2: “Of the Dawn of Freedom”
Guest scholar Dr. Barbara Krauthamer

October 27, 2020
Chapter 3: “Of Mr. Booker T. Washington and Others”
Guest scholar Dr. Whitney Battle-Baptiste

November 10, 2020
Chapter 4: “Of the Meaning of Progress
Guest scholar Dr. Kendra Field

November 17, 2020
Chapter 5: “Of the Wings of Atalanta”
Guest scholar Dr. Barbara McCaskill

December 1, 2020
Chapter 6: “Of the Training of Black Men”
Guest Scholar Dr. Horace Ballard

December 8, 2020
Chapter 7: “Of the Black Belt”
Guest scholar Dr. Gretchen Long

December 15, 2020
Chapter 8: “Of the Quest of the Golden Fleece”
Guest scholar Kiese Laymon, MFA

January 12, 2021
Chapter 9: “Of the Sons of Master and Man”
Guest scholar Dr. Dolan Hubbard

January 19, 2021
Chapter 10: “Of the Faith of the Fathers”
Guest scholar Dr. Todd Allen

January 26, 2021
Chapter 11: “Of the Passing of the First-Born”
Guest scholars Dr. Nadine Wedderburn and Dr. Ruby Inez Vega

February 2, 2021
Chapter 12: “Of Alexander Crummel”
Guest scholar Dr. David Levering Lewis

February 9, 2021
Chapter 13: “Of the Coming of John”
Guest scholar Dr. Martha Jones

February 16, 2021
Chapter 14: “The Sorrow Songs”
Guest scholar Dr. MaryNell Morgan-Brown

NOTE: We recommend a version of The Souls of Black Folk that includes the music and poetry in the beginning of each chapter, such as the Dover Thrift edition. Note that the preferred versions of the book have “Of” in the title of the first 13 chapters. The book is also available at no charge at gutenberg.org.

Thank you to our sponsors (partial list)
Housatonic Heritage, Berkshire Property Agents, Greylock Federal Credit Union, Lee Bank

Scholars are listed (from left to right ) in the order in which they appear on the schedule