W.E.B. Du Bois - A Biography in Four Voices

W.E.B. Du Bois - A Biography in Four Voices

Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 7:00 PM
Suggested Donation - $5

Join us for a special screening in commemoration of W.E.B. Du Bois’ 153rd birthday. The long and remarkable life of Dr. William Edward Burghardt (W.E.B) Du Bois (1868-1963) offers unique insights into a momentous century in African American history. In the first film biography to document the pioneering work of W.E.B. Du Bois, writers Wesley Brown, Thulani Davis, Toni Cade Bambara and Amiri Baraka narrate the successive periods of Du Bois’ life - Black Folk and the New Century (1895-1915), The Crisis and the New Negro (1919-1929), A Second Reconstruction? (1934-1948), and Color, Democracy, Colonies and Peace (1949-1963) – reflecting upon his impact on their own work. 

The consummate scholar-activist, Du Bois founded the first Black popular magazine, played a crucial role in the formation of the NAACP and the pan-African movement, conducted pioneering urban sociological studies, and authored The Souls of Black Folk, The Philadelphia Negro and Black Reconstruction. His rigorous scholarship, essential corpus of writing, and committed activism has left a profound legacy still felt today. Du Bois' continuing anti-racist activism and growing leftist sympathies made him a target during the McCarthy years. He was indicted and for a time his passport was revoked. In 1961, Kwame Nkrumah, the president of the newly independent African state of Ghana, invited him to participate in that country's development; Du Bois accepted, living there for the remainder of his life. 

Writers Wesley Brown and Thulani Davis will join Louis Massiah for a post-screening discussion. 

The filmmaker’s, Louis Massiah, other documentaries include The Bombing of Osage Avenue, Cecil B. Moore, two films for the Eyes on the Prize II series, and A is for Anarchist, B is for Brown. He produced and directed the five channel video instatllation The President’s House: Freedom and Slavery in the Making of a New Nation for the U.S. National Park Service in Philadelphia. He is the founder and director of Scribe Video Center.

Preceded by 
We Are Free Because of Harriet Tubman
(USA, 2020, 5 min)
Produced by Catalina Bajenaru, Parris Moore, Marlene G. Patterson, and Sonia Sanchez
Narrated and written by Sonia Sanchez
Directed by Nadine Patterson
Cinematography by Stephanie Malso and Bass Composed by Christian McBride

Offering a meditation on resistance, history, and nature—In this short film, Philadelphia-based filmmaker, Nadine Patterson, ruminates on the historic legacy of Harriet Tubman. Sonia Sanchez, internationally honored poet and scholar, narrates the film, reciting her poem Haiku and Tanka for Harriet Tubman. The film was shot on location on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, along the UGRR Trail marked by the state, and in Philadelphia, where Tubman found refuge in a community of Free Blacks and Quakers. 

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