Abstract

Materials written by or pertaining to W.E.B. Du Bois, collected by James Aronson, who was executive editor of the "National Guardian" from 1948 to 1967. Includes correspondence, speeches by Du Bois in published form, articles by Du Bois, biographical sketches and tribute articles about Du Bois, photographs, and newspaper clippings.

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English
Special Collections & University Archives
UMass Amherst Libraries
154 Hicks Way
Amherst, Mass. 01003-9275
413-545-2780
James Aronson - W.E.B. Du Bois Collection
1946-1983
2 boxes (1.5 linear ft.)
Call no.: MS 292
Contents of Collection

The collection consists of materials from James Aronson's personal papers that were written by or pertain to W.E.B. Du Bois. Aronson served as the executive editor of the National Guardian, "the longest-lived and most prestigious of... postwar radical newspapers, from 1948 to 1967.1 The National Guardian was created to provide a dissenting voice during the intensification of the Cold War and McCarthy era, a vehicle for the Progressive Party, and to push for the expansion and radicalization of New Deal policies.2 The National Guardian's commitment to free speech and oppositional politics during the Red Scare provided Du Bois a forum to both make a living and be heard while the U.S. government sought to limit his influence. During this fifteen year span, a period that Aronson later explained as a time in which "almost no one else would publish him," Du Bois produced over 130 articles for the National Guardian.3

Correspondence includes letters from Shirley Graham Du Bois to Aronson, speeches by Du Bois in published form, articles by and about Du Bois, photographs, and newsclippings. Most of Du Bois' articles that appeared in the National Guardian between 1948 and 1963 are included. The articles covered an array of topics, but were principally concerned with pacifism, socialism, Pan Africanism, African socialism, African history, African American history, and critiques of the anti-democratic nature of McCarthyism, capitalistic exploitation and its impact on non-white nations and people, and racism in the U.S. Articles about Du Bois are also included, including several biographical sketches and a series of tributes written between 1951 and 1983.

The speeches included in the collection are from the late 1940s and early 1950s and were made while Du Bois was campaigning for Progressive Party presidential candidate Henry Wallace and during Du Bois's senatorial campaign on the American Labor Party Ticket in New York in 1950. The photographs included are from 1958 and were taken in both London and the U.S.

The newspaper clippings, 1947 to 1964, cover a range of events including the government's attempt to charge Du Bois with being an "agent of a foreign power"; the government's refusal to issue Du Bois passports throughout the 1950s, including its refusal to allow him to attend Ghana's 1957 independence celebration; and press coverage from around the world regarding Du Bois's death in 1963.

Footnotes
  1. Dan Georgakas, "National Guardian/Guardian" in Encyclopedia of the American Left, 2nd ed., edited by Mari Jo Buhle, Paul Buhle & Dan Georgakas (Oxford University Press, 1998), 529.
  2. The editors of the paper, in fact, even tried to secure funding from the Progressive Party, but to no avail. The National Guardian's first issue contained an article written by Progressive Party presidential candidate Henry Wallace. At the state level the paper was aligned with the American Labor Party, an Independent-Socialist ticket that sponsored the Gubernatorial campaign of Guardian co-editor John McManus and the Senatorial campaign of Du Bois.
  3. Cedric Belfrage and James Aronson, Something to Guard: The Stormy Life of the National Guardian, 1948-1967 (Columbia University Press, 1978), 138.
Collection inventory
Correspondence (W.E.B. Du Bois with Aronson, Belfrage, et al.)
1949-1954

Box 1: 1
Correspondence
1955

Box 1: 2
Correspondence
1956-1957

Box 1: 3
Correspondence
1958-1959

Box 1: 4
Correspondence
1960-1961

Box 1: 5
Correspondence
1962-1963

Box 1: 6
Correspondence (Shirley Graham Du Bois with Aronson)
1961-1970

Box 1: 7
Speeches by W.E.B. Du Bois (typescripts and/or published versions)


Box 1
Wallace rally, Golden Gate Ballroom, New York
Oct. 29, 1948

Box 1: 8
Press conference, Hotel Theresa
Sept. 24, 1950

Box 1
American Labor Party rally, Golden Gate Ballroom
Oct. 5, 1950

Box 1
American Labor Party rally, Hotel St. George, Brooklyn
Nov. 1, 1950

Box 1
My Platform, Rochester, NY
1950

Box 1
Public rally, American People's Congress & Exposition for Peace, Chicago Coliseum
June 29, 1951

Box 1: 8a
The Causes of War, Right to Advocate Peace meeting, Town Hall, New York
Sept. 28, 1951

Box 1
Statement on indictment
1951

Box 1
St. Thomas Chamber of Commerce
Feb. 27, 1952

Box 1
American Socialist Party book reception
Nov. 16, 1952

Box 1
Progressive Party convention, Ashland Auditorium, Chicago
July 4, 1952

Box 1
Save the Rosenbergs rally, Civil Rights Congress, Central Plaza, New York
Oct. 23, 1952

Box 1
The American Labor Party, ALP dinner, Hotel Aster
Sept. 30, 1953

Box 1: 9
The Stalin Peace Prizes, Hotel Theresa
Sept. 3, 1953

Box 1
Germany - War or Peace rally
Oct. 8, 1954

Box 1
What is Wrong with the US?, Guardian's welcome meeting for Vincent Hallinan
Apr. 20, 1955

Box 1
The Exploitation of Colored Labor (excerpts), Committee to Further the Goals of Geneva
Oct. 28, 1955

Box 1
The Wealth of the West vs. A Chance for Exploited Mankind (from same speech as above) in National Guardian
1955

Box 1
Geneva and Africa
1955

Box 1
National Guardianship, 8th birthday dinner
Nov. 15, 1956

Box 1
Birthday celebration
Mar. 2, 1958

Box 1
90th Birthday Response, Church of the Holy Trinity, Brooklyn, Negro History Week celebration
Feb. 9, 1958

Box 1
91st Birthday (condensation), Peking University, China
Feb. 23, 1959

Box 1: 10
World Peace Council
May 1959

Box 1
Speech in Moscow
1959

Box 1
Murder and Destruction for Human Progress, Rally for Peace and Disarmament, Toronto
Feb. 7, 1960

Box 1
The Wrongs which Suppress Our Rights, Emergency Civil Liberties Committee meeting, New Yorker Hotel
June 15, 1960

Box 1
On the Vast and Reckless Waste of Human Life (re: Louis Burnham)
June 20, 1960

Box 1
The Foreign Born, American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born, Hotel Great Northern, New York


Box 1
Writings - Articles by W.E.B. Du Bois (published and unpublished)
Feb. 14, n.y.

Box 1: 11
Georgia: Torment of a State, NM
Sept. 10, 1946

Box 1
My Relations with the NAACP
ca 1948

Box 1
From McKinley to Wallace: My Fifty Years as a Political Independent, Masses and Mainstream
August 1948

Box 1
(Title unknown), National Guardian*
1952

Box 1
Uganda (unpublished)
1949

Box 1
Testimony, House Foreign Affairs Committee, in The Daily Compass
1949

Box 1
Statement on Korea
Oct. 4, 1950

Box 1
The Big Problem: To Get the Truth to the People, National Guardian
Jan. 24, 1951

Box 1
There Must Come a Vast Social Change in the US, National Guardian
July 11, 1951

Box 1
Why John Brown's Soul Marches On, National Guardian
Feb. 14, 1951

Box 1
The Choice that Confronts America's Negroes, National Guardian
Feb. 13, 1952

Box 1
The Elections (unpublished)
1952

Box 1
China (unpublished)
Jan. 7, 1953

Box 1
Corporation Democracy
Jan. 12, 1953

Box 1
The Commonsense Party
Apr. 6, 1953

Box 1
The Hard-bit Man in the Loud Shirts, National Guardian
1953

Box 1
He Knew the Common Man...Followed his Fate (re Stalin), National Guardian
1953

Box 1
On Cats, Public Manners and the Education of Educators
Mar. 23, 1953

Box 1
Cannot this Paralyzed Nation Awake?
Apr. 12, 1954

Box 1
A Third Party - or Even a Second
May 17, 1954

Box 1
American Negroes and Africa, National Guardian
Feb. 14, 1955

Box 1: 12
Ethiopia: State Socialism under an Emperor, National Guardian
1955

Box 1
Slavery in the Union of South Africa, National Guardian
1955

Box 1
Question of Formosa
Feb. 14, 1955

Box 1
News release re: series on Africa in National Guardian
Feb. 7, 1955

Box 1
Let's Restore Democracy to America, National Guardian
Jan. 2, 1956

Box 1: 13
The Negro in America Today, National Guardian
Jan. 16, 1956

Box 1
How United are Negroes?, National Guardian
Jan. 23, 1956

Box 1
Democracy in America, National Guardian
Feb. 13, 1956

Box 1
The Political Power of the South, National Guardian
Mar. 5, 1956

Box 1
The Theory of a Third Party, National Guardian, Mar 26 (also, as reprinted in The People's Peace Party Forum, Winamac, Indiana, May)
1956

Box 1
Cure for America's Disaster Lies within Ourselves (intended as closing remarks at debate on America's Road to Democracy and World Peace, Carnegie Hall, May 27), National Guardian
June 11, 1956

Box 1
Clean Out the Congress, National Guardian
June 25, 1956

Box 1
The Saga of Nkrumah (The Spectator column)
July 30, 1956

Box 1
Reform the US Senate or Lose your Democracy, National Guardian
Nov. 5, 1956

Box 1
Negro History Centenaries
Jan. 14, 1957

Box 1: 14
Will the Great Gandhi Live Again?, National Guardian
Feb. 11, 1957

Box 1
The Collier's Story: It Had 4,000,000 Readers But It Died, National Guardian
Mar. 11, 1957

Box 1
A Future for Pan-Africa: Freedom, Peace, Socialism, National Guardian
Mar. 11, 1957

Box 1
Negroes and Socialism
Apr. 29, 1957

Box 1
Colombo: No Peace Delegate from US?
June 10, 1957

Box 1
Letter to Editor
June 24, 1957

Box 1
Watchword for Negroes: Register and Vote, National Guardian
July 8, 1957

Box 1
Does 'All Deliberate Speed' Mean 338 Years?, National Guardian
Nov. 4, 1957

Box 1
A Vista of Ninety Fruitful Years, National Guardian
Feb. 17, 1958

Box 1
The Independocrat at the Dinner Table
July 7, 1958

Box 1
Africa Awakened, excerpted from Labour Monthly
Feb. 1959

Box 1
The Vast Miracle of China Today, National Guardian
June 8, 1959

Box 1
The Africans and the Colonialist Tactic, New Times, no. 7
1959

Box 1
The Lie of History as it is Taught Today, National Guardian
Feb. 15, 1960

Box 1: 15
A Program of Reason, Right and Justice for Today, National Guardian
May 23, 1960

Box 1
Africa and World Peace, Bulletin of the World Council of Peace
June 1960

Box 1
John Brown's Battle for Kansas, National Guardian
June 6, 1960

Box 1
Letter to Editor, National Guardian
Oct. 10, 1960

Box 1
American Negroes and Africa's Rise to Freedom, National Guardian
Feb. 13, 1961

Box 1
A Logical Program for a Free Congo (partial), National Guardian
May 15, 1961

Box 1
For Africa, An Encyclopedia, Afro-American magazine
Oct. 21, 1961

Box 1
Africa Awake! Put on the Beautiful Robes of Socialism, The Ghanaian Times
Aug. 31, 1963

Box 1
The Independocrat at the Dinner Table (reprinted), National Guardian
Feb. 20, 1963

Box 1
The Negro Progressives


Box 1
The Negro Voter


Box 1
A Bitter Battle is Shaping Up, National Guardian


Box 1
Writings by Du Bois (pamphlets)


Box 1: 16
I Take My Stand for Peace
1951

Box 1
Peace is Dangerous
1951

Box 1
Socialism Today
1959

Box 1
Photographs


Box 1: 17
Asian Writers Conference, Tashkent
Oct. 1958

Box 1
In London Garden on Arrival with First Passport
1958

Box 1
In Office


Box 1
At Conference


Box 1
With (lighting pipe)


Box 1
Signing portrait for John T. McManus, New York
Aug. 1958

Box 1
Interview Transcript, W.E.B. Du Bois and Al Morgan, Dumont Broadcasting
June 1957

Box 1: 18
Biographical Sketches and Vitae of WEBD


Box 1: 19
Bibliographies of W.E.B. Du Bois writings; book reviews of his books; prospecti for W.E.B. Du Bois books


Box 1: 20
Tributes


Box 1: 21
Resolution, Fisk Alumni
1951

Box 1
Ghana evening news
1957

Box 1
Hunton, W. Alphaeus
1958

Box 1
Nelson, Truman (90th birthday)
1958

Box 1
Belfrage, Cedric
1958

Box 1
Emergency Civil Liberties Committee
1960

Box 1
Lenin Peace Prize
1960

Box 1
Ghanaian government, Kwame Nkrumah
1963

Box 1
Melish, William Howard
1963

Box 1
Aptheker, Herbert
1963

Box 1
Fritchman, Stephen H.
1963

Box 1
Du Bois Memorial Committee, Ossie Davis
1963

Box 1
Carnegie Hall Memorial, Shirley Graham Du Bois
1964

Box 1
Du Bois Centennial
1968

Box 1
Schomburg Bronze Head Dedication


Box 1
Aronson, James to Harvard Alumni
1969

Box 1
Speeches and Articles about W.E.B. Du Bois


Box 1: 22
Robeson, Paul, American Labor Party Rally, Madison Square Garden
Oct. 24 1950

Box 1
Kahn, Albert E, Agents of Peace (pamphlet)
1951

Box 1
Reddick, Lawrence, "Right to Advocate Peace" meeting address, Town Hall, New York
Sept. 28, 1951

Box 1
Hunton, Alpheus, Du Bois and Africa, Accra
Feb. 12, 1964

Box 1
Meyer, Howard N., WEB Du Bois and 'The Problem of the Color Line', Wall Street Journal
Feb. 23, 1968

Box 1
'Red Hunting beyond the Grave' The Nation
Apr. 1, 1968

Box 1
Duberman, Martin, Du Bois as Prophet, The New Republic
Mar. 23, 1968

Box 1
Pittman, John, A Long Night's Journey to Tomorrow's Sunrise, Daily World
Feb. 5, 1969

Box 1
Special issue on Du Bois and Black Liberation with articles by Aptheker, Hunton, Joseph North, Mindy Thompson, World Magazine
Feb. 21, 1970

Box 1
Marable, Manning, Peace and Black Liberation: The Contributions of WEBD
June 3, 1983

Box 1
(Du Bois in the National Guardian), paper by Lisa ?
n.d.

Box 1
Miscellaneous


Box 1: 23
Is Peace a Crime? The Case of the Peace Information Center, brochure, National Committee to Defend Dr. WEBD
ca 1951

Box 1
Resolution Adopted by the General Council of Local 600, United Auto Workers-CIO
Sept. 9, 1951

Box 1
Katanka, Michael, in London, article sent to Belfrage, typescript
n.y.

Box 1
The Philadelphia Transit Strike Of 1944, by Allan M. Winkler, reprinted from J of American History
June 1972

Box 1
Notes (made by James Aronson?)


Box 1
News clippings about W.E.B. Du Bois and related subjects
1947-1964

Box 2: 24-40
Administrative information
Provenance

Acquired from Grambs Aronson, 1990.

Processing Information

Processed by David Goldberg, 2001.

Acknowledgments

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: James Aronson-W.E.B. Du Bois Collection (MS 292). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms
Subjects
  • African Americans--Civil rights.
  • African Americans--History--1877-1964.
  • National guardian.
  • Socialism--Africa.
  • United States--Race relations.
Names
  • Aronson, James--Correspondence.
  • Du Bois, Shirley Graham, 1896-1977--Correspondence.
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963.
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963.
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963--Death and burial.
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963--Views on democracy.
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963--Views on pacifism.
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963--Views on Pan-Africanism.
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963--Views on socialism.
Genre terms
  • Photographs.
  • Speeches.