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Archive: 19/01/2018

The 24th Annual Du Bois Lecture

Honoring the 150th Anniversary of the Birth of W. E. B. Du Bois

Du Bois Lecture Reiland Rabaka

The UMass Amherst Libraries host the 24th Annual Du Bois Lecture on Wednesday, February 21, 2018, 4:00 P.M., in Old Chapel at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Friday, February 23, 2018, 7:00 P.M., at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Massachusetts. All events are free and open to the public. No reservations are required for the Wednesday lecture at UMass. Reservations for the Friday lecture at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center may be made at

The lecture, titled W. E. B. Du Bois and the Emergence of the Civil Rights Movement, will be given by Dr. Reiland Rabaka of the University of Colorado Boulder, with emcees Jeffrey Alan Peck, great-grandson of W. E. B. Du Bois, and Dr. Whitney Battle-Baptiste, Director of the W. E. B. Du Bois Center at the UMass Amherst Libraries.

Each year, the Libraries mark the birthday of W. E. B. Du Bois, February 23, 1868, with a lecture on a topic relating to his life and legacy. The Library was named for Du Bois in 1994 and is home to the extensive W. E. B. Du Bois Papers.

This year, the Libraries are celebrating the sesquicentennial anniversary of the birth of Du Bois with various programs, events, and a social media campaign using the hashtag #DuBois150. Some events are held in conjunction with the Town of Great Barrington, where Du Bois was born and is the location of Du Bois’s boyhood homesite, owned by UMass Amherst. For more information on Great Barrington events, visit

The 24th Annual Du Bois Lecture is generously sponsored by the UMass Amherst Libraries, the UMass Amherst Graduate School, the Chancellor’s Office, the Provost’s Office, Research and Engagement, The W. E. B. Du Bois Educational Series, and the Town of Great Barrington, Massachusetts.



Dr. Reiland Rabaka is Professor and Chair of the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of Colorado Boulder. He is the author of several books, including Against Epistemic Apartheid: W. E. B. Du Bois and the Disciplinary Decadence of Sociology; Forms of Fanonism: Frantz Fanon’s Critical Theory and the Dialectics of Decolonization; Concepts of Cabralism: Amilcar Cabral and Africana Critical Theory; The Negritude Movement; and three books about the Hip Hop movement.

Jeffrey Alan Peck was born March 24, 1966 in Denver, Colorado. He has lived in Houston, Texas since the age of four. Peck has been involved with drag racing motorcycles and cars for more than 30 years, including more than a decade with Kawasaki as a racer and promoter. He is employed by Lubrizol Corporation, which is owned by Warren Buffett. Peck is the son of a Baptist minister, the late Dr. John Allen Peck, and Yolanda Du Bois Williams, the granddaughter of the late W. E. B. Du Bois. “Both my parents helped pave the way for people of color their entire lives–not to receive special treatment but to receive equal treatment,” says Peck. “I consider myself a humanitarian as well. I see all people as they are, different, but mostly the same.”

Dr. Whitney Battle-Baptiste, ’94, Virginia State University; G’00, The College of William & Mary; PhD ’04, University of Texas, Austin, African Diaspora Program in Anthropology, is a historical archaeologist who focuses primarily on the historical intersection of race, class, gender in the shaping of cultural landscapes across the African Diaspora. Her theoretical interests include Black Feminist theory, African American material and expressive culture, and critical heritage studies. Battle-Baptiste’s work spans a variety of historic sites in the Northern and Southern United States, including the Hermitage in Nashville, Tennessee; Rich Neck Plantation in Williamsburg, Virginia; the Abiel Smith School in Boston, Massachusetts; the W. E. B. Du Bois Homesite in Great Barrington, Massachusetts; and Millars Plantation on the island of Eleuthera, Bahamas. She is currently working on a book project reimagining the work of W. E. B. Du Bois as a method to connect historical archaeology and Black Studies.

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