Skip to main content

tv   Lectures in History Philosophy of W.E.B. Du Bois  CSPAN  July 17, 2021 10:59pm-12:05am EDT

10:59 pm
>> next on american history tv, it's lectures and history with georgetown university professor maurice jackson. teaches a class from the philosophy of 19th and early 20th centuries author and civil rights act list w eb, talking about the comp located political and personal partnership between the 16th president and his wife. later, james benner argues history has been continuously reinterpreted since the time of the ancient greeks as possessions and cultures involved. here's lectures and history on.
11:00 pm
>> he established it for four reasons one was the birthday of frederick douglass we don't know the exact date, abraham lincoln. who set the emancipation proclamation. and the birthday of w.e.b. dubois, february 23, 1860 in barrington massachusetts. my wife was pregnant with our second child and she went into labor and february 22. as we went to the hospital i said dear if you have this child tonight as you can
11:01 pm
imagine he would call him every name but a child of god as she called me but he was born february 23 so we do have dubois birthday. and of course talking about freedom there is no person that exemplified the struggle of freedom in america and in the world. let's look a bit at his life. the early years great in belton great barrington massachusetts basically was born there he was born to his mother and father, his father alfred left the family not long after he left .'s grandfather alexander was of haitian background spent some time in sentiment of angle and ran a store in great
11:02 pm
11:03 pm
barrington. one day goes to school and kids are passing out cards like greeting cards and they are exchanging with each other and this one girl wouldn't accept his card. if you're african-american or perhaps spanish or some other ethnic minority you most like
11:04 pm
to remember the first time you had racism, my brother and i were walking someone was driving a pickup truck i smell i remember just as it were yesterday is generally people make racial up to stay always going with him you never coming towards you. he early recognize that he recognized very early. he excelled in school his mother told the story of once he had german textbook he didn't have the money to buy it he works in little stores in the morning was somewhat mentally challenged with the password. yet the difficulty learning but they became best friends. his friends mother bought him a set of books the mother will
11:05 pm
not accept anything else but in this case she did for her son and the people in town saw how talented this young man was they wanted to make sure he went to college and he applied to many, he was from great barrington so he wanted to go to harvard. that was his dream skull. they can expect expect him as a black man not through the institution. instead he went to two years in tennessee and he had never been down south. he became just a very important to him. he left and went to university of mississippi livingston hall. the main hall and the campus. even when i went there many
11:06 pm
many years later young man walked up and he could never going to the dorm. now we come back to that in a moment. he learned something he did not see before. he went down south to other parts of tennessee and for the first time he saw poverty. the poverty of his people. they saw people who had to wash their clothes outside.
11:07 pm
he saw the experience of people. none who ever going to school. as you ready to show the black folks that you read, this is however he excelled. he finished in a four-year course in two years. and he applied to harvard and accepted he taught him the importance of learning ãã william james of course. he won a prize in his senior year and wrote of all people on jefferson davis. he wrote about jefferson davis and the rise of slavery.
11:08 pm
from there he applied to graduate school but first he wanted to go to germany.he wanted to go to germany for several reasons. first because of the way the empirical knowledge. anybody ever seen the movie kojak? he says show me the facts and i can interpret it myself. he said i don't need to know the preacher to show me the way i will find the battle myself. he very much spent two years in germany. when he was in germany he had different feelings. the racism of the fellow
11:09 pm
students he walks around in germany and found something different. he doesn't experience the racism. it's what he became later on he talked about the dual mess of things. in germany of course you say they studied economics at william university. he studied political economy, political economy is based on the ricardo period. being black was not a negative for him he was a positive. he wanted to explore that and later on he came back. after he left germany he went
11:10 pm
back to harvard and completed his doctoral studies and last years of his writing he takes a job at ããuniversity, by the classes i mean greek and latin. he also taught science and biology. he was a young man in town and of course he was wearing the top hat as germans he wore three-piece suits all the time with pants on issues. ããhe was invited to dinner almost every night. a young man. his thinking maybe about marriage or future for his future and he saw all these young ladies everybody's inviting him to dinner and the families so he makes two lists on one list it was the young women who could speak french or whatever. the cook and then on another
11:11 pm
list it was those who had great intelligence. on the one list he had one woman that was on both. that sounds a bit silly but it's true. on the list this is the one who both nana call me he married her and later they had children. in the process of doing this he figures his doctorate speeches at harvard university what the study did more than ever is a look that everybody and developed a list and documentation about the way the slave trade worked in each and every state and what slaves come from from the outer regions. the first time it ever been done. based on empirical knowledge and going back to every colonial constitution.
11:12 pm
south carolina virginia and
11:13 pm
others. the first year he finishes the study. becomes doctor dubois. he applied for the job and anyways not too many places to go he liked opera he liked concerts. lo and behold he got a job in philadelphia. in philadelphia he got a job working working on a study of the city. to look at the social economic conditions. became the first empirical social worker at the time. the period of what we call urban sociology.
11:14 pm
this is where he went interviewing people. when people want to the type of people who will devote now they can say working/ class white voted for donald trump. african americans in the south they can look at the numbers and say he played a great role
11:15 pm
in education in philadelphia. the beauty of ben as i as dubois spoke he found the first school for black continuous school for black and philadelphia in one of the first few in america. he had a greater appreciation for that. the next year he got a job and moved to atlanta georgia. and worked at atlanta
11:16 pm
university. empirical studies could mean statistics and some form of science. beauregard after his mother's family name. anybody ever watch the andy griffin show. what is the guys name, gomer, it can't be a southern name this case is another name. you can see how beautiful and precocious that is. he can see the kind of dress he had young girls dress but that's the way of the victorian-style. dubois is very much a victorian. he takes him throughout atlanta, nobody would help them. up until probably late 60s. in some places. so the sun dies of a disease
11:17 pm
which he could have been cured of. he wrote one of his great years on the passing of the firstborn. in his book souls of black folks. so while he's there studying this he notices other things other things that occur the tragedy of lynching. is walking somewhere and he passes a place and there's a clan display and then he comes upon a jar looks very much like pickles in a jar. consider pickles, what are they? the knuckles of a human being. i can remember being in the south in the late 70s. i've seen men's body parts put in pickle jars outside of klansman's building. it was a token of the oppression a token of what we'd
11:18 pm
spoken about. remember the year he was born 1860 to 200 91 blacks are lynched. you can see the numbers lynched. is a continuous scientific research and get the post to work to begin a study of the american negro he did it with ap american african american from prestigious family at the library of congress. he starts putting on the achievements of the african american man of the 20th century. i've hundred photographs and many pictures of scientific as he bear declares exposition.
11:19 pm
he wears the clothes he wore in germany. top hat, three-piece suit. pocket watch, pocket square, very much victorian. as he's there he uses it to contradict and chastise and criticize the series of booker t. washington which is spoken about. booker t. washington is spoken into the exhibit a couple years before and cast down your buckets where you are. as you put your hand to pick it up your hands cannot two ways, all things economic can be as one. but not all things social would be separated with five fingers. we know that there is no such thing as separate but equal. booker t. washington put forth the series and we will speak a bit about it more on the
11:20 pm
exhibit. in 1903 publishes magister work is perhaps what people called negro bible. he becomes the permanent voice, and first in serial form and as you look in the book you can see he does something unique. he has a verse which of the verse of the negro spiritual and that you have ãon the other side. very much and tradition of dubois in his own work. very much like this. you see the pro-men on one side his favorite poem favorite poem was one that doctor can always read by james russell lowell great poet. the most famous lines are true
11:21 pm
forever on the scaffold gone forever on the throne, yes the scuffle is in the future keeping watch above is on. of course can use that truth devil in the scatter on and what does that mean? what off your head? what is a scaffold? just off your head if you're an artist you know what a scaffold is. the framework. something you stand on. if i blot in the middle of the ocean there be a scaffold because it's cheaper to work on a ship if you've gone to the washington monument you see the scaffolds the men and women go up on the scaffolds. in the old days if they were painting made of going on a scaffold if you watch anybody
11:22 pm
famous lately on their back michelangelo laid on his back for a long time to paint. and scaffold. what is he saying? the scaffold represents who? represents the average human being, the working man and woman the throne represents what? off your head, what is the throne represent? the high and the mighty, the kings, the one whose words you must always follow. the truth will last forever. and a lie will stand alone. they are playing with words. they use those to think about the souls of black folks. he wrote this book and became in a voice call the negro bible. that played in some of the negro spirituals for you and
11:23 pm
you can see the names of some of those if you look on the side. nobody knows the trouble i've seen anybody know the words? my sorrow. before that. nobody knows but jesus. in the original weight was nobody knows like jesus. is a difference between like jesus and thought jesus, civil rights people not change the work. they view me like jesus that mean somebody else does know the troubles gary says nobody knows but jesus it means what? only jesus.if you say like jesus in the main other people can join you in the struggle. you not given up. if you say but jesus means you only look for salvation and freedom in heaven.
11:24 pm
stealing the way to jesus means what stealing away to heaven but stealing way home and stealing way to freedom. swing low sweet chariot, if you get there before i do tell all god's children i'm coming too. swing low sweet chariot means if you get to heaven before i do tell everybody how good heaven is but if you get to freedom you tell them what? i'm coming after you. use those beautiful terms. he wrote about the meaning of the spirituals. he called them sorrow songs. he called them several songs because death suffering and belonging toward true world of mystery wandering and hidden ways. douglas says that often people who are sometimes also sing about them.
11:25 pm
i'm happiest when i sing but also i can be sad when i sing. you look over there from songs told you about the blues people sing the blues sing the blues and they go there happy and when they are sent. i got a woman way across town she's good to me, she's good to me, she gives me loving and money too nothing for me she wouldn't do. is he sad? is only said one time that's when his wife catches him with a lady over time. otherwise he doesn't have the blues but he is the blues. the bible says sometimes you listen to country western music nothing but the white man's blues. in a book he takes on again booker t. washington. booker t. washington of course
11:26 pm
is the leader of african americans at the time. dubois says this, easily the most striking thing in the history of the negroes and since 1967 as the ããit began as time of war and stops commercial departments as donning. a sense of doubt and hesitation then it was the leading man began in his career of booker t. washington. with a single program the psychological moment when the nation was literally ashamed of having to show so much space ã ãit's program industrial education, ciliated to the south and submission the political rights. he challenged the idea of booker t. washington which was to accept things as they are to go slow of participating in industrial education. the best way to establish the difference between them was the poem by great poet dudley
11:27 pm
randall in 1969 the height of the black power movement. it seems to me says ability it shows a mighty lot of ããif i should have to drive to seek the knowledge of chemistry. another place for hand in the cook there are things others who maintain the right to cultivate the drain. what is he saying there? is a struggle between industrial education and advanced education between man's education and the right to knowledge. they took on this with glee. is very interesting about booker t because even though he disagreed with dubois's programs in one case in the early 1900s when dubois was looking for a jar and moved all
11:28 pm
over booker t. washington undermines the effort but when they were at ããapply for a job come to find out one of his classmates margaret who'd been was booker t. washington second life his first wife died and booker t. washington offered him a job after ski this was before. he was joined by other great leaders. ida b wells from memphis tennessee became a great writer in the south. they both wanted to start this
11:29 pm
to refute the idea of booker t. washington's it was time for blacks to fight and dubois lifted three things the right to education, the right to vote in the right for participation in the american political system. ...... >> because the people who found white philanthropies and, of course, many black leaders. and they found this in harper's
11:30 pm
ferry in 1909. the magazine is the crisis, and there's duboise there. founded the crisis the same time they founded the naacp. 100th anniversary of lincoln's birth. the legal struggles, the grandfather clause fighting for the grandfather clause means, was the notion that if your grandfather didn't vote, you wouldn't be able to vote. so quickly fights for the rights of african-americans all over. the magazine is called the crisis. the magazine then. and the crisis magazine starts with many different, issues on many different topics. the next year he publishes his seminal book, john brown. he always said that was his favorite book. he wrote it from his head, no documents, no notes. he wrote it in tribute to john brown.
11:31 pm
as we said, the naacp was founded at harper's ferry. do you remember what he said about brown? if i have lived the life of a slave, he died in slavery. who was the better man? and for douglass, it was john brown. he said it was probably his worst book but also probably his most enjoyable book. and since then, of course, many books have been written about this man, john brown. the next year he goes international. he found something called the pan-african movement. the pan-african movement is a movement to bring forth forth africans, and people from africa and the caribbean, blacks and latin americas in the -- can latin americans in the united states together to speak about to oppression of black people. and he wrote to the nations of the world, and it was a plea signed by all of these leaders. and here you can see there to develop policies, to decolonize the african countries and bring equality to blacks, to stop the
11:32 pm
terror, to stop the robbery of the resources of ghana and haiti and many other places. and he called for a pan-african congress that was in manchester, england. they had five of those. he wants to have the first in america, in the united states, in new york, but woodrow wilson would not allow the other delegates a visa. they did not want these blacks to come in. and by 1919 many africans had fought in world war i with the french forces. many fought with european forces, and they'd come back to america. they went to france and go great dignity. in america they were just treated the same as they were before. and this is the first international gathering of people of color period. following, during the the same time world war i is started and
11:33 pm
duboise for the first time fought this really, during world war i he called for americans and soldiers to close ranks. and what he said now is not the time for political education, it's time to to close ranks and fight against the german forces. many black leaders criticized him. you mean, put down all of our desires, all our struggles that we've been fighting all these years? so he created a great debate amongst the soldiers there. and he has these ideas you see in the crisis. we made no ordinary sacrifice, but we make it gladly and willingly with our eyes lifted to the hills. these are the great founders of modern jazz there. and this is the 369th rebelment out of harlem. -- regiment out of harlem. and i told you the story, or perhaps i didn't, they go to
11:34 pm
france, they play this jazz. and all of a sudden people are looking up what is this, what is -- the french are looking bewilderedded. and then when they see that, they applaud in glory, and the french have never stopped liking jazz, and jazz musicians have never stopped liking france. but, and duboise writes that in the criticism, and then he changes his tune, and he writes later on as people come back from the war, we returned fighting, we return to fight. we should be victorious. and he's calling again for african-americans to join together. of course, that's in the midst of the 1919 riots which i spoke to you before where many soldiers who had fought in the war come home, including washington d.c. as he does, as he's moving -- the rise of another popular figure comes, and that is marcus messiah forward i have, born in queen anne -- garvey.
11:35 pm
dark-skinned man, eloquent speaker, very loquacious. he preys on the sentiments of african -- of black people who have never deeply gotten the rights there. he plays, he walks around in military uniform. the women are dress canned in white such -- dressed in white and creates a great, wonderful organization. but it's based on one notion, and that is the black african movement, assuming that he would be able to go this. where in africa, we don't know. we don't know what country you're from, you know, what region? i've mentioned once before, oh rap win -- oprah winfrey if thought she was zulu because she wanted to be like mandela. she eventually found out she was from west africa. what she finds is that she is 100% black.
11:36 pm
oprah winfrey. so he's pure black and he's a billion -- she's pure black and she's a billionaire. you couldn't be better than that, in my opinion. and so garvey was, of course, deeply suspicious. he walked into the naacp office one day, and he looks, and everybody -- as duboise is criticizing him because he has this narrow base, garvey is, of course, chastising and criticizing duboise too. and they never did deal with their great differences over political philosophy, things like that. a couple of years later marcus garvey tried to form a ship line that's going to go to take africans back to some ports in africa. it failed. the ship cannot get out of port. takes a lot of money -- i spent a couple of years working on ships. it didn't get out of the water.
11:37 pm
during the period of time then duboise is constantly disillusioned with american society, and he feels the more radical answer should be developed. he is -- the naacp. you remember that during the scottsboro case when these nine young african-american men are pulled off a train and accused of raping a white woman, the naacp takes no action because they're leery of taking any cases, number one, they think they can't win and, number two, they think the people -- found out the young black boys were absolutely not guilty, had been accused of something that they were not involved n. they become disillusioned with the role of the naacp under its leadership. and he moves steadily to the left. as i said to you, he had studied in germany, so in germany he started reading some of these works; the bible, of course, critique of reason by --
11:38 pm
[inaudible] darwin, thank you. and karl marx's -- and he reads especially the preface to the condition on political economy. and there he writes about critique of the economy, and there he writes that just as human error cannot judge itself by that particular era, man cannot judge each other by what they do at that particular time. it is not a man who determines his consciousness, it is the conscious canness who determines the man's reason. external conditions help form who you are. and the conditions of life inform your conscious. about things. one does not have to be a working man to understand the plight of working people, but working people who work every day do understand the plight a little bit better. so he was trying to use philosophical understanding to understand, to look at the
11:39 pm
problems of the world. and he used that critique to write one of the great books of american history, the black reconstruction. and what he basically said in this book, they treated the black slaves as workers who were exploited. book came out in 1935, reviewed in almost every publication in the country from the atlantic monthly to -- [inaudible] but it's panned by the naacp and also panned by the mainstream white press. but a couple of years later, eric farner, the pulitzer prize winner, wrote an original history of black reconstruction, of reconstruction and gave great praise to this original work. because he was challenging the dunning school and others and it led to the race of why ises by -- whites by black, it led to the tearing up of the south even though there were more few
11:40 pm
examples of black men actually raping white women but many, many examples of -- [inaudible] and so duboise is going back to his scholarship. see, he has a role, he's back in vogue at the naacp. but then something happens, 1937, this organization is founded, southern negro youth conference. esther jackson, now 98, my godmother. this is the great paul robeson. i think you've seen these names. james jackson from rich monday, esther jackson from harlem. dorothy burnham, his wife, who just turned 100. and they moved down south, all these northerners moved down south to fight for our democracy. two people are there, the two greatest americans that lived in this time, in my opinion, paul robeson, we'll deal with another time and, of course, w.e.b. dubois.
11:41 pm
and it becomes very active in the south. and here again are some of the founders, dorothy burnham and many others. the southern negro youth congress, therefore, is the predecessor to student nonviolent committee. he continues to be active of and plays a major role to the founding of the -- san francisco. he's there because he wants to bring together -- [inaudible] the plight of the african nations. he goes there, of course, comes in conflict with mrs. roosevelt. mrs. roosevelt, of course, the grand dame of american political society. she would go and work with blacks in the south. she was, she fought for the rights of blacks in washington
11:42 pm
d.c. when ashton could not perform at the constitution hall, mrs. roosevelt is there. when she goes the meetings and whites are in the front and blacks are in the back, whites on one side, blacks on the other side, she takes a chair and sticks it in the middle to show. and she also becomes a great leader. she fights for the -- [inaudible] opinion her husband, franklin, would not sign the bill because he definitely would lose the votes of the south and also because he's going to warm springs, georgia, every year where because of the condition of his legs, he goes to the hot springs. but his wife does not -- but they disagree on the pace of duboise and mrs. roosevelt disagree on the pace. and soon after that in 1947 he presents the u.n. with an appeal to the world, an appeal -- mainly an appeal to help the colored people of the world. he, the next year he becomes involved in a campaign, i guess
11:43 pm
would be somewhat similar to bernie sanders' campaign, the '48 election. the man, of course, there is henry wallace and, of course, the paul robeson. wanted to be the vice president under roosevelt but he was dumped in favor of harry truman. they worked with something called the progressive party, and progressive entertainers, as there are many with -- [inaudible] some with mrs. clinton, some with mr. trump, some, of course, with mr. bush. the progressive party. and i did not understand, mr. duboise when he was in germany, he sees the movement of the german soldiers, the german nazi socialists -- . [inaudible] during this period of time also as the progressive party forms, cold war develops. the americans and russians have been allies during the war, but now they are bitter.
11:44 pm
so the progressive party starts bringing out ideas of corporate control and the rights of african-americans, the rights of african-americans to vote, the rights of women. and many activists become involved. duboise and, of course, the late pete segal who just died about a year ago. about one year ago. he also becomes again becomes involved in issues around africa and founded something called the council of african-american affairs. a couple of years ago you all remember trans-africa, the movement that led the struggle to end apartheid. before that it was led by the provost at howard university and gave up his position as provost in order to work for these causes. he was a member of the communist party. the fbi found out and did everything it could for him never to work again. robison, as far as i know, was never a member of the communist party, but he never denouncedded
11:45 pm
communism. council of african affairs and the first great africans of the 20th century. and here you see his wife, dorothy, and paul robeson, dr. duboise are there. as he becomes active, the cold war is having a tremendous effect. there's a movement to end decolonization of vietnam, deeing colonization of cambodia, decolonization in jamaica and haiti and throughout the west. and he has to organize a peace conference. forms the paris conference, supports the paris peace accords. and there he's with victor --
11:46 pm
[inaudible] famous new york city councilman, and forms the peace information center. but as he's protesting, he -- very close to the white house, he's castigated because he's accused of being a foreign agent. he's no foreign agent because he has said russia's not our enemy. they demand that he sign an oath that he's a foreign agent. he refused, and he's handcuffed when he's indicted at union square in new york, and he says i am 83 and have been treated asking nothing but a -- you know the words, one day i'll play them, but he's still sharp as a tack, still proud with his shoes and his hamburg there. he's getting up in anal. and soon he -- in age. and soon he finds one of the greatest magazines of the 20th century. jack to dell who became -- to dell who became the principal --
11:47 pm
[inaudible] and shirley graham duboise, children's book writer. and this new magazine, and you can see with all the pictures in it and pictures of writers of -- of ghana. paul robeson, raisin in a son, james baldwin, of course, you know and great artist, the great print-making artist who was from washington, d.c., graduated dunbar high school a couple of years before with esther jackson. and the statutes are there at -- statues are there. and she marries poncho who was her husband of many years and, of course, one of the great leaders. and the publication launches the career of people like elliott -- and many others. there's no place for progressives to write in and harry belafonte and others. and this magazine becomes the
11:48 pm
key freedom magazine in the country. but soon, of course, he is getting old, he is disillusioned. and there he is with my godmother, esther, some years ago. he's in their house. how does he know -- anywhere duboise went, there was a circle. a tenth of the black population would lead the race to freedom. he developed this notion in the beginning of the century. when he developed this notion, there were 9 million african-americans, 90% in the south. of this 9 million, less than 20,000 had a college degree. there were about 700 lawyers, 250 doctors, about 17,000 black educators, there were about 17,000 preachers. but preachers are not necessarily educated. duboise said the pretty pretty h much -- preacher's the most unique creature. he's all things to all people.
11:49 pm
and the preacher is, indeed, african-american preacher is, indeed, a very unique and spell-binding in many cases progressive individual, but he had this notion to lead the race. of course, it did not. he becomes disillusioned. and so 1961 he decides to join the communist party, writes a letter to his chair, w.e.b. dubois. he also left early and went to ghana, and he went to taliban that to complete -- there he is with kwame at lincoln university with langston hughes, so kwame founded convention party in ghana and led the country to independence. and he invited dr. duboise there to work and help, to help complete this book, the encyclopedia africana. and there he is at freedom hall and fired -- you see the suit he
11:50 pm
wears? i have a couple to those. and he's married there. his 90th birthday they have at freedom hall. and he became -- and his goal was to complete this encyclopedia african a that which was to collect all information on people of african descent. and only a couple of years ago it was finally completed under the leadership of henry gates. and then in ghana, he had many, many people come as he completed his work, and ghana gives him citizenship. he renounces his own u.s. citizenship there. the next year in america the march on washington is being formed. roy wilkens was a great man, but he could not tolerate duboise'
11:51 pm
radicalism. he is, after all, trained in europe. he does have these language -- he's not a mild man, he's not a man who lacks any accomplishment himself. roy wilkins comes to the podium and announces the death of w.e.b. duboise, really the creator of the naacp, announced his death. and dr. king, to end, dr. king on duboise' birthday, february 23,1968, held again by esther jackson and others at new york's carnegie hall in honor of the -- [inaudible] and he said dr. duboise is not only an intellectual giant, he was in the first place a teacher. he would have wanted his life to teach us something about our tasks of emancipation. he did not apologize for being
11:52 pm
black, and because of it, he was never handicapped. and so this was the life of w.e.b. duboise, perhaps our greatest intellectual. thank you. [applause] now, i don't know how much time -- we have a little time left, so let's have a little discussion of dr. duboise for the next 15 minutes. you all have a sheet i gave you of just some quotes. i find them quite fascinating. but if i were to ask you, what shaped this man? if why did he become what he was? what would you tell me? >> like, because he was educated at such a young age, he was able to, like, have a love of learning that kind of was expressed throughout his entire life. and that he realized was the key to success in both his life and to the advancement of black people in america for, like, the
11:53 pm
future generations. >> thank you. because, you see, you're exactly right, it's not enough just to be black or be oppressedded, if you're jewish and you're oppressed or if you are mongolian and oppressed, if you are hispanic, it's not just enough to feel it, you must find ways to fight the oppression. it's not enough to say could i have -- you must found ways. he saw knowledge as not just being the property of why why ws to advance -- why notes to -- whites to advance the race. he saw education as the way. and for -- you hear somebody's paying out the money to send you to this great college, if i say leave the campus and go out to the city to learn more about it, it's for a reason. it has a role in society one way
11:54 pm
or another. and so that was duboise' education. anyone else? >> [inaudible] believe in life. i mean, i'm sorry, children -- than what you teach, and he kind of problemses what he preaches. >> [inaudible] >> [inaudible] >> oh, children learn more from what you are than what you teach. and i think it's important to know that he really practices what he preaches. >> that's very interesting. i have two children, and i wasn't always a teacher. i was a working man, and my wife and i were struggling to get the kids through school. and i got them into some of these, one of these fancy schools up the street. and one of my friends said, oh, you can't send your kids there. they may learn are, but they won't understand about being black. so i laughed at it. i said, in my house you will
11:55 pm
just know, there's no problem. because you will learn by me being with. not that black is something all in itself, but we learn from the books, we learn from the books in the house, they would learn from the company who comes in, they would learn from the affection that we give, but they would also learn from the demonstrations we go, to the marches, they will learn by watching how hard their mother works as i'm trying to go to school. they will learn all those things. it's not always what you say, it's who you are. so as you walk around the campus with your head held high, that sets an example. what else made him? >> [inaudible] was not only studying, but also actually going down, for example, when he was writing the philadelphia negro, when he actually went down and saw the
11:56 pm
conditions because there was -- as i remember, it was written with, like, the backdrop of plessy v. ferguson and the idea that people thought it was separate but equal, but very clearly when he went down there, it was not. >> thank you very much. philadelphia is the aftermath of some years after messy v. ferguson -- plessy v. ferguson, and he sees the conditions of african-americans. it's the first thing called the -- [inaudible] duboise is doing this hard, nitty-gritty work for neighbors asking questions, surveying. in another class tonight, we will look at a book called teddy's corner which is about washington, d.c., and it's a study of a person went in the one neighborhood. duboise went in this whole city. you know, i'm doing a study for the city of washington, d.c. and trying to find why so many african-americans have been forced out. but the problem is that the city
11:57 pm
government and the people who keep the statistics have no systematic way of keeping it. it's almost as if they didn't care. so many african-americans are being pushed out, and people who decry gentryification are in some ways happy with it because it creates a neighborhood -- [inaudible] but what about the people who have been forced out? so duboise looks at that. you see, people talking about poverty, and often it's not understood. we have poverty in washington d.c. yeah, but a kid who's 13, or when, say, 6 or 7, he or she's behind because they didn't have the chance to go to preschool. maybe the mother's 20 and had the child very young and didn't have opportunity. i often go and i talk to mo, and
11:58 pm
mo is from guinea, and we talk about african things like this before i go home and start reading and writing. and young kids will come into the store, 4, 5 and 6, they come in to get candy when they should be in preschool, but they're not. and so that person is 6, their mother is, what? maybe 20, 22. and then their grandfather maybe 42. great grandfather maybe 62. so it's not just a generation. it's the generation that preceded them that may not have had opportunities. and, of course, 70% of african-american men never went the high school. so duboise is doing this study. but we've not learned about this study because we have not engaged in -- try to understand it's not enough to say what the social problems are, one must try to solve it. duboise also founded these
11:59 pm
organizations. so he's not just a intellectual, he's an organizer. so what does that say about him? now, you know, dr. king was a great speaker, and they said all the jokes are that he couldn't organize himself out of a paper bag. he didn't have to because all he had to do was figure out the theory. he's with you, he's marching, so why would he necessarily do the day to day work. and duboise, he's not writing the leases, he's not -- today's organizing is quite simple. i don't know all the stuff, you hashtag or you tweet, something like that and then people come out. but this is a different day. one had to do leaflets and buy the paper, and they had to set the print and get the -- then had to go out and distribute them. so it's not as easy as it was before. one has to great up and go to paris and goto other countries and meet these leaders. he had this unique ability to --
12:00 am
and of course as you look at his work, one of the early writers on the conditions of african-american women. he had the greatest appreciation of women. dark water, dark princes and many other. and why? i suppose for the same reason i do, because he was raised by a single mother, and he was raised and he saw how hard she worked to produce for him. always had this great -- so he's making this list as part of jest, but he, of course, has a daughter, duboise, her first name. burkhardt, the son, and then his daughter. but he marries again, shirley graham, he has great appreciation for that. and one more question. why do you suppose duboise saw the need to leave america?
12:01 am
very complex. he's participated in the struggle of world war i is, world war ii. he writes books, he goes down south, but then at a certain point he feels it necessary to leave. no one should ever feel that way, but he leaves at the age of past 91. and what's happening during that time? what's happening in the early '60s? and contrary on the other side, what's that? >> [inaudible] >> civil rights movement, but the great period of political repression. it starts with the mccarthy period in the early '60s. people like duboise and paul rivers' passport is taken, my godfather, jack, he was put in
12:02 am
jail and didding something called run underground which meant he didn't see his wife for four or five years as he had to go live on a farm somewhere in idaho because the fbi's chasing him because he's accused of being a communist. and perhaps he was. great periods of political repression. you can have other things, the bay of pigs invasion in cuba. americans competition with the russians, the space race, all those things. the thousands of africans' passports are taken. have you ever, or are you now or have you ever been, you saw i the movie -- [inaudible] a great period of political oppression, so duboise feels that. in fact, enough credit is not given to martin luther king because it's the civil rights movement and bringing in people like bob dylan, pete seeger,
12:03 am
harry belafonte and many leaders across the board that helps usher in the end of the cold war. but he had to leave because of that. in the end, duboise goes to africa, but he goes there with the mission he a always wanted, and that was to write this magazine -- this book on encyclopedia africana. so we'll wedged with that -- end with that. think about what you're going to write your next papers or on. hopefully better than the first ones and that will always be -- thank you. and i'll give your papers out today, and then we can discuss them, okay? [applause] thank you. [inaudible conversations] >> did you know you can listen to lectures in history on the go? streak it as a podcast a
12:04 am
podcast anywhere anytime. you're watching american history tv. ♪ >> watch booktv now on sunday on c-span2 or find it online anytime at it's television for serious readers. ♪ >> c-span's american history tv of continues now. you can find the full schedule for the weekend on your program guide or at >> the actions of the great figures of history often seem preordained and almost always play out on the public stage. the human side, the daily life at home, is harder to uncover. michael burlingame has set out to draw back the curtain on the domestic life of abraham lincoln. he contended with political and military battlegrounds during the civil war. his home life did not pro


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on