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Gary Leveille
Local historian Jim Parrish sitting next to the bronze statue of U.S. President Martin Van Buren located in Kinderhook, New York.

A possible format for Du Bois statue

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By Wednesday, May 30, 2018 Letters 10

To the Editor:

I read with interest your reporting on the effort to create a W.E.B. Du Bois statue in town. Wherever it ends up being placed, I would like to recommend a bench-style statue that allows visitors to interact with the subject. For example, I’ve included a photograph here of a statue honoring U.S. President Martin Van Buren — located in nearby Kinderhook, New York. Here, the bronze-skinned president is seated on a bench along with local historian Jim Parrish. I think this format would work well with Du Bois.

Gary Leveille

Great Barrington

The writer is archivist for the Great Barrington Historical Society.



10 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Lauren says:

    Thank you Gary for weighing in on this. There already is talk of presenting the statue in this way and there is support for the idea. Adding the visual to the discussion is great!

  2. Nancy Du vall says:

    Great idea!

  3. Sandy Pantorno says:

    I love the idea of a bench sculpture for WEB DuBois. The concept almost seems to bring someone back to life in a most personally connected way.

  4. James W. Clark says:

    No statue needed or desired for DuBois, an insult to the town!!

    1. Diego Gutierrez says:

      I agree, James. He is an insult to racists everywhere.

  5. Chistopher H. L. Owen A. I. A. Architect says:

    There are those who are so small minded, likely racist, that they’ll negate the extraordinary lifetime accomplishments of W.E.B. Du Bois in spite of what must have been for him over decades incredible frustration. That largely due to the resistance of his more than worthy attempts to end, or at the very least to diminish the racist minds o in this Country, which sadly and inexcusably remain in large part to this moment. I don’t refer only to our black population with its various national backgrounds, but to other nationalities too numerous to elicit here yet all of whom he mentions with equal passion. To criticize Du Bois at all, but particularly as regards the last years of his life, yes that is relevant to a thorough understanding of the man, but totally irrelevant balanced against his endless efforts in standing up for this Country and the very reasons it was founded. “A refuge for the Oppressed of all Nations”.

    Personally I’m 100% in favor of Gary Leveille’s suggestion (archivist for Gt. Barrington’s Historical Society and clearly a man of higher education) that a sculpture of De Bois seated on a bench be visible and prominently so. Those clearly ignorant and speaking with unfounded bias, I suggest sitting alongside him. In your hands his biography, as well the three published volumes of his letters both sent and received largely from the famous worldwide. Spend an half hour to peruse them and by doing so assuredly you’ll come to the conclusion W. E. B. Du Bois was a man that Great Barrington deserves to be honored, and that at the highest level.

    Furthermore I can think of no better location for Du Bois seated on this bench, than in front of the Library. A more erudite number of Gt. Barrington’s citizens, and all those with the same limited mindset is called for!

    Gt. Barrington should be so proud as to have had, as a citizen, W. E.B. Du Bois. I applaud all those in agreement.

  6. Christopher Owen says:

    My apologies for two or three grammatical errors in my opinions above

  7. James Clark says:

    A disgrace to honor a Black racist, we should distance ourselves from DeBois.

  8. Christopher Owen says:

    Certain individuals are unworthy of a comment, except in this case; how to spell the name of the individual about whom they’re speaking.
    As to being a racist , you might, while facing a mirror, observe your own reflection, and finally takie the time to read, if you’re able to, about DuBois a person of whom you clearly no nothing at all.

  9. Diego Gutierrez says:

    I agree, James. He is an insult to racists everywhere.

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