W.E.B. Du Bois

Recent Articles

Emancipation Proclamation and our collective history


By Benjamin Todd Jealous

Guest Commentator


The Emancipation Proclamation, which set our nation on the path to the end of slavery, was signed 150 years ago this month. This year, we should resolve to teach our children the story of our collective history. The past century and a half offers countless tales of bravery and sacrifice to inspire the next generation. Only by sharing our history will we be able to continue our progress over the next 150 years. President Lincoln’s wartime proclamation in 1863 read that “all persons held as slaves” in rebel states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” This was a noble idea and certainly a brave gesture. Continue Reading →

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‘The Wheatley’ reinvents itself as needs evolve

Director Milon talks about what holds communities together

By Robin James

Contributing Writer

The Phyllis Wheatley Community Center (PWCC), also affectionately known as “The Wheatley,” is widely known and respected as a source of strength and pride for children, youth, families and elders in North Minneapolis. The center’s namesake is a slave who won her freedom and emerged as the first African American to publish a book of poetry. In the past, PWCC was once a settlement house where famous Black artists and musicians found shelter after discrimination kept them from local hotel establishments. Marian Anderson, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. Du Bois, Ethel Waters, and Paul Robeson among others stayed at the settlement house from the time it first opened its doors back in 1924. In the present, it still serves as a gathering place, particularly for those interested in educational and social supportive services. Continue Reading →

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Begin a home-based library that affirms Black intellect and culture



First, I want to thank the Spokesman Recorder for a concerted effort to maintain a steady flow of important quality information about the life and times of our community. Many people of African heritage and some of other cultural groups have written different literature about the Black experience, including interpretations of the impact of the horrific conditions under which we have lived for over 25 generations. There is a collection of written materials in several places such as libraries and universities like the Givens collection locally. Materials written about us by us include newspaper and magazine articles, peer-reviewed scholarly articles covering everything from the slave trade to awful public hangings of our people. Many writers have pursued studies that document our pain, our suffering and our victimization at the hands of the people who enslaved us. Continue Reading →

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