As I produce stories for Connecting Point, it often fascinates me how one nugget of a story can send you down a path you never imagined. This happened to me back in January while producing our “On the Road in South County” series. I was conducting an interview with a local historian from Great Barrington and during this interview I learned that Great Barrington, MA was the birth place of W.E.B. Du Bois, an American humanist and visionary and arguably one of the most influential and provocative voices in the 20th century. I was aware of the Du Bois Center on the campus of the University of Massachusetts but was unaware of the Du Bois Center in Great Barrington. The Center in Great Barrington abuts the Mahaiwe Cemetery, where Du Bois buried his son Burghardt (1899), first wife Nina (1950), and daughter Yolande (1961). A marker at the Du Bois family gravesites, erected by the Great Barrington Historical Society, bears the W.E.B. Du Bois quotation, “In 1950 the month of February had for me special meaning. I was a widower. The wife of 53 years lay buried in the New England hills beside her first- born boy.”

On Feb 23rd at 7:30, we will air a Connecting Point Special on W.E.B. Du Bois entitled “Du Bois in Our Time”. The film explores how ten contemporary artists engaged the legacy of Du Bois in new works for an exhibition at the University Museum of Contemporary Art at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Prior to the film, Connecting Point host Jim Madigan will talk with film’s Executive Producer Loretta Yarlow.

The showing of this film is just another way that our Connecting Point program connects you with the people, places and ideas that matter most to western New England.

As always thanks for watching.