The Struggle For Progress Continues

Feb 23, 2018

By  Debra Schrishuhn for Donna, Mike F., Judy, Mike H., Janis, Dr. Bill, Dan, Kimberly, Bryan, and Amos—your PDA National team

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Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) has been organizing against the Trumpublican onslaught against common decency. Please click here to give generously to suppprt that effort. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the daily onslaught of news, attacks on civil liberties and cherished protections, reality-show distractions, and inflamed racially tinged rhetoric.

Occasionally, in this year of political and cultural chaos, PDA chooses to reflect on some of the historical figures who have helped to shape the progressive movement. In honor of Black History Month, we inaugurate this series with a remembrance of W.E.B. Du Bois—celebrated scholar, author, and activist who was dedicated to equality, education, and peace.

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William Edward Burghardt “W.E.B.” Du Bois

On February 23, 1868, 150 years ago and less than three years after the end of the American Civil War, William Edward Burghardt “W.E.B.” Du Bois was born in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. The first African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard and a co-founder of the NAACP, he was a professor of history and economics at Atlanta University (1897-1910, 1933-43), a prolific author and editor, and a passionate lifelong advocate for civil rights, education, and nuclear disarmament.

He opposed racism around the world, challenged conventional wisdom and historical stereotypes, and fought against colonialism. Daring to embrace unpopular positions in his enduring quest for peace and equality, Du Bois had a sometimes contentious relationship with the NAACP, various political parties and movements, and the U.S. government (he was tried in 1951 during the McCarthy era for failing to register as an agent of a foreign state, but the case was dismissed when Dr. Albert Einstein offered to appear as a character witness on his behalf). At the age of 93, Du Bois moved to Ghana to manage the creation of an encyclopedia of the African diaspora.

W.E.B. Du Bois died in Ghana on August 27, 1963. The following day, at the March on Washington where Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, NAACP Executive Director Roy Wilkins asked the marchers to observe a moment of silence to honor Du Bois and his life’s work and vision. Eleven months later, Congress enacted the Civil Rights Act of 1964, embodying many of the principles Du Bois had advocated during his long career.

Today, PDA continues to advocate for equality, human dignity, voting rights, international peace and disarmament, and an end to racism in all of its insidious and destructive forms. That puts us in strong opposition against Trump and his right wing extremist enablers. Join us as we stand on the shoulders of giants in these continuing fights for a more just America and a peaceful world. Please click here if you can pitch to help us with that effort.

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In solidarity,

Debra Schrishuhn for Donna, Mike F., Judy, Mike H., Janis, Dr. Bill, Dan, Kimberly, Bryan, and Amos—your PDA National team

P.S. We need you to do all you can to help! Click here to email Mike Fox to make quick, easy organizing calls from your own home on this and other issues or actions. No time to make calls? Please generously pitch in with monthly sustainer gifts now to help PDA keep organizing against the Trumpublicans.