Extra Credit: W.E.B DuBois Lecture

On Friday, January 20, 2012, after I completed all of my classes, I attended the W.EB. Dubois lecture located in the Thomas Cole Research Center auditorium. My history professor, Dr. Underwood, appointed me to this specific event the prior week. The lecture began at 12 noon, but I was unable to participate in the first hour because my Biological Science class was from 12 noon to 12:50pm. There were five to six speakers on stage when I first entered the Thomas Cole Auditorium. Unfortunately I was only able to stay long enough to hear three speakers, due to classes. When I arrived I was about to listen to the ending of Dr. Carlton E. Brown, the Clark Atlanta University president, speech on Dubois. Dr. Brown talked of the “Black Experience.” I was unable to get the full gist of what he meant, but my attendance allowed me to learn a fact of Dubois which was that he owned his own soul and that he was a simple and humble man. After Dr. Brown spoke our universities Provost, Dr. Silver, got his chance to speak. He seemed delighted to speak of Dubois saying, “I could go on and on about Dubois.” Several main points left an impression of Dubois on me. One was, as Dr. Silver said, “[That] Dubois wanted us to focus on what he thinks, not his greatness.” Dr. Silver characterized Dubois of great stature. He was a scholar, an educator, an agitator, a provocative and a nation building man. I learned that Dubois wrote on critical issues affecting the current times and as he continued to write, his works continued to educate others of their selves. He uses metaphors and conduct to tease the audience from an intellectual stand point and I admire that. While at Clark Atlanta University Dubois wanted us to remember one certain thing, and I believe we are all in need of being reminded that, “We are not chasing numbers, we are chasing dreams.” The last speaker I was able to listen as she reflected on her college years and Dubois was my dean, Dr. Shirley Williams-Kirksey Dean of School of Arts & Sciences. She reflected on her years at Clark Atlanta University and strongly encouraged the students to continue research. When here she said she studied his works which made her have to pause and examine herself and her role as a Negro. She began to tell us of her story, that her most influential teacher was her 7th grade teacher, Mrs. White, because she introduced her to books, opening her eyes unto a new world. During Dr. Williams-Kirksey reflection, the most interesting thing was that she was so curios of Dubois. She has read so many of his works, but still is left with so many questions. I believe her main message was that the answers that have been left are for the rising generation, encouraging us to follow in Dubois path and explore, learn and solve the mysteries others could not. The lecture was very interesting. I would encourage if the school has another W.E.B. Dubois lecture that all students should try to attend. The one this I was displeased with was that the lecture interfered with classes. It should be held at a later time because I am sure that all the commotion of people coming in and out disturbed a few people.

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