I guess we have to give ’em credit for admitting they were wrong (something that cannot, yet, be granted to the president of the United States, even though staunch supporters of the Iraq War are changing sides faster than I can count). The selectboard and School Committee of Great Barrington used to be opposed to honoring W.E.B. Du Bois, and as you’ll perhaps remember, we have a new school called “Muddy Brook” as a result.
But in May, to considerable surprise it seemed, townspeople voted 850-431 to approve signs at the entrances to the town, Du Bois’s birthplace, stating this fact. Last night the selectboard praised the design of the signs and approved their being ordered. (The signs, incidentally, also bear the town seal so as not to confuse people who might otherwise believe that the sign by the side of the road marks the precise spot at which Du Bois was born. This view ranks up there with the selectman who thought traffic signs saying “Slow Children” would lower the self-esteem of the kids in the neighborhood.)
And Du Bois is now “the father of the civil rights movement in America,” according to the Berkshire Eagle, not the Communist locals have loved to loathe since the first attempts to honor him in the late 1960s.