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Dr. Yaw Bredwa-Mensah will present the 12th Annual W.E.B Dubois Memorial lecture on Monday March 19th at 7 pm in the Daniel Arts Center.


Great Barrington, MA — Simon’s Rock College is pleased to announce that Dr. Yaw Bredwa-Mensah will present the 12th Annual W.E.B Dubois Memorial lecture on Monday March 19th at 7 pm in the Daniel Arts Center.

A Ghanaian by birth, Dr. Yaw Bredwa-Mensah is the Senior Lecturer in the Department of Archaeology at the University of Ghana. He received his BA in Archeology and Modern History, his MPhil in African Archeaology, and his PhD in Historical Archaeology with specialization in Archaeology of Slavery at the University of Ghana, Legon. He is a member of both the World Archaeological Congress and the Society of Africanist Archaeologists.

His lecture entitled "Landscapes of Slavery: The Danish Plantation Complex on the Gold Coast (Ghana)" will examine landscapes from both the physical and the socio-cultural perspective. The talk will explore how Danish plantation owners used strict spatial arrangement as a means to enslave their workers and how slaves directly responded to these impositions. He will also discuss a recent initiative to reconstruct one of these plantation sites into a place of memory.

Dr. Bredwa-Mensah has served as a visiting scholar at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse and has participated in conferences and seminars in South Africa, Great Britain, Denmark, Holland, Sweden, and across the United States. His book Frederiksgave Plantation, 1820-1850: Slavery and Slave Lifeways on a Danish Plantation in Southeastern Ghana is scheduled to be published by the Danish National Museum, Copenhagen in the fall of 2007.

W.E.B. Du Bois, was born and raised in Great Barrington, and is considered one of the most important figures in American intellectual history. A key leader in the civil rights movement in the U.S, he was the first black person to earn a PhD from Harvard in 1895. Du Bois served as editor of the NAACP’s newspaper The Crisis and published a wealth of books including The Supression of the African Slave-Trade to the United States of America (1896), The Philadelphia Negro (1899), The Souls of Black Folk (1903).

Over the years, Simon’s Rock College has sought to honor the memory and legacy of this native son of Great Barrington by establishing the W.E.B. Du Bois Collection in African-American literature and history in its library, establishing W.E.B. Du Bois scholarships for outstanding minority students, and sponsoring a regular W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture Series. Since 1996, The W.E.B. Du Bois Memorial Lecture has invited a distinguished African American speaker whose own personal and academic achievements follow the tradition set forth by Du Bois himself.

The W.E.B. Du Bois Memorial Lecture is supported by a grant from the Springold Foundation, Inc.

The lecture is free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception. Seating is on a first come, first served basis.

Sara Katzoff
413 528-7395