Great Barrington in Berkshire County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
The Niagara Movement
The Niagara Movement was Du Bois’s first attempt to form a civil rights organization. This was the first substantial Black-organized protest movement of the twentieth century. It led to the founding of the NAACP in 1909.
The first meeting convened in 1905 on the Canadian side of Niagara Falls in Fort Erie, where the Four Great Lakes – Michigan, Huron, Superior, and Erie – empty into the Niagara River.
Of the wondrous Niagara Falls, Du Bois wrote: Upon the awful mystery of that inner, deeper, wilder fall no human eye may look. Its frightened bloodless face is veiled. Vast sheets of mist roll up and with white hands screen this sanctuary of Almighty God, while this, the pale waters churning and foaming shines His shadow below in silent rainbows. W.E.B. Du Bois , letter to daughter, Yolande Du Bois, 1911
The second meeting of the Niagara Movement convened in 1906 at Harper’s Ferry, at the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac Rivers and the site of abolitionist John Brown’s raid in 1859 to end slavery.
We would vote; with the right to vote goes everything.
We want discrimination in public accommodation to cease.
We claim the right of freemen to walk, talk, and be with them that wish to be with us.
We want the law enforced against rich as well as poor; against
We want our children educated. Either the United States will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States.
W.E.B. Du Bois, “Address to the Nation”, 1906
Location. 42° 11.633′ N, 73° 21.5′ W. Marker is in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, in Berkshire County. Marker can be reached from River Street near near Church Street. Touch for map. The marker is on the Housatonic River Walk. Marker is in this post office area: Great Barrington MA 01230, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. W.E.B. Du Bois: Champion of Rivers Around the World (here, next to this marker); W.E. B. Du Bois Birthsite (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); William Stanley Overlook (about 700 feet away); First Court House of Berkshire County (approx. ¼ mile away); You Stand Free Because They Served (approx. ¼ mile away); Great Barrington Civil War Memorial (approx. ¼ mile away); The Mahaiwe Theater (approx. ¼ mile away); Great Barrington World War I Monument (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Great Barrington.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker.
Categories. • African Americans • Civil Rights •
Credits. This page was last revised on August 31, 2017. This page originally submitted on August 30, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. This page has been viewed 79 times since then and 21 times this year. Last updated on August 31, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on August 30, 2017, by Larry Gertner of New York, New York. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.