Special Collections & University Archives | UMass Amherst Libraries

Abstract

Materials written by or pertaining to W.E.B. Du Bois, collected by James Aronson, who was executive editor of the "National Guardian" from 1948 to 1967. Includes correspondence, speeches by Du Bois in published form, articles by Du Bois, biographical sketches and tribute articles about Du Bois, photographs, and newspaper clippings.

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English
SCUA: the archive of social change
James Aronson - W.E.B. Du Bois Collection
1946-1983
2 boxes (1.5 linear ft.)
Call no.: MS 292
Contents of Collection

The collection consists of materials from James Aronson's personal papers that were written by or pertain to W.E.B. Du Bois. Aronson served as the executive editor of the National Guardian, "the longest-lived and most prestigious of... postwar radical newspapers, from 1948 to 1967.1 The National Guardian was created to provide a dissenting voice during the intensification of the Cold War and McCarthy era, a vehicle for the Progressive Party, and to push for the expansion and radicalization of New Deal policies.2 The National Guardian's commitment to free speech and oppositional politics during the Red Scare provided Du Bois a forum to both make a living and be heard while the U.S. government sought to limit his influence. During this fifteen year span, a period that Aronson later explained as a time in which "almost no one else would publish him," Du Bois produced over 130 articles for the National Guardian.3

Correspondence includes letters from Shirley Graham Du Bois to Aronson, speeches by Du Bois in published form, articles by and about Du Bois, photographs, and newsclippings. Most of Du Bois' articles that appeared in the National Guardian between 1948 and 1963 are included. The articles covered an array of topics, but were principally concerned with pacifism, socialism, Pan Africanism, African socialism, African history, African American history, and critiques of the anti-democratic nature of McCarthyism, capitalistic exploitation and its impact on non-white nations and people, and racism in the U.S. Articles about Du Bois are also included, including several biographical sketches and a series of tributes written between 1951 and 1983.

The speeches included in the collection are from the late 1940s and early 1950s and were made while Du Bois was campaigning for Progressive Party presidential candidate Henry Wallace and during Du Bois's senatorial campaign on the American Labor Party Ticket in New York in 1950. The photographs included are from 1958 and were taken in both London and the U.S.

The newspaper clippings, 1947 to 1964, cover a range of events including the government's attempt to charge Du Bois with being an "agent of a foreign power"; the government's refusal to issue Du Bois passports throughout the 1950s, including its refusal to allow him to attend Ghana's 1957 independence celebration; and press coverage from around the world regarding Du Bois's death in 1963.

Footnotes
  1. Dan Georgakas, "National Guardian/Guardian" in Encyclopedia of the American Left, 2nd ed., edited by Mari Jo Buhle, Paul Buhle & Dan Georgakas (Oxford University Press, 1998), 529.
  2. The editors of the paper, in fact, even tried to secure funding from the Progressive Party, but to no avail. The National Guardian's first issue contained an article written by Progressive Party presidential candidate Henry Wallace. At the state level the paper was aligned with the American Labor Party, an Independent-Socialist ticket that sponsored the Gubernatorial campaign of Guardian co-editor John McManus and the Senatorial campaign of Du Bois.
  3. Cedric Belfrage and James Aronson, Something to Guard: The Stormy Life of the National Guardian, 1948-1967 (Columbia University Press, 1978), 138.
Collection inventory
Correspondence (W.E.B. Du Bois with Aronson, Belfrage, et al.)
1949-1954
Box 1: 1
Correspondence
1955
Box 1: 2
Correspondence
1956-1957
Box 1: 3
Correspondence
1958-1959
Box 1: 4
Correspondence
1960-1961
Box 1: 5
Correspondence
1962-1963
Box 1: 6
Correspondence (Shirley Graham Du Bois with Aronson)
1961-1970
Box 1: 7
Speeches by W.E.B. Du Bois (typescripts and/or published versions)

Box 1
Wallace rally, Golden Gate Ballroom, New York
Oct. 29, 1948
Box 1: 8
Press conference, Hotel Theresa
Sept. 24, 1950
Box 1
American Labor Party rally, Golden Gate Ballroom
Oct. 5, 1950
Box 1
American Labor Party rally, Hotel St. George, Brooklyn
Nov. 1, 1950
Box 1
My Platform, Rochester, NY
1950
Box 1
Public rally, American People's Congress & Exposition for Peace, Chicago Coliseum
June 29, 1951
Box 1: 8a
The Causes of War, Right to Advocate Peace meeting, Town Hall, New York
Sept. 28, 1951
Box 1
Statement on indictment
1951
Box 1
St. Thomas Chamber of Commerce
Feb. 27, 1952
Box 1
American Socialist Party book reception
Nov. 16, 1952
Box 1
Progressive Party convention, Ashland Auditorium, Chicago
July 4, 1952
Box 1
Save the Rosenbergs rally, Civil Rights Congress, Central Plaza, New York
Oct. 23, 1952
Box 1
The American Labor Party, ALP dinner, Hotel Aster
Sept. 30, 1953
Box 1: 9
The Stalin Peace Prizes, Hotel Theresa
Sept. 3, 1953
Box 1
Germany - War or Peace rally
Oct. 8, 1954
Box 1
What is Wrong with the US?, Guardian's welcome meeting for Vincent Hallinan
Apr. 20, 1955
Box 1
The Exploitation of Colored Labor (excerpts), Committee to Further the Goals of Geneva
Oct. 28, 1955
Box 1
The Wealth of the West vs. A Chance for Exploited Mankind (from same speech as above) in National Guardian
1955
Box 1
Geneva and Africa
1955
Box 1
National Guardianship, 8th birthday dinner
Nov. 15, 1956
Box 1
Birthday celebration
Mar. 2, 1958
Box 1
90th Birthday Response, Church of the Holy Trinity, Brooklyn, Negro History Week celebration
Feb. 9, 1958
Box 1
91st Birthday (condensation), Peking University, China
Feb. 23, 1959
Box 1: 10
World Peace Council
May 1959
Box 1
Speech in Moscow
1959
Box 1
Murder and Destruction for Human Progress, Rally for Peace and Disarmament, Toronto
Feb. 7, 1960
Box 1
The Wrongs which Suppress Our Rights, Emergency Civil Liberties Committee meeting, New Yorker Hotel
June 15, 1960
Box 1
On the Vast and Reckless Waste of Human Life (re: Louis Burnham)
June 20, 1960
Box 1
The Foreign Born, American Committee for Protection of Foreign Born, Hotel Great Northern, New York

Box 1
Writings - Articles by W.E.B. Du Bois (published and unpublished)
Feb. 14, n.y.
Box 1: 11
Georgia: Torment of a State, NM
Sept. 10, 1946
Box 1
My Relations with the NAACP
ca 1948
Box 1
From McKinley to Wallace: My Fifty Years as a Political Independent, Masses and Mainstream
August 1948
Box 1
(Title unknown), National Guardian*
1952
Box 1
Uganda (unpublished)
1949
Box 1
Testimony, House Foreign Affairs Committee, in The Daily Compass
1949
Box 1
Statement on Korea
Oct. 4, 1950
Box 1
The Big Problem: To Get the Truth to the People, National Guardian
Jan. 24, 1951
Box 1
There Must Come a Vast Social Change in the US, National Guardian
July 11, 1951
Box 1
Why John Brown's Soul Marches On, National Guardian
Feb. 14, 1951
Box 1
The Choice that Confronts America's Negroes, National Guardian
Feb. 13, 1952
Box 1
The Elections (unpublished)
1952
Box 1
China (unpublished)
Jan. 7, 1953
Box 1
Corporation Democracy
Jan. 12, 1953
Box 1
The Commonsense Party
Apr. 6, 1953
Box 1
The Hard-bit Man in the Loud Shirts, National Guardian
1953
Box 1
He Knew the Common Man...Followed his Fate (re Stalin), National Guardian
1953
Box 1
On Cats, Public Manners and the Education of Educators
Mar. 23, 1953
Box 1
Cannot this Paralyzed Nation Awake?
Apr. 12, 1954
Box 1
A Third Party - or Even a Second
May 17, 1954
Box 1
American Negroes and Africa, National Guardian
Feb. 14, 1955
Box 1: 12
Ethiopia: State Socialism under an Emperor, National Guardian
1955
Box 1
Slavery in the Union of South Africa, National Guardian
1955
Box 1
Question of Formosa
Feb. 14, 1955
Box 1
News release re: series on Africa in National Guardian
Feb. 7, 1955
Box 1
Let's Restore Democracy to America, National Guardian
Jan. 2, 1956
Box 1: 13
The Negro in America Today, National Guardian
Jan. 16, 1956
Box 1
How United are Negroes?, National Guardian
Jan. 23, 1956
Box 1
Democracy in America, National Guardian
Feb. 13, 1956
Box 1
The Political Power of the South, National Guardian
Mar. 5, 1956
Box 1
The Theory of a Third Party, National Guardian, Mar 26 (also, as reprinted in The People's Peace Party Forum, Winamac, Indiana, May)
1956
Box 1
Cure for America's Disaster Lies within Ourselves (intended as closing remarks at debate on America's Road to Democracy and World Peace, Carnegie Hall, May 27), National Guardian
June 11, 1956
Box 1
Clean Out the Congress, National Guardian
June 25, 1956
Box 1
The Saga of Nkrumah (The Spectator column)
July 30, 1956
Box 1
Reform the US Senate or Lose your Democracy, National Guardian
Nov. 5, 1956
Box 1
Negro History Centenaries
Jan. 14, 1957
Box 1: 14
Will the Great Gandhi Live Again?, National Guardian
Feb. 11, 1957
Box 1
The Collier's Story: It Had 4,000,000 Readers But It Died, National Guardian
Mar. 11, 1957
Box 1
A Future for Pan-Africa: Freedom, Peace, Socialism, National Guardian
Mar. 11, 1957
Box 1
Negroes and Socialism
Apr. 29, 1957
Box 1
Colombo: No Peace Delegate from US?
June 10, 1957
Box 1
Letter to Editor
June 24, 1957
Box 1
Watchword for Negroes: Register and Vote, National Guardian
July 8, 1957
Box 1
Does 'All Deliberate Speed' Mean 338 Years?, National Guardian
Nov. 4, 1957
Box 1
A Vista of Ninety Fruitful Years, National Guardian
Feb. 17, 1958
Box 1
The Independocrat at the Dinner Table
July 7, 1958
Box 1
Africa Awakened, excerpted from Labour Monthly
Feb. 1959
Box 1
The Vast Miracle of China Today, National Guardian
June 8, 1959
Box 1
The Africans and the Colonialist Tactic, New Times, no. 7
1959
Box 1
The Lie of History as it is Taught Today, National Guardian
Feb. 15, 1960
Box 1: 15
A Program of Reason, Right and Justice for Today, National Guardian
May 23, 1960
Box 1
Africa and World Peace, Bulletin of the World Council of Peace
June 1960
Box 1
John Brown's Battle for Kansas, National Guardian
June 6, 1960
Box 1
Letter to Editor, National Guardian
Oct. 10, 1960
Box 1
American Negroes and Africa's Rise to Freedom, National Guardian
Feb. 13, 1961
Box 1
A Logical Program for a Free Congo (partial), National Guardian
May 15, 1961
Box 1
For Africa, An Encyclopedia, Afro-American magazine
Oct. 21, 1961
Box 1
Africa Awake! Put on the Beautiful Robes of Socialism, The Ghanaian Times
Aug. 31, 1963
Box 1
The Independocrat at the Dinner Table (reprinted), National Guardian
Feb. 20, 1963
Box 1
The Negro Progressives

Box 1
The Negro Voter

Box 1
A Bitter Battle is Shaping Up, National Guardian

Box 1
Writings by Du Bois (pamphlets)

Box 1: 16
I Take My Stand for Peace
1951
Box 1
Peace is Dangerous
1951
Box 1
Socialism Today
1959
Box 1
Photographs

Box 1: 17
Asian Writers Conference, Tashkent
Oct. 1958
Box 1
In London Garden on Arrival with First Passport
1958
Box 1
In Office

Box 1
At Conference

Box 1
With (lighting pipe)

Box 1
Signing portrait for John T. McManus, New York
Aug. 1958
Box 1
Interview Transcript, W.E.B. Du Bois and Al Morgan, Dumont Broadcasting
June 1957
Box 1: 18
Biographical Sketches and Vitae of WEBD

Box 1: 19
Bibliographies of W.E.B. Du Bois writings; book reviews of his books; prospecti for W.E.B. Du Bois books

Box 1: 20
Tributes

Box 1: 21
Resolution, Fisk Alumni
1951
Box 1
Ghana evening news
1957
Box 1
Hunton, W. Alphaeus
1958
Box 1
Nelson, Truman (90th birthday)
1958
Box 1
Belfrage, Cedric
1958
Box 1
Emergency Civil Liberties Committee
1960
Box 1
Lenin Peace Prize
1960
Box 1
Ghanaian government, Kwame Nkrumah
1963
Box 1
Melish, William Howard
1963
Box 1
Aptheker, Herbert
1963
Box 1
Fritchman, Stephen H.
1963
Box 1
Du Bois Memorial Committee, Ossie Davis
1963
Box 1
Carnegie Hall Memorial, Shirley Graham Du Bois
1964
Box 1
Du Bois Centennial
1968
Box 1
Schomburg Bronze Head Dedication

Box 1
Aronson, James to Harvard Alumni
1969
Box 1
Speeches and Articles about W.E.B. Du Bois

Box 1: 22
Robeson, Paul, American Labor Party Rally, Madison Square Garden
Oct. 24 1950
Box 1
Kahn, Albert E, Agents of Peace (pamphlet)
1951
Box 1
Reddick, Lawrence, "Right to Advocate Peace" meeting address, Town Hall, New York
Sept. 28, 1951
Box 1
Hunton, Alpheus, Du Bois and Africa, Accra
Feb. 12, 1964
Box 1
Meyer, Howard N., WEB Du Bois and 'The Problem of the Color Line', Wall Street Journal
Feb. 23, 1968
Box 1
'Red Hunting beyond the Grave' The Nation
Apr. 1, 1968
Box 1
Duberman, Martin, Du Bois as Prophet, The New Republic
Mar. 23, 1968
Box 1
Pittman, John, A Long Night's Journey to Tomorrow's Sunrise, Daily World
Feb. 5, 1969
Box 1
Special issue on Du Bois and Black Liberation with articles by Aptheker, Hunton, Joseph North, Mindy Thompson, World Magazine
Feb. 21, 1970
Box 1
Marable, Manning, Peace and Black Liberation: The Contributions of WEBD
June 3, 1983
Box 1
(Du Bois in the National Guardian), paper by Lisa ?
n.d.
Box 1
Miscellaneous

Box 1: 23
Is Peace a Crime? The Case of the Peace Information Center, brochure, National Committee to Defend Dr. WEBD
ca 1951
Box 1
Resolution Adopted by the General Council of Local 600, United Auto Workers-CIO
Sept. 9, 1951
Box 1
Katanka, Michael, in London, article sent to Belfrage, typescript
n.y.
Box 1
The Philadelphia Transit Strike Of 1944, by Allan M. Winkler, reprinted from J of American History
June 1972
Box 1
Notes (made by James Aronson?)

Box 1
News clippings about W.E.B. Du Bois and related subjects
1947-1964
Box 2: 24-40
Administrative information
Provenance

Acquired from Grambs Aronson, 1990.

Processing Information

Processed by David Goldberg, 2001.

Digitized content

All material in the collection has been scanned and are available online through our digital repository, Credo.

Acknowledgments

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: James Aronson-W.E.B. Du Bois Collection (MS 292). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms
Subjects
  • African Americans--Civil rights.
  • African Americans--History--1877-1964.
  • National guardian.
  • Socialism--Africa.
  • United States--Race relations.
Names
  • Aronson, James--Correspondence.
  • Du Bois, Shirley Graham, 1896-1977--Correspondence.
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963.
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963.
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963--Death and burial.
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963--Views on democracy.
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963--Views on pacifism.
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963--Views on Pan-Africanism.
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963--Views on socialism.
Genre terms
  • Photographs.
  • Speeches.