Mon, June 27, 2022 6:00 P.M.
Walnut Street West
Our W. E. B. Du Bois Reading Group is continuing on to the next book in Du Bois’s Black Flame Trilogy, a trio of novels chronicling African-American and world history between Reconstruction and World War II. The novels follow the trials and triumphs of a black protagonist named Manuel Mansart, the son of a soldier and labor organizer, born on the eve of his father's lynching, who subsequently becomes a teacher and college administrator in Georgia.
Mansart Builds a School shines a light on the aims and ends of education in the making of American civilization. Mansart continues the herculean endeavor to develop a just and equitable educational system for African-Americans at the secondary and collegiate level, eventually becoming the president of Georgia State Agricultural and Mechanical College.
The novel is a work of historical fiction, with prominent figures such as Booker T. Washington, Marcus Garvey, Claude McKay, Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, Madame C.J. Walker, and many others making cameos. Along the way, Du Bois treats us to a rich panoply of turn-of-the-century African-American social life from his first-hand acquaintance with leading luminaries and experience of pivotal world-historical events. Readers can learn about the formation of the NAACP in the fight against segregation; the rise of "High Harlem," with its teeming philosophical, literary, and artistic output; the experiences of African-American soldiers in World War I; the Great Depression and the labor movement; and the role of The Crisis magazine, which Du Bois edited from 1910-1934. Finally, like The Ordeal of Mansart, the second book in the Black Flame trilogy examines the historical formation of the U.S. university system, with which Du Bois was intimately familiar. He graduated from Fisk University and Harvard University, and was employed in various capacities by the University of Pennsylvania, Wilberforce University, and Atlanta University.
Join our Black Flame Book Club as we read through Mansart Builds a School at a relaxed pace and discuss its main themes and ideas while connecting them to our lives today.
All are welcome to join. Free virtual access to the book is available for all participants. Registrations will be accepted until May 23rd. Register here.
This program is facilitated by Divya Nair. Divya received her training from Penn English, where she finished a doctoral dissertation on classical reception and the problem of the color line in early modern English literature, which she approaches through the literary, historical, and scientific method W.E.B Du Bois.
For questions about the program, please text Divya at (484) 442-0083. You can also send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the branch at 215-685-7671 and ask for Shelley.
You do not need to register more than once. One registration is good for every week. The Zoom meeting information will be the same every week. You can use the same link every week.