Texarkana, TX 71° View Live Radar Tue H 68° L 46° Wed H 65° L 43° Thu H 68° L 45° Weather Sponsored By:

Pace presents DuBois living history performance

Pace presents DuBois living history performance

February 22nd, 2019 by Aaron Brand in Features

Saturday afternoon at the P.J. Ahern Home, Charles Everett Pace presents a performance titled "Legacy of the Great War: W.E.B. DuBois, the N.A.A.C.P., Democracy Building and Me." (Submitted photo)

Saturday afternoon at the P.J. Ahern Home provides an opportunity to experience a living history program focusing on W.E.B. DuBois.

Starting at 2 p.m., Chautauqua scholar Charles Everett Pace presents a performance titled "Legacy of the Great War: W.E.B. DuBois, the N.A.A.C.P., Democracy Building and Me." In addition to DuBois, Pace has portrayed historically important people like Malcolm X, Langston Hughes and Frederick Douglass.

We caught up with Pace to talk about Saturday's program in an email Q&A. Here is what he had to say, edited for space:

Q: What makes studying or thinking about W.E.B DuBois particularly relevant to today?

A: DuBois was an academic, artist and activist with a global vision, grounded in his knowledge of the American experience.

The American experiment in democratic self government had/has the potential to be an empowering example for the rest of the world. He was particularly interested in how we craft a society where the practice of human equality as an ideal triumphs over the practice of white supremacy as a reality.

The NAACP as an organization is dedicated to this end. And his research and publications in history, sociology, journalism, and literature provide insight into his ideas how this might be done. How we can overcome the obstacles and leverage the opportunities that lead us further into our ideal of "out of many, one," for the group, while at the same time remove the obstacles for each individual to pursue happiness through a life of liberty by democratic means?

Q: Tell us how you bring DuBois to life for the audience members. On what aspect of his life and philosophy will you focus your presentation?

A: My presentation will focus on how DuBois and the NAACP responded to President Woodrow Wilson's stated objective for the American military's involvement in World War I. The American objective was "to save the world for democracy."

Specifically, we will look at the role of American leadership and the place of black men as leaders. Though black men had fought in every war since the American Revolution, World War I was the first war where black men were trained as commissioned officers in the combat arms, infantry and artillery.

We will examine the result of their training by examining their leadership effectiveness both during the war and when they returned home.

Black people spoke of the "double V" mission of the war. Victory abroad against the Germans and victory at home against the system of "Jim Crow." At home blacks waged a war against the forces that stood in the way of blacks being being full equal participants in all aspects of American society. "Save the [European] world for democracy" and save the [American] world for democracy" was the dual mission of the war from the black perspective.

Q: DuBois's influence on the NAACP. How does this influence wield itself today in terms of activism and consciousness raising? What is the legacy?

A: DuBois's vision was the vision that grounded and guided the purpose of the NAACP from its founding in 1909 to today. It is still the same mission: human equality and full democracy for all. There is an activist agenda working to ensure that the American legal system serves "the common good" for all Americans.

Q: What do you hope someone attending gets from the program? Is there a particular side to DuBois that makes him most compelling for a presentation of this nature?

A: I hope that all those in attendance see the purpose and value of public humanities programming via the Chautauqua format. They will become active participants in my three-part, interactive program. The program format itself models the idea of democracy.

Thus, after the first act in-character presentation by the scholar, the audience will pose challenging questions to DuBois the historical character.

I want the audience to demonstrate a healthy skepticism towards DuBois, Pace, the scholar and the text of our presentation. I invite them to "trust me not" but to "test" me and my ideas . As an academic this is what DuBois would require. As well as being educational, my program should also be enjoyable, theatrically pleasing, entertaining and a joy to experience. This is what DuBois as artist would expect.

Q: Describe your connection to DuBois. As a Chautauqua scholar, what draws you to him?

A: DuBois is my beau ideal in my pursuit of happiness towards being the best academic, artist and activist that I can be.

(Admission is free. Seating is limited and reservations are recommended. The P.J. Ahern Home is located at 403 Laurel St. More info and reservations: 903-793-4831 or TexarkanaMuseums.org/events.)

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com