Shirley Graham Du Bois


Shirley Graham Du Bois

Shirley Graham Du Bois (November 11 1896 – March 27 1977) was an American-born author, playwright, composer, and activist for African-American and other causes, as well as spouse of noted African-American thinker, writer, and activist W. E. B. Du Bois.

Biography

She was born Lola Shirley Graham in Evansville, Indiana, in 1896, but often gave her age as up to ten years younger. Her father was a Protestant minister, and the family moved often.

She married her first husband, Shadrach T. McCants, in 1921, and divorced him in 1927. (In her memoir, however, she had asserted that she was widowed by 1925.) Their son Robert was born in 1923, followed by David in 1925. In 1929, she relocated to Paris, France, to study music composition. She reasoned that this education might allow her to achieve better employment and be able to better support her children.

She and Du Bois married in 1951, the second marriage for both. They later emigrated to Ghana, where they received citizenship in 1961 and he died in 1963. In 1967, she was forced to leave after a military-led coup d'etat, and moved to Cairo, Egypt, where she continued writing. Her surviving son accompanied her and worked as a journalist.

She died of breast cancer on March 27 1977 in Beijing, China, where she had gone for treatment.

Works

Her own books have been a little overshadowed by her husband's prodigious body of work, but "His Day is Moving On" and "Du Bois: A Pictorial Biography" (see further reading) are essential items for all Du Bois students, and she is herself the subject of a book, "Race Woman", by Gerald Horne.

Selections from her correspondence with her husband (both before and after their relationship began) appears in the three volumes, "Correspondence of W.E.B Du Bois", and shows her to have a lively, engaging nature with quirks enough to rival those of her famous spouse.

Her books on Paul Robeson and Kwame Nkrumah are often seen as interesting by virtue of her personal knowledge of her subjects. She also wrote, with George D. Lipscomb, "Vineyards in the Sun"; a story about George Washington Carver. Ironically, given her second husband's rivalry with her subject, one of her many books was a biography of Booker T. Washington.

In addition to her biographies of black and/or third world personalities (Frederick Douglas, Gamal Abdul Nasser, Phylis Wheatley, Julius Nyerere and many others), she composed a musical, "Tom Tom", and also wrote three plays and a novel.

Quotes

*"We are a race of artists. What are we doing about it?" ("Towards an American Theatre" "Arts Quarterly" Oct-Dec 1937 [http://www.scils.rutgers.edu/~cybers/graham.html]

Further reading

*Aptheker (ed) - the Correspondence of W E B Du Bois - Univ of Massachusetts Press, 1976
*Du Bois, Shirley Graham - His Day Is Marching On : A Memoir of W E B Du Bois -Lippincott, New York, 1971
*Du Bois, Shirley Graham - Du Bois : A Pictorial Biography - Johnsons, 1978
*Du Bois, Shirley Graham - Zulu Heart - Third Press, New York, 1974
*Du Bois, Shirley Graham - The Story of Pocahontas - Grosset & Dunlap
*Du Bois, Shirley Graham - Dr George Washington Carver, Scientist - Messner
*Du Bois, Shirley Graham - Julius K Nyerere, Teacher of Africa - Messner
*Du Bois, Shirley Graham - Paul Robeson, Citizen of the World
*Du Bois, Shirley Graham - Your Most Humble Servant
*Horne, Gerald. Race Woman: The Lives of Shirley Graham Du Bois. New York: New York University Press, 2000.
*Nishikawa, Kinohi. "Shirley Graham." "The Greenwood Encyclopedia of African American Literature". Ed. Hans Ostrom and J. David Macey, Jr. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2005. 652-53.
*Schmalenberger, Sarah, "Debuting Her Political Voice: The Lost Opera of Shirley Graham," Black Music Research Journal, Vol. 26 No. 1 (Spring 2006), p. 39-87.
*Du Bois, Shirley Graham - The Story of Phyllis Wheatley
*Du Bois, Shirley Graham - Booker T Washington : Educator of Head, Hand and Heart, Messner, 1955

References

* [http://www.aaregistry.com/african_american_history/1283/Artistic_activism_Shirley_Graham_DuBois African American Registry profile]

Hine (ed) - Black Women In America : An Historical Encyclopedia -Carlson, NY, 1993

External links

[http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:RAD.SCHL:sch00211 Shirley Graham Du Bois Papers.] [http://www.radcliffe.edu/schles Schlesinger Library,] Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University.


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  • Shirley Graham Du Bois — (11 novembre 1896 27 mars 1977) est une femme de théâtre, écrivain, compositrice et militante des droits civiques américaine. Elle fut la femme de W.E.B. Du Bois. Biographie Elle est née Lola Shirley Graham à Evansville dans l Indiana en 1896.… …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • W.E.B. Du Bois — W. E. B. Du Bois W. E. B. Du Bois William Edward Burghardt Du Bois (23 février 1868 – 27 août 1963) est un sociologue, éditeur et poète afro américain originaire d Haïti qui milita pour la reconnaissance des droits civiques des Noirs aux …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • W.E.B. Du Bois — 1918 William Edward Burghardt Du Bois ([duːˈbɔɪz], * 23. Februar 1868 in Great Barrington, Massachusetts; † 27. August 1963 in Accra, Ghana) war ein führender US amerikanischer Vertreter der schwarzen Bürgerrechtsbewegung, Soziologe, Philosoph,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • W. E. B. Du Bois — (1918) William Edward Burghardt Du Bois ([duːˈbɔɪz], * 23. Februar 1868 in Great Barrington, Berkshire County, Massachusetts; † 27. August 1963 in Accra, Ghana) war ein führender US amerikanischer Vertreter der schwarzen Bürgerrecht …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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