Man who inspired MLK Jr. remembered 50 years after death - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Man who inspired MLK Jr. remembered 50 years after death

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Photo: W.E.B. Du Bois (United States Library of Congress) Photo: W.E.B. Du Bois (United States Library of Congress)

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. -- Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.'s iconic 'I have a dream' speech, but Tuesday is the 50th anniversary of the death of W.E.B. Du Bois, a civil rights leader that many believe paved the way for Dr. King.

Du Bois was born and raised in Great Barrington, using his intelligence as a means to spread ideas that inspired one of the biggest movements the country has ever seen.

"His main thoughts and ideas were what we were looking for, and that was to be free, not be hindered," said Wray Gunn, who calls Great Barrington home.

Gunn lived through the Civil Rights movement, and believes in the power of carefully crafted words used and spoken by the late Du Bois.

"Martin Luther King used a lot of his writings to go forth," he says.

Around the turn of the 19th century, Du Bois was fighting for equality, and his writings and thoughts were key to the formation of the NAACP and inspiration to millions eager for change.

"What they were asking for in 1904, 05 and 06 was exactly what they were asking for in the 60s," said Rachel Fletcher.

Fletcher has been influential to shedding light the on Du Bois legacy, partnering with many organizations in Great Barrington, like the library, which has collected and displayed writings on Du Bois.

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