HIS DAY IS MARCHING ON: A Memoir of W. E. B. DuBois by Shirley Graham DuBois

HIS DAY IS MARCHING ON: A Memoir of W. E. B. DuBois

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Memories of DuBois -- childhood idol, NAACP colleague, educator, author and husband -- by his second wife who married him in his 79th year and never lost the worshipful glow. An author and composer in her own right, Mrs. DuBois delights in vignettes of their life together: DuBois the epicurean gourmet (""he regards coffee-making as his chef d'oeuvre""), DuBois the fastidious Victorian gentleman, DuBois the prophet-sage and jet-set world traveller presented with charm and grace. She concentrates on the last whirlwind decade when she accompanied him to the West Indies to seek his father's family, to Africa to help out Nkrumah with an African encyclopedia, to Russia to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the October Revolution (with Paul Robeson and a benign Khrushchev pouring champagne), and to China where DuBois delivered his bitter elegy, ""in my country for near a century I have been nothing but a nigger."" Regrettably all the adulation and elegant food precludes any explanation of the turn toward Communist affiliation of DuBois' final years culminating in the 1961 letter seeking party membership and the subsequent decision to die an expatriate. The quarrels with the NAACP leadership (which was suspicious of Pan-Africanism), the trauma of severance from Atlanta University, and DuBois' harassment for peace activities under the McCarran Act stand out as incidents in their life together rather than ideological turning points though there is a hint that it was she who saved him from anti-white bigotry. A loving remembrance of a black giant, all-wise and all-good.

Pub Date: June 20th, 1971
Publisher: Lippincott