Freedom of Speech

May 21, 1996

We bring you some historic tape of the late W.E.B. DuBois, the legendary African American sociologist, founder of the NAACP, publisher of Crisis magazine and author of The Souls of Black Folk. DuBois received his PhD from Harvard University in 1895, one year before the Supreme Court’s historic Plessy Versus Ferguson decision which legitimized institutional racism. This week marks the 100th anniversary of that high court ruling which made "separate but equal" segregation a way of life. In this rare recording of a 1953 speech, given to the Southern California Chapter of Peace Crusade, DuBois talks about the importance of meaningful work and the continuing economic inequality in America. The speech is remarkably fresh, despite the fact that’s its more than 40 years old... The growing gap between rich and poor and economic insecurity are major issues in this election year. Later today in Washington D.C., AFL-CIO President John Sweeney and Children’s Defense Fund President Marion Wright Edelman will lead a rally and speak-out on income inequality, calling on Congress, the Administration and both leading Presidential candidates to exercise political and moral leadership in addressing this problem.