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Read the revealing letters sent by W.E.B. Du Bois to Haile Selassie about Africa

August 27, 2018 at 10:33 am | History

Francis Akhalbey

Francis Akhalbey | Staff Writer

August 27, 2018 at 10:33 am | History

Dated June 6, 1962, the second letter was sent to the Emperor informing him of the of the Encyclopedia Africana project. Read it below:

“Your Excellency,

I am venturing to bring to your attention the work which has been begun by a Secretariat under my direction in Accra, Ghana, toward the preparation and eventual publication of an Encyclopedia Africana.

Our aims and plan of work are set forth in the enclosed Information Report, which I trust you will find of interest.

It is our desire to make this work a truly Pan-African undertaking. It must be so to reflect truly and accurately the life and history of all Africa. In addition, the purpose of this Encyclopedia would be in one important sense, to correct the false European-created concepts of disunity and division fostered among all African peoples. Along with the cooperation of scholars in various African countries, we are seeking the endorsement and support of prominent African leaders. We hope therefore that you may wish to send us a brief statement supporting our efforts in this work.

With warm personal regards,

                                                                                                                                                             Very Sincerely Yours,

                                                                                                                                                             W.E.B. Du Bois

                                                                                                                                                              Director

His Excellency,

Haile Selassie,

Emperor of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa,

Ethiopia.”

Letter courtesy David Graham Du Bois Trust/Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Letter courtesy David Graham Du Bois Trust/Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

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