Since his student days at Teachers College, when he ran a series called “The Conversation,” Brennan DuBose (Ph.D. ’18) has been getting important people to talk to one another.
Now he’s connecting figures from history — sort of.
As reported in a profile of him in People magazine, DuBose, as part of Blackstage, the podcast series he created and launched in 2020, recently hosted a first-ever conversation between Amanda Washington Lockett (M.A. ’15), a TC Education Policy graduate who is the great-great granddaughter of Booker T. Washington, and Arthur McFarlane III, the great-great grandson of W.E.B. DuBois. [Listen to the podcast with Lockett and McFarlane.]
The two iconic Black leaders famously took different approaches to advancing the cause of Black people and did not get along. DuBois is recalled as a Pan-Africanist who believed that capitalism was a major cause of racism, while Washington is remembered for urging Blacks, in essence, to turn the other cheek in the face of prejudice and focus instead on economic advancement.
Being that this is Black History Month, it’s important to look back — but also look forward. We really have to remember that we are our ancestors’ wildest dreams.
— Brennan DuBose (Ph.D. ’18), creator and host of the podcast series Blackstage
In the podcast, Lockett, who earned her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania and has since written about historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs), asserts her pride in her ancestor. “History remembers him in a way that I feel does an injustice to him and to the nuances of what it means to be Black in America,” she says.
Nevertheless, the conversation between Lockett and McFarlane is convivial and, for the most part, focused on the present era. Hearing the two of them “really leaning into what does it mean to work together as a collective, even if you have a different approach” was “super powerful,” DuBose says in the People article.
“Being that this is Black History Month, it’s important to look back — but also look forward. We really have to remember that we are our ancestors’ wildest dreams,” adds DuBose, who earned his Ph.D. in English Education from Teachers College in 2018 and also holds a TC master’s degree in Communications & Education.
Blackstage also has announced a new Black History Month Leadership Fund, through which it is fundraising for Black-led organizations devoted to social justice and community change.
History remembers him in a way that I feel does an injustice to him and to the nuances of what it means to be Black in America.
— TC alumna Amanda Washington Lockett (M.A. ’15), speaking about her ancestor, Booker T. Washington, as part of the Blackstage podcast series
“We are looking to invest in Black-led organizations that don't necessarily get the public attention, but are doing impactful work across the United States in various sectors,” says DuBose.
DuBose leads social and community impact at Echoing Green, a global social innovation fund that discovers emerging social entrepreneurs and invests deeply in the growth of their ideas and leadership. He is also a research fellow at TC’s Institute for Urban and Minority Education.