Friday, 27 August 2010

Famous Last Words

W E B Du Bois died on 27 August 1963 and was buried on 29 August 1963. Immediately after his internment, a last message from him to the world was read to the mourners. Characteristically, he had actually composed this message during 1957 and had left it in safe-keeping until it was needed !

It is, in my view, a deeply positive message ;

"It is much more difficult in theory than actually to say the last good-bye to one`s loved ones and friends and to all the familiar things of this life.

I am going to take a long, deep and endless sleep. This is not a punishment but a privilege to which I have looked forward for years.

I have loved my work. I have loved people and my play, but always I have been uplifted by the thought that what I have done well will live long and justify my life : that what I have done ill or never finished can now be handed on to others for endless days to be finished, perhaps better than I could have done.

And that peace will be my applause.

One thing alone I charge you. As you live, believe in life ! Always human beings will live and progress to greater, broader and fuller life.

The only possible death is to lose belief in this truth simply because the great end comes slowly, because time is long.



  1. I know this is a long shot but would you be able to tell me where you got this quote from? Was it from a biography or speech?

    Thank you

  2. It is a letter he wrote June 26, 1957. Check out the link it might help. You can contact the author of the site at: