‘Give us grace’ to persevere

This prayer by W.E.B. DuBois, educator, journalist and activist, is relevant today. The challenges of the 19th and 20th centuries appear perpetual and universal. I pray for courage and strength for all of us so we can stand up to do the right and necessary thing for ourselves and others and to persevere in the doing.


Give us grace, O God, to dare to do the deed which we well know cries to be done. Let us not hesitate because of ease, or the words of men’s mouths, or our own lives. Mighty causes are calling us — the freeing of women, the training of Black Heritage stamp W.E.B. DuBoischildren, the putting down of hate and murder and poverty — all these and more. But they call with voices that mean work and sacrifices and death. Mercifully grant us, O God, the spirit of Esther, that we may say: I will go unto the King and if I perish, I perish.

— W.E.B. DuBois


Image: Smithsonian Institution, National Postal Museum.

YouTube video from Biography.com, W.E.B. DuBois — Civil Rights Pioneer