The Du Bois Name
Not putting much trust in the Edict of Nantes
Our Huguenot ancestors ran out of France.
Old Chretien’s offspring soon scattered afar,
All firmly convinced that their name was du Bwa.
But some stayed in Leyden and then, oh my gosh,
Translated the name to the Dutch Van der Bosch.
And some went to Scotland, the land of their choice,
Where clansmen corrupted their label to Boice.
But Louis and Jacques came across to New York,
Where Dutch, French and English all mingled their talk.
And ever since then, in this polygot nation,
Folks ask us, “Please, what’s the right pronunciation?”
‘Tis no longer du Bwa as so many suppose
And it is not Du Boys, and of course not Du Boze.
Du Boy is not right, nor is Du’Bois correct,
For the accent is not where some people suspect.
Please read this out loud so the sound of your voice
By this rhythm records that our name is Du Bois.’
FLOYD READING DU BOIS 1878-1952