African American Heritage Guide
Unique Resource for Teachers – Students – Tourism – Regional History – Community Studies
Tucked away in western Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticut is a treasured place. Bound on the east by the Berkshire Hills and on the west by the Taconic Range, the Housatonic River gives it life. This place has played a pivotal role in the political, religious, industrial, and cultural history of the region and the nation. What has largely gone unrecognized until now is a rich history of African Americans who played pivotal roles in key national and international events and made significant contributions to our culture. African American Heritage in the Upper Housatonic Valley presents this great heritage, telling the stories of the Black luminaries who have lived in the area—W.E. B. DuBois, James Weldon Johnson, to name but a few—and detailing the life and times of the many ordinary yet extraordinary African Americans who have made their mark in the region from the 1700s to the present. The book is a guide to the people and places along the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail, encompassing twenty-nine Massachusetts and Connecticut towns in the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area.
- 67 Articles on Business and Professional Life, Civil Rights and Social Action, Education, Military Service, Religion, and Society, Arts and Ideas
- 120 Photos and Illustrations
- 8 Original Maps
- 35 Primary Text Sidebars
- Timeline of Regional African American History
- Directory of Local and Regional Resources
- Trail Guides to 14 Communities
- Massachusetts Communities: Gulf Road/Wizard’s Glen, Pittsfield, Lenox, Lee, Stockbridge, Great Barrington, Sheffield
- Northwest Connecticut Communities: Salisbury, Norfolk [Canaan], Sharon, Cornwall, Kent, Warren, Barkhamsted Lighthouse
David Levinson, editor
Rachel Fletcher, associate and photo editor
Frances Jones-Sneed, associate editor
Elaine Gunn, contributing editor
Bernard A Drew, contributing editor
First Edition. 2006
ISBN 1 933782 08 0 (alk. paper)
A project of the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area
Published by: Berkshire Publishing Group LLC
On the Other Side of Glory
By Emilie Piper and David Levinson
On the Other Side of Glory tells the stories of the African American men from western Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticut who chose to serve in the famous “Glory” regiment during the Civil War. The bravery of the men in their assault on Fort Wagner, South Carolina, on July 18, 1863, made it possible for tens of thousands of other African American men to join the fight to end slavery and win equality. The heroism of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry is well known. Yet these men as individuals are long forgotten. For the first time, the stories of these farmers, barbers, carriage drivers, entrepreneurs, and blacksmiths are made known. Moving from the farms of the Berkshires to the battlefields of the South, On the Other Side of Glory then returns to the North to explore how the war changed African American life in western New England. The authors describe how the wartime experience and full citizenship empowered the veterans and their neighbors to form new Black neighborhoods and communities in their towns and cities, build new churches, and honor their own heroes. But the book also details the other side of glory. Their brave service and sacrifices did not bring the promised equality. The discrimination that defined African American–white relations before the war persisted during the war and continued after the men came home. Paperback, 208 pages, 60 illustrations, bibliography, index.
Paperback, 208 pages, 60 illustrations, bibliography, index.
ISBN: 978 0 9845492 1 4
Published by the Upper Housatonic National Heritage Area/African American Heritage Trail, 2011.
One Minute A Free Woman
By Emilie Piper and David Levinson
Take a journey of heart and mind across time, place, families, and communities. Our journey focuses on the life of Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, perhaps the best-known and most influential woman from the Berkshires. In 1781, seeing a contradiction between her enslavement and the quest for freedom being waged by the patriots in town against British rule, she sought her own freedom from Colonel John Ashley in Sheffield, Massachusetts. She won her lawsuit and helped end slavery in Massachusetts.
Paperback, 272 pages, 50 illustrations, chapter endnotes, index.
ISBN: 978 0 9845492 0 7
Published by the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area /African American Heritage Trail, 2010