A Conference for the Berkshires:

The Shaping Role of Place in African American Biography

Sept. 14-17, 2006 MassachusettsCollege of Liberal Arts -

Schedule and Registration Information

Learn about famous African Americans with ties to Berkshire County:

  • Scholar and civil rights leader W.E.B. Du Bois
  • Harlem Renaissance photographer James Van Der Zee
  • Abolitionist and Pittsfield minister Samuel Harrison
  • Pioneer fighter against slavery Elizabeth "Mum Bett" Freeman
  • Revolutionary war soldier Agrippa Hull


  • David Levering Lewis Pulitizer-prize winning DuBois biographer
  • Mark Carnes author of The American Nation and Past Imperfect
  • Lucy Hurston sociologist, author, niece of Zora Neale Hurston and other nationally noted scholars

Celebrate official dedication of the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail with a motor coach tour of the trail.

Honor local teachers who have developed African American curricula.

Enjoy the 3rd Annual Margaret A. Hart Memorial Gospel Festival with special guests Harlem Gospel Choir and jazz great Craig Harris.

Teachers and Educators - download the amazing posters for your classroom - Names and Shaping


Frances Jones-Sneed, Ph.D., Professor of History,
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, North Adams,
MA 01247, (413) 662-5541,

Richard Courage, Ph.D., Professor of English,
Westchester Community College/SUNY, Valhalla,
NY 10595, (914) 606-6106,

Rachel Fletcher, Co-Chairperson, Upper Housatonic
Valley African American Heritage Trail, 113 Division
Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230, (413) 528-3391,