Bits & Bytes: Classic car presentation; ‘Beyond Vietnam’ reading; ‘How Could You Forget Your Own Mother?’; ThinkFOOD conference

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By Monday, Apr 3 Life In the Berkshires
Bernard Drew stands in front of a 1903 Stevens-Duryea horseless carriage at the Springfield History Museum. Drew will give a talk on automobiles of the Gilded Age at the Lenox Library on Saturday, April 8.

Bernard Drew to speak on cars in the Gilded Age

A 1909 Maxwell runabout at the Saratoga Automobile Museum.

A 1909 Maxwell runabout at the Saratoga Automobile Museum.

Lenox — The Lenox Historical Society will present a free public talk by historian and Edge columnist Bernard A. Drew on Saturday, April 8, at 3 p.m. at the Lenox Library. Drew will discuss the Panhards, Pierce-Arrows and Packards that cruised the streets of Lenox in “The Brass Age of Automobiles Meets the Gilded Age of American Travel.”

According to Drew, Lenox was strategically situated for a first-hand view of the automobile evolution in the early 1900s. Thanks to a trio of register books provided by longtime vintage car collector Thomas Vagnini of Richmond, Drew has combed lists of guests and their vehicles at the village’s Thomas S. Morse and Oscar R. Hutchinson garages for the years 1903-1922 to come up with a fascinating and fresh take on the motor age.

Drew lives in Great Barrington. He is a longtime Berkshire Eagle columnist and local historian. His recent book is “Literary Luminaries of the Berkshires: From Herman Melville to Patricia Highsmith.”                                                                    

A question-and-answer session with light refreshments will follow the lecture. For more information, call Vickie of the Lenox Historical Society at (413) 441-7902.


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Fiftieth anniversary reading of ‘Beyond Vietnam’ speech

Pittsfield — On Thursday, April 6, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Berkshire Citizens for Peace and Justice will present a public reading of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” at Unitarian Universalist Church.

In confronting the deeply rooted racism, militarism and materialism of the United States, King described the U.S. as the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. Delivered to an overflowing crowd at the Riverside Church in New York City on April 4, 1967, King’s challenge to engage in a radical revolution of values encountered ferocious opposition. Following the reading, a discussion will take place on how militarism, racism, materialism and other issues addressed in the speech are still relevant. A related short film will also be shown.

For more information, contact Brian Trautman at (518) 390-8250 or


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RSYP to present ‘How Could You Forget Your Own Mother?’

Great Barrington — Railroad Street Youth Project’s Theatre for Social Justice apprenticeship program will present “How Could You Forget Your Own Mother?” on Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8, at 7 p.m. at the Guthrie Center.

“How Could You Forget Your Own Mother?” is the story of a young woman whose land has been threatened by ecological devastation caused by a fracking company that bought rights to her land. Created by local young women under the guidance of theater artist Emma Dweck of Kickwheel Ensemble Theater, the original piece combines theater arts and social justice and is based on themes chosen by participants Fiora Caligiuri-Randall, Jess Kitch, Ellie Kingman and Katharine Reid.

The performances are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Chris Tucci at


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Simon’s Rock to host ThinkFOOD conference

Dr. A. Breeze Harper.

Dr. A. Breeze Harper.

Great Barrington — The Center for Food Studies at Bard College at Simon’s Rock will hold its fourth annual ThinkFOOD conference on Saturday, April 8, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the college’s Kellogg Music Center. The conference will explore the theme of “Equity and Inclusion in Food. ” A panel presentation and keynote address will examine diversity and equity in food and its relevance in the national dialogue about immigration, minimum wage and local food movements.

The morning panel, “Farmer and Farm Worker Pay: Balancing Equity and Viability, ” will discuss living wages and overtime pay for farmers and farm laborers. Panelists will include speakers from Woven Roots Farm, FARMroots of Greenmarket/GrowNYC and the Northeast Organic Farming Association.

Dr. A. Breeze Harper, an African-American food and health scholar, will deliver the keynote address, “Reading the Signs of Food, Ethics, Whiteness, and Resistance: A Black Feminist Praxis.” Harper, the author of “Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak on Food, Identity, Health, and Society,” will talk about strategies to identify conscious and unconscious racism as well as the health and nutritional consequences of “racial battle fatigue” within the ethical foodscape of veganism.

Admission is $25 per person and free for students. Lunch is an additional $10. Seating is limited and registration is required. For registration and more information, see the Berkshire Edge calendar.


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