Visitors are invited to explore the history of African-Americans in the Berkshires through compelling, contemporary stories from today as recorded by leaders from the local African-American community and the NAACP Berkshire chapter.
Certainly Great Barrington can simultaneously recognize his flaws and faults while also finding ways to remember publicly, in a permanent way, his profound contributions to the struggle to push the United States to live up to its founding ideals, particularly regarding the plight of African-Americans.
While based in the White House, Ryan has covered the last four presidents. She is one of the longest serving members of the White House Press Corps and is the only African-American to have reported daily from the White House for over 20 years.
Following the latest school shooting atrocity in Parkland, Florida, another Children’s Crusade is rising: a largely youth-bred movement meant to persuade legislators to take some meaningful action to stem the needless deaths of our country’s children in schools.
In his letter to the editor, William Yehle writes: “WordXWord encourages poets to accept a greater role in the cultural landscape, to provoke and bear witness, to use their voice to advocate for social justice, to act as agents of change.”
The production was the brainchild of local actor Levi Joseph who directed it and played James Baldwin, the distinguished black writer and social critic. Donations collected at the door for the one-time performance benefitted the restoration of the Clinton A.M.E. Zion Church, the same church W.E.B. Du Bois attended as a boy.
“Du Bois was not just a scholar, but a black man who loved his people, who loved all people, and who advocated for their social justice. He speaks to us now. Inspires us now. And compels us now … to stand up for what is right.”
— Cornell Williams Brooks, NAACP president, speaking at Bard College of Simon’s Rock
“Do you know that most of the poor people in our country are working everyday? They are making wages so low that they cannot begin to function in the mainstream of the economic life of our nation. These are facts which must be seen. And it is criminal to have people working on a full-time basis and a full-time job getting part-time income.”
— Dr. Martin Luther King, in a speech to Memphis sanitation workers in 1968, just before his assassination.
“The Berkshire region has a unique heritage from Great Barrington native W.E.B. Du Bois and his vision of African American economic prosperity though cooperative economic enterprises.” –Jessica Gordon Nembhard
Sage Macken, a Monument Valley Middle School student, has been chosen to represent her community as part of Project 351, a statewide youth service and leadership organization (established by former Gov. Deval Patrick) focused on building unity among non-profits, private businesses, educators, and kids.
“Imagine in the middle of January being able to buy carrots, watermelon radishes, a variety of potatoes grown here in the Berkshires, plus locally produced cheeses and meat. That’s our vision for the winter farmers’ markets. We are experimenting — these are our first farmers markets in January and February, so we need everyone to join us for them to succeed. If each of us buys directly from a farmer, we build the local food economy.”
— Barbara Zheutlin, executive director of Berkshire Grown