African American Genealogy Subject of WCMA Lecture

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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Dr. Kendra Field will present a talk titled "The Stories We Tell: Understanding the Long History of African American Genealogy" at 5:30 p.m. Friday, April 12, at the Williams College Museum of Art.
 
The lecture, in conjunction with the current exhibition "Emancipation: The Unfinished Project of Liberation," will explore the long history of African American genealogy from the Middle Passage to the present, drawing upon stories and experiences within Field's own family history. 
 
Field will touch upon the diversity of methods employed by historians and genealogists; descendants' often uneven access to the familial past—itself a legacy of American slavery; and the emergence of the recently launched 10 Million Names project.
 
Field, associate professor of history and director of the Center for the Study of Race and Democracy at Tufts University, wrote "Growing Up with the Country: Family, Race, and Nation after the Civil War" (Yale, 2018), which traced her own ancestors' experiences in slavery and the post-emancipation era. Her forthcoming book, "The Stories We Tell" (W.W. Norton), is a history of African American genealogy and family storytelling from the Middle Passage to the present.
 
The lecture is free and open to the public.

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Williamstown Town Meeting Passes Progress Pride Flag Bylaw Amendment

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires Staff

Mount Greylock sophomore Jack Uhas addresses town meeting on Thursday as Select Board member Randal Fippinger looks on.
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — By a ratio of nearly 2-to-1, town meeting Thursday passed a bylaw amendment to allow the Progress Pride flag to be flown on town flag poles.
 
The most heavily debated article of the 40 that were addressed by the meeting was decided on a vote of 175-90, amending a flag bylaw passed at last year's town meeting.
 
Mount Greylock Regional School sophomore Jack Uhas of the middle-high school's Gender Sexuality Alliance opened the discussion with a brief statement, telling the 295 voters who checked into the meeting that, "to many, the flag is a symbol that, in our town, they belong."
 
The speakers addressing the article fell roughly in line with the ultimate vote, with eight speaking in favor and four against passage.
 
Justin Adkins talked about his experience as, to his knowledge, the only out trans individual in the town of about 7,700 when he moved to Williamstown in 2007.
 
"Most people, when I moved here, had never met a trans person," Adkins said. "Today, that is not the case. Today, many people in this room are free to say who they are.
 
"LGBTQ-plus youth still face a world where their basic being is questioned and legislated. … Flying a flag is, really, the least we can do."
 
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