Monday, March 18, 2013

The Roots of Black Baseball

April 5, 7-8:45 pm. Nationally known baseball historian Jim Overmyer of Lenox will discuss the early history of black baseball and sign copies of his book, Effa Manley and the Newark Eagles, and local author and reporter Derek Gentile of the Berkshire Eagle, will introduce and moderate a discussion and sign copies of some of his own baseball books. The event is co-sponsored by the Du Bois Center and the Great Barrington Historical Society. Donations are most appreciated.

In addition to his multi-media presentation, Overmyer will display artifacts from his collection of Negro Leagues baseball. A member of American Baseball Research, he has written extensively about baseball history and appeared as a featured speaker at the Baseball Hall of Fame. His book about team owner Effa Manley has been optioned to become a movie. Derek Gentile is an award-winning journalist, one of the few reporters in the Berkshire Eagle's who has awards in both sports and news. He has also published The Complete Boston Red Sox, The New York Yankees and the Meaning of Life, and other books.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Our new Museum of Civil Rights Pioneers

The Du Bois Center's new Museum of Civil Rights Pioneers is the first museum in western Massachusetts devoted exclusively to the acquisition and preservation of historical artifacts germane to the African-American experience in Berkshire County and beyond. Highlights include:

“In Battle For Peace,” inscribed by W.E.B. Du Bois to Paul Robeson.

“God’s Trombones,” inscribed by James Weldon Johnson.

“The Souls of Black Folk,” signed by Du Bois.

“The Negro in the American Rebellion,” signed by William Wells Brown.

“In Battle For Peace,” inscribed by Du Bois to his daughter Yolande.

Unpublished letter by Peter Williams, Jr., a founding black manager of the American Antislavery Society.

Paul Robeson’s annotated Theatre Guild contract to play Othello on Broadway.

Document signed by Frederick Douglass as recorder of deeds for the District of Columbia.

“Black Reconstruction,” inscribed by Du Bois to John Hope, the president of Atlanta University.

“Where Do We Go From Here,” inscribed by Martin Luther King, Jr.

Bible owned by Langston Hughes.

File of material on Du Bois compiled by the Committee of Un-American Activities.

Document by Massachusetts Governor John Andrew discussing the unequal pay of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts, the first black regiment mustered in the North.

Books from the library of the Reverend Samuel Harrison, chaplain of the Fifty-fourth Massachusetts and noted Pittsfield minister.

Unpublished sketch of the Appomattox Court House surrender of General Robert E. Lee to General Grant.

Document signed by President Andrew Johnson, as well as by Charles Sumner and numerous other members of the Reconstruction Congresses, which passed significant civil rights legislation and, in fact, impeached and acquitted Johnson.

* Hours: weekends 11-4, weekdays by appointment or chance. Admission $5