Upper Housatonic Valley
African American Heritage Trail

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African American Heritage in the Upper Housatonic Valley

A Unique Resource for Teachers – Students – Tourism – Regional History – Community Studies

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Tucked away in western Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticut is a treasured place. Bound on the east by the Berkshire Hills and on the west by the Taconic Range, the Housatonic River gives it life. This place has played a pivotal role in the political, religious, industrial, and cultural history of the region and the nation. What has largely gone unrecognized until now is a rich history of African Americans who played pivotal roles in key national and international events and made significant contributions to our culture. African American Heritage in the Upper Housatonic Valley presents this great heritage, telling the stories of the Black luminaries who have lived in the area—W.E. B. DuBois, James Weldon Johnson, to name but a few—and detailing the life and times of the many ordinary yet extraordinary African Americans who have made their mark in the region from the 1700s to the present. The book is a guide to the people and places along the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail, encompassing twenty-nine Massachusetts and Connecticut towns in the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area.

Key Features

  • 67 Articles on Business and Professional Life, Civil Rights and Social Action, Education, Military Service, Religion, and Society, Arts and Ideas 
  • 120 Photos and Illustrations
  • 8 Original Maps
  • 35 Primary Text Sidebars
  • Timeline of Regional African American History
  • Directory of Local and regional Resources
  • Trail Guides to 14 Communities  
  • Massachusetts Communities: Gulf Road/Wizard’s Glen, Pittsfield, Lenox, Lee, Stockbridge, Great Barrington, Sheffield
  • Northwest Connecticut Communities: Salisbury, Norfolk [Canaan], Sharon, Cornwall, Kent, Warren, Barkhamsted Lighthouse


David Levinson, editor
Rachel Fletcher, associate and photo editor 
Frances Jones-Sneed, associate editor
Elaine Gunn, contributing editor 
Bernard A Drew, contributing editor

First Edition.  2006

ISBN 1-933782-08-0 (alk. paper)

Price: $24.95

A project of the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area

Published by: 
Berkshire Publishing Group LLC


Upper Housatonic Valley African American Trail
PO Box 472
Great Barrington, MA 01230

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Copyright 2010 by the African American Heritage Trail. All Rights Reserved
Last Updated: March 20, 2011