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Throwback Thursday: February 3, 2022

In honor of Black History Month, this week we are highlighting our collection of regional history books focused on the African-American experience in the Hudson Valley. Here are a few picks selected by our Local History Librarian to enlighten and inspire! 

 

Long hammering : essays on the forging of an African American presence in the Hudson River Valley to the early twentieth century by A.J. Williams-Myers
Trenton, N.J. : Africa World Press, 1994

 

An insightful collection of essays on African Americans in the Hudson River Valley from the 17th century to the early 20th century. The author’s writing style is accessible for a general audience and their use of source material provides the context for understanding the role African Americans have played in the history of the Hudson Valley, including the attitudes and beliefs they lived with during the time period covered. Also included is a field guide to African American history sites in the Hudson River Valley, many located in Orange County! 

Dr. Albert J. (“A.J.”) Williams-Myers was a professor emeritus of Black Studies and former chair of the Department of Black Studies at SUNY New Paltz, serving as a faculty member there for 36 years. In 2017 the A.J. Williams-Myers African Roots Community Center Library was named in his honor. Its mission is to “promote literacy through teaching and learning about the African roots experience, including history and culture, through a dynamic exchange of information, ideas, and creativity.” A.J. Williams-Myers sadly passed away in June, 2021 after a brief illness. You can visit the A.J. Williams-Myers African Roots Community Center Library at  43 Gill Street in Kingston

Request your copy online here

 

Slavery and Freedom in the Mid-Hudson Valley by Michael E. Groth
Albany, N.Y. : State University of New York Press, 2017

Focusing on slavery and the early years of abolition in New York from the American Revolutionary period to the Reconstruction Era, Michael E. Groth, Professor of history at Wells College, looks at how African American communities were formed in Dutchess County. Groth’s work places African Americans front and center in this history that showcases the obstacles they faced leading up to, and following the abolition of slavery in New York in 1827. Of particular note is his ability to put a human face to individuals who lived over 200 years ago through his use of contemporary newspaper articles, census information, and private correspondence. 

Request your copy online here

 

The Silent Rebellion by Roger A. King
Monroe, N.Y. : Library Research Associates, 1999

Local genealogist and teacher Roger A. King uncovers the stories behind several local families that helped enslaved African Americans escape to freedom through the Underground Railroad. This small book is packed with anecdotal information, as well as insights into how forgotten gravesites associated with African Americans in the Hudson Valley have been identified using ground penetrating radar and archeological surveys. 

Request your copy online here

 

Genealogical History of Black Families of Orange County, New York by Robert W. Brennan
Goshen, N.Y. : The Orange County Genealogical Society, 2001

This seven volume collection of census records, family trees, marriage records, and obituaries is a treasure trove for family historians and researchers alike! Lineages for local families such as the Dolsons, Freemans, Petersons and others are covered in the first volume alone! Although this series covers individuals who lived in the 19th century, many obituaries and newspaper clippings cover the early to mid-twentieth century. Recommended for anyone who wants to to do a “deep dive” into the past!

Request your copy online here