Copake resident (and UMass history professor) Barbara Krauthamer appeared tonight on the CBS Evening News to discuss her new book. The segment, entitled “Remembering the Faces of Emancipation,” was prompted by her study of hundreds of photographs of newly-freed slaves taken between 1860 and 1880.
Published by Temple University, Envisioning Emancipation: Black Americans and the End of Slavery, was co-authored with NYU professor Deborah Willis. It features “150 historical photographs of enslaved and free African Americans from the 1850s through the 1930s, and also includes four essays that discuss the photographic representations of slavery, emancipation, and freedom.”
Barbara (who happens to be married to one of my oldest friends, who grew up in East Chatham before relocating to the County about 6 years ago) is definitely living up to the academic imperative to “publish, or perish.” During lunch this weekend, she mentioned that she has yet another book coming out in the Spring, this one to be published by UNC—about the surprising topic of Native Americans who had black slaves. It can be preordered online via Powell’s.
Her bio describes that next work as “the first full-length study of chattel slavery and the lives of enslaved people in the Choctaw and Chickasaw Indian nations. The book reveals the centrality of slavery and racial ideology in Native leaders’ definitions of Indian sovereignty, as well as in U.S. federal policy towards Indian peoples and territory.”
And she is already at work on yet another project, “a study of runaway slave women that frames enslaved women as intellectual and political actors and examines the meanings and manifestations of freedom in their lives.”
Meanwhile, Barbara is also involved with the Dubois Family Graveyard project to “create an interactive map of the Mahaiwe cemetery in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, which contains the graves of W.E.B. DuBois’ immediate relatives and family members, as well as graves of other African-American residents of the Great Barrington area. This project will yield data about the shifting lines of racial segregation and integration in the cemetery from the late eighteenth century through the first half of the twentieth century.” (Barrington, to its shame, has refused to name one of its local public schools after its most famous resident.)
According to two sources close to the paper (one inside, another outside), Register-Star publisher Roger Coleman died unexpectedly of a heart attack today. Reportedly he left recently for a holiday vacation at his home in Kentucky.
Coleman took over the publisher’s role in 2004-2005, after the demotion and later firing of his predecessor Jules Molenda, which coincided with the demise of the St. Lawrence Cement project. The paper remained very similar on the news side, but Coleman mostly avoided Molenda’s habit of publishing fire-breathing editorials on most every major and minor controversy, preferring to stick to more popular and boosterish material.
While this site has tangled with Coleman over various issues over the years, this news comes as a very sad shock. Sincere condolences go out to the Coleman family and Reg-Star staff.