Historic Huguenot Street in New Paltz is introducing a new “Fourth Saturday” event series. The first event in the series, on Saturday, February 28, with feature a lecture by Dr. A.J. Williams-Myers, Professor of Black Studies at SUNY New Paltz.
Dr. Williams-Myers will be presenting a lecture entitled “There is a River: Social and Economic Contributions of Africans Along the Hudson, From the Dutch Period to the American Revolution.” In honor of Black History Month, this lecture will focus on the influence of enslaved labor on the economic development of the Hudson River colonies, and the societal impact of African participation in both the French & Indian War and the Revolutionary War.
At the reception preceding the lecture, Dr. Williams-Myers will be signing copies of his books; his book Long Hammering: Essays on the Forging of an African American Presence in the Hudson River Valley to the Early Twentieth Century (Africa World Press, 1994) will be available for purchase ($19.95 plus tax).
Accompanying the lecture will be the premier presentation of Historic Huguenot Street’s exciting new “Fighting on Two Fronts” vignette, which portrays the story of Augustus Freer, an African American descendant of Huguenot Street who fought in World War II.
A reception catered by Bridge Creek Catering will begin at 5 pm in the Craig House (18 Broadhead Avenue) where the public will have the opportunity for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of rarely seen collections in Historic Huguenot Street’s strategic planning, interpretive, and programming offices. The reception will be followed by the vignette and Dr. Williams-Myers’ lecture at Deyo Hall (6 Broadhead Avenue) at 6 pm.
Dr. Williams-Myers received his doctorate in history from the University of California at Los Angeles, with a concentration in African History. He has been a consultant to a number of educational and research projects, and was the historian involved with the ITT Construction Company in developing the Interpretive Center for the African Burial Ground in lower Manhattan. Dr. Williams-Myers has authored a number of books, including On The Morning Tide: African Americans, History and Methodology In The Historical Ebb And Flow of Hudson River Society (Africa World Press, 2003) and has published extensively in national and international journals.
Future “Fourth Saturday” events will be held on the fourth Saturday evening of each month, the events will range from lectures by prominent scholars to special interest walking tours. Each event in the series will include a reception featuring local caterers, during which guests will have the opportunity to engage with the evening’s guest speaker.
Admission for members is $10 (lecture only) or $20 (with reception); Seniors and military $12 (lecture only) or $22 (with reception). General admission $15 (lecture only) or $25 (with reception). SUNY New Paltz students may attend the lecture for free, or both the lecture and reception for $10.
A National Historic Landmark District, Historic Huguenot Street encompasses 30 buildings across 10 acres that was the heart of the original 1678 settlement of New Paltz.
Photo of Augustus Freer in his WWII uniform (c. 1942) provided.