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Samuel Harrison Society Donates DVD to Pittsfield Schools 02/21/2007


Wednesday, February 28, 2007, the Samuel Harrison Society will celebrate Black History Month by donating a copy of the documentary “A Trumpet at the Walls of Jericho:  The Untold Story of Samuel Harrison” to each Pittsfield Public School library.  The ceremony, with teachers and students in attendance, will be held at the Pittsfield High School library from 12:45 to 1:25. Dr. Frances Jones-Sneed, Professor of History at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, will give a synopsis of Rev. Samuel Harrison’s historical significance.  Ivan Newton, Second Congregational Church Historian will read an excerpt from Rev. Harrison’s autobiography, “Rev. Samuel Harrison. His life story, Told by Himself.”  Blayne Whitfield, Samuel Harrison’s great-great grandson, will present the documentary to the Pittsfield school community.

Samuel Harrison (1818-1900), an African-American clergyman, contributed an important voice to the philosophical and political debate over race relations during the last half of the 19th century.  Rev. Harrison was an eloquent preacher of self-determination and self-worth and was a role model for the dignity of African-Americans.  As an ardent and outspoken abolitionist, he became a well-respected advocate for his community.  Rev. Harrison served his country during the Civil War after being commissioned Chaplain of the Massachusetts 54th by Massachusetts Governor John A. Andrew.  His home, located on Third Street in Pittsfield
, is a National Register of Historic Places landmark representing his place in history, his lifestyle, and his position in this community.   Restoring and preserving Rev. Harrison’s homestead is imperative because of Rev. Harrison’s association with the American Abolitionist Movement.

The Samuel Harrison Society is a non-profit organization whose mission is to restore and preserve Rev. Harrison’s homestead; and use it as a place to teach the values embodied by his noble life, his enduring beliefs, his extraordinary writings; and to define a chapter in the story of us as a people by providing greater insight into African-American history.

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