Armstead to Speak about “Sojourner Truth”

| 29 Sep 2011 | 08:58

Neversink Valley Area Museum presents historical talk CUDDEBACKVILLE, N.Y. - The Neversink Valley Area Museum continues its “Second Tuesday Lecture Series” on Tuesday, July 11, at 7 p.m. with a special talk that all Hudson Valley history lovers will not want to miss. Professor Myra B. Young Armstead, director of Historical Studies Program at Bard College, will give a presentation titled, “A Geography of Slavery and Freedom: Isabella Van Wagenen (Sojourner Truth) and her Family.” This event is made possible through Speakers in the Humanities, a program of the New York Council for the Humanities. In a literal mapping of Isabella Van Wagenen’s movements in the Hudson Valley, this presentation offers a unique interpretation of her decision to assume a new identity as Sojourner Truth. The meanings she, as a slave and as a free woman, attached to her experience throughout the region determined this self-transformation. Professor Armstead received her PhD. from the University in Chicago, with a specialization in U.S. social history, with emphasis on urban and African American history. She is the recipient of Danforth-Compton, Josephine de Karman, University of Chicago Trustees, and New York State African-American Research Institute fellowships; and the Frederick Douglass Award, Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (Sullivan County, New York chapter). Dr. Armstead is the author of “Lord, Please Don’t Take Me in August: African Americans in Newport and Saratoga Springs” (1999) and “Mighty Change, Tall Within: Black Identity in the Hudson Valley” (2003). This program, which is free and open to the public, is made possible through the support of the New York Council for the Humanities’ Speakers in the Humanities program. The New York Council for the Humanities is a private not-for-profit organization working to ensure the presence of the humanities in the cultural life of New York State. The Council’s programs train teachers; encourage excellence in student scholarship; support public programs at New York State’s cultural organizations; and forge relationships between young people, their families, and New York’s extraordinary range of humanities institutions. Talks are held at the D & H Canal Park Visitor’s Center, 58 Hoag Road, just off Route 209, Cuddebackville, N.Y. The Neversink Valley Area Museum is open Thursday through Sunday from noon until 4 p.m. through October 29 and by appointment. For more information about the museum, its mission to preserve local history or any events, call 845-754-8870 or check the Web site: The museum is at 26 Hoag Road, in Cuddebackville.