Sunday, June 27 at 2:00 pm

Book launch “One Minute a Free Woman”

The Stockbridge Library is pleased to announce that it will be hosting the book launch for

One Minute a Free Woman: Elizabeth Freeman and the Struggle for Freedom. Written by research librarian Emilie Piper and anthropologist Dr. David Levinson, the book was just published by the Upper Housatonic Valley National Heritage Area/African American Heritage Trail.

 The launch event will be held on June 27 at 2 p.m. in the library, at 46 Main Street, Stockbridge.

 Authors Piper and Levinson will talk about their book, share some of their new discoveries about the remarkable former slave Elizabeth Freeman, and answer questions. Following the talk, they will sign books. Light refreshments will be served.

 Based on three years of research in Massachusetts, New York, and Connecticut, the book takes readers on a journey of heart and mind across time, place, families, and communities. This journey begins with the life of Elizabeth “Mumbet” Freeman, perhaps the best-known and most influential woman to come from the Berkshires. Freeman is remembered today because of her successful suit for freedom in 1781, which helped end slavery in Massachusetts.

 This bright, caring woman is remembered also as a woman who resisted being a victim, instead living a full and rewarding life. Although Black, female, unable to read or write, a slave, and, for much of her life, a servant, she lived a rich and independent life. Elizabeth Freeman managed to buy her own home and a farm, she supported her family, and she cared for the people of the region as a skilled nurse and midwife.

 Freeman’s life is the starting point for the book’s broad and in-depth exploration of the lives of other Black families and other Black communities as they formed and changed over time in towns such as Stockbridge and Lenox.

 One Minute a Free Woman is for the general reader who wants to explore history through the lives of real people. It’s for the reader interested in experiencing Elizabeth Freeman’s world firsthand, through the words of the people who lived in that world, and through some 50 illustrations, photographs, and maps.

 For more information about the book, go to

 For more information about the June 27 program, contact:

Barbara Allen              

Stockbridge Library

413 298-5501

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