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Frances Jones-Sneed to Speak at WCMA
12:02PM / Wednesday, March 06, 2024
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass.— In conjunction with "Emancipation: The Unfinished Project of Liberation"—currently on view at the Williams College Museum of Art—Frances Jones-Sneed, Ph.D., emeritus professor of history at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, will give a talk titled "Being Black and Free: Before and after the Emancipation Proclamation in Berkshire County, Massachusetts' on Thursday, March 7.

The lecture will begin at 6 p.m. at WCMA; the galleries will remain open until 6 p.m. for those who want to visit the exhibition prior to the talk.

Dr. Jones-Sneed has dedicated her life and research to making African American history visible and readily available to the public. In particular, she is interested in sharing the stories of individuals in Massachusetts. 

Frances Jones-Sneed, Ph.D., has taught and researched local history for over thirty years. She has directed three National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grants on African American Biography. She spearheaded a national conference on African American Biography and is co-director of the Upper Housatonic African American Heritage Trail. She was an NEH Fellow at the W.E.B. Du Bois Institute at Harvard University and is currently working on a monograph about W.E.B. Du Bois and editing the autobiography of the Rev. Samuel Harrison, a nineteenth-century African American minister from Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

"Emancipation: The Unfinished Project of Liberation," on view through July 14, presents newly commissioned and recent works by Sadie Barnette, Alfred Conteh, Maya Freelon, Hugh Hayden, Letitia Huckaby, Jeffrey Meris, and Sable Elyse Smith in a new exhibition visualizing Black freedom, agency, and the legacy of the Civil War today and beyond. The seven installations featured the exhibition— spanning sculpture, photography, and paper and textile fabrications—react to the legacy of John Quincy Adams Ward’s bronze sculpture The Freedman (1863) from the Amon Carter Museum of American Art’s collection and highlight the diversity of materials and forms in sculpture, installation, and mixed media today. 

The event will take place in the auditorium of Lawrence Hall, the building which houses WCMA. Visitors can enter through the main museum door and will need to take stairs or an elevator one flight down. There is limited parking directly outside the museum on Lawrence Hall Drive but ample parking nearby on public streets and in public lots. Refer to the map on our Visit page for other parking options.

WCMA is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit

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