(Falmouth, Massachusetts): Highfield Hall & Gardens is pleased to announce author and historian Skip Finley discussing and reading from his book, Whaling Captains of Color, America’s First Meritocracy on Saturday, February 26, 2022, 2:00 pm -3:30 pm Celebrate Black History Month and learn about the fascinating history of whaling captains of color with author, Skip Finley. A Martha’s Vineyard resident, Mr. Finley is a former broadcasting executive who now has a second career as a historian and writer. He wrote for the Vineyard Gazette for five years and has contributed to several whaling and history publications. In Whaling Captains of Color, his second book, Mr. Finley integrates the fascinating history of whaling, it’s economic and cultural importance, with an examination of the racial history of the time. Topics such as Ambergris and rats are intertwined with the individual stories of more than fifty whaling masters of color, their adventures, successes, and struggles. Whaling was the first American industry to exhibit any diversity, and the proportion of men of color was high. A man got to be captain not because he was white or well connected, but because he knew how to kill a whale. Along the way he would also learn navigation and how to read and write. Whaling presented a tantalizing alternative to mainland life. Working with archival records at whaling museums, in libraries, from private archives and studying hundreds of books and theses, Finley portrays the exciting era of whaling. Copies of his book will be available for purchase. Tickets $20 members/$30 non-members Registration required visit www.highfieldhallandgardens.org *NEW GALLERY HOURS beginning February 9, 2022 Highfield Hall will follow health safety protocols with regards to the number of people in the gallery at one time. Wednesday – Friday, 10 am – 4 pm Saturday, 10 am – 2 pm Sunday, Monday, closed Grounds open daily, year-round from dawn to dusk. About Highfield Hall & Gardens The house is a rare surviving example of transitional Stick Style architecture, containing beautiful gardens located in the heart of Falmouth, Massachusetts. It is a unique combination of a historic house, expansive gardens and trails, and a vibrant cultural center. Built in 1878 as the summer home for Boston's Beebe family, the house sits on 5.5 pristine acres surrounded by nearly 400 acres of conservation land and public walking trails. Highfield Hall & Gardens is not your typical historic estate. It is an example of a historic building saved by grassroots community organizing. An effort of tenacity and vision that continues as new research on the structure and its story of the people who lived here add to the building's significance. It offers world-class music, international art exhibitions, culinary classes, family programs, and year- round special events. Mission Highfield Hall & Gardens' mission is to honor the beauty and historic significance of the house and grounds by providing high-quality artistic, cultural, and educational programs for the enrichment of our community and visitors of all ages.