"Glory" and "Amazing Grace" Will Be First Two Films in Four-Part Series

Yonkers, N.Y. - 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the end of America's bloodiest conflict, the Civil War. In commemoration of the historic events that took place, Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site has announced the dates for the first two installments of a four-part movie series titled, "Fighting for Freedom." Each film in the series will focus on the topics of slavery and the Civil War. The first two films shown will be "Glory" on Saturday, April 11 at 4 p.m. and "Amazing Grace" on Saturday, May 9 at 4 p.m. All films will be shown at Philipse Manor Hall, located at 29 Warburton Ave. in Yonkers, just blocks from the Yonkers train station.

"Glory" will be shown on April 11. In a country divided, men from all walks of life were drafted or volunteered to fight for their respective sides. Among the enlisted was the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first all-black regiment. Dealing with discrimination from superiors down to clothing suppliers, the regiment was forced to endure draconian training tactics with substandard supplies in an attempt to break them. With Confederate orders that called for all blacks in Union uniforms to be executed on site, many in the regiment felt that what they were being subjected to would be for nothing, and they would never be allowed to show their merit on the field of battle. But when finally called on to take part in a difficult campaign to take an impenetrable fort, will the 54th be able to rise up and become the rallying point the Union needs?

"Amazing Grace," the second film in the series, will be shown on May 9. While many people across the world were comfortable sitting back and reaping the economic benefits of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, many abolitionists made it their life's work to end the horrible practice. Taking up that struggle was an energetic, idealistic Member of Parliament, William Wilberforce, who tried for decades to convince Parliament to alter the British Empire's view of the slave trade. Eventually, with his legislation defeated in Parliament and fewer and fewer allies left, Wilberforce's body and mind finally collapsed as he felt his life's work had been for nothing up until that point. Weak, cast aside by his peers, and on the verge of giving up entirely, can Wilberforce find the strength to continue his fight toward the culmination of his life's work? Or will the outside influences keep him down and have the status quo remain in place?

All activities for the "Fighting for Freedom" movie series are free, thanks to the efforts of the Friends of Philipse Manor Hall. Guests are encouraged to bring their own refreshments and a blanket if they prefer to watch the movies from the floor. For information or questions, please call Philipse Manor Hall's Public Programs Coordinator, Robert Lee at (914) 965-4027 x102. The next two installments in the movie series are set to be announced soon.

Philipse Manor Hall State Historic Site, the oldest standing building in Westchester County, is located at 29 Warburton Avenue, Yonkers, N.Y. The site is one of six historic sites and 15 parks administered by New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation - Taconic Region. The historic Manor Hall is regularly open for tours Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. For additional information about Philipse Manor Hall, please visit http://nysparks.com/historic-sites/37/details.aspx. For information on the Friends of Philipse Manor Hall, visit http://philipsemanorfriends.blogspot.com/ .

The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation oversees 180 state parks and 35 historic sites, which are visited by 60 million people annually. A recent study found that New York State Parks generates $1.9 billion in economic activity annually and supports 20,000 jobs. For more information on any of these recreation areas, call 518-474-0456 or visit www.nysparks.com, connect on Facebook, or follow on Twitter.


Robert Lee | Robert.Lee@parks.ny.gov | (914) 965-4027
Chris Steber | Christopher.Steber@parks.ny.gov | (845) 889-3880