HH Skip Finley

Author and historian Skip Finley will discuss his latest book, “Whaling Captains of Color — America’s First Meritocracy” on February 25 as part of Highfield Hall’s virtual supper club.

Highfield Hall & Gardens will present author and historian Skip Finley as its next Supper Club guest speaker in honor of Black History month, on Thursday, February 25, from 6 to 7:30 PM.

Mr. Finley is a renowned historian who will speak on his latest publication, “Whaling Captains of Color: America’s First Meritocracy,” which encapsulates the best stories from more than 50 whaling captains of color and shares the story of America’s first meritocracy. Whaling was the first American industry to exhibit any diversity, and the proportion of men of color who participated was amazingly 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, Mr. Finley portrays the era of whaling. Mr. Finley was a columnist for the Vineyard Gazette from June 2012 through June 2017, and is a retired radio broadcaster.

Dinner is provided by Chef Roland Catering and will be delivered to participants, with reheating instructions. Guests will be provided with a three-course meal; for this Supper Club, entrée choices include braised boneless short rib, lobster risotto with seared scallops, or quinoa and vegetable-stuffed portobello mushroom.

Each virtual Supper Party will begin at 6 PM and will last approximately 60 to 90 minutes. One week prior to the event, participants will receive a menu to choose meal options. Dinner and gift bag will arrive prior to the start of the dinner party, between 4 and 5 PM.

The gift bag will include preparation instructions for the meal, Zoom instructions to participate online, an evening program, and a special gift relevant to the evening. To have a meal delivered, participants must be within a 20-mile radius of Falmouth.

Those who would like to participate in the event without receiving a meal will get a discounted ticket price. Those who would like to sign up for multiple dates should email for special discounted series subscription rates by contacting Lisa Walker at lwalker@highfieldhall.org.

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