If you think Massachusetts’ culture begins and ends with Boston’s epic St. Patrick’s Day parade, you’re missing out on the melting pot of cultures that make up the Bay State. You can get a taste of multicultural Massachusetts with some dim sum in Boston’s Chinatown or homemade Italian pasta in the North End. Take a walking tour of Jewish Cuisine; the walking burns off the latkes! For non-latke-related walking, check out the moving Black History Trail in Nantucket or the enlightening Native Plymouth Tour, a tour through “America’s Hometown” from a Native American perspective. Around here, we celebrate multiculturalism in ways small and big, like the annual Multicultural Festival of Cape Cod and Massachusetts Multicultural Film Festival at UMASS Amherst.
MUSEUMS AND CULTURAL CENTERS
Museum of African American History:
Boston & Nantucket: The Museum of African American History is dedicated to preserving, conserving and accurately interpreting the contributions of African Americans in New England from the colonial period through the 19th century.
Museum of Russian Icons
Visit the largest collection of Russian Icons in North America
Worcester African Cultural Center
The permanent exhibit, “Discover African Art,” features items from all areas of the African continent. Exhibit items include: ceremonial masks, divination sculptures, decorative arts, musical instruments, jewelry, furniture and everyday objects.
Gallery of African Art-Clinton
This unique collection, representative of various regions, tribes and traditions of the African continent, has been assembled by collector Gordon B. Lankton.
HERITAGE TRAILS, TOURS AND MORE…
Second Saturday Walking Tour of Florence Abolition Era Sites
Visit the homes of Sojourner Truth, Samuel Hill and fugitive slave Basil Dorsey. See the Mill River dam where David Lee and Lydia Maria Child processed sugar beets as an alternative to slave-grown sugar cane. Stand in the Pine Grove where William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips spoke before members of the Northampton Association “utopian” community . Hear about David Ruggles’ Water Cure and the visits of Frederick Douglass. Donations benefit the David Ruggles Center. These tours are offered the second Saturday of the month from June through November. All tours meet at the Sojourner Truth Memorial Statue, 10:00 am, corner of Park and Pine Streets, Florence.
Discover Roxbury’s mission is to build community pride and create bridges of understanding by increasing knowledge of Roxbury’s historic and cultural contributions promote participation in the cultural and historic life of the community, and foster economic empowerment by increasing support for Roxbury businesses and institutions. We seek to overcome racial and class stereotypes of Roxbury and the lack of knowledge about the community. We also advocate for the preservation of Roxbury’s historic and cultural assets. Discover Roxbury designs, organizes and conducts tours of Roxbury’s historic sites, arts community, cultural institutions and businesses. We nurture and encourage the community voice by developing Roxbury residents as tour leaders and acting as a resource that helps sustain community memory. We collaborate proactively with community-based institutions, businesses, and organizations. We foster cultural equity so that Roxbury’s rich heritage and vibrant present become an integral part of Boston’s cultural landscape.
Native Plymouth Tours
The first organized walking tours of historical Plymouth presented through the eyes of Native American Guides. Learn the shared history of the Wampanoag and Pilgrims. Available year round by appointment. Touring Time: 1 and ½ hours. Handicapped accessible.
The Black Heritage Trail, Boston
A walking tour that explores the history of Boston’s ninetieth century African American community that lived primarily on the north slope of Beacon Hill. The tour consists of 14 historic sites including the 54th Regiment Memorial and the African Meeting House. The Boston African American Historic Site, a unit of the National Park Service, located at 46 Joy Street, offers guided tours and information for self-guided tours. Both services are free to the public.
The Black History Trail, Nantucket
Presented by the Museum of Afro-American History and the Friends of the African Meeting House on Nantucket, the Black History Trail features 10 sites that reveal the heritage of African Americans living on Nantucket, especially in the nineteenth century.
The African American Heritage Trail, Martha’s Vineyard
This physical entity comprised of 16 sites is dedicated to the formerly unrecognized contributions made by people of African descent to the history of the island. At each of these sites a descriptive plaque has been placed.
The Cambridge African American Heritage Trail
This self-guided walking tour through Cambridge was created to highlight 20 historic sites throughout the city. These sites serve as important reminders of the history that surrounds the social, political and economic development of Cambridge.
The Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail, Great Barrington
This trail presents a rich history of African Americans who played pivotal roles in key national and international events and made significant contributions to our culture. Blacks in the region spent their lives defining the tenets of freedom and democracy, hoping to claim the “unalienable rights” our founding fathers deemed “self-evident.” The trail celebrates the lives, accomplishments and contributions of African Americans who made their mark in Western Massachusetts and beyond.
The Parting Ways Story in Plymouth
The Parting Ways story reopens the history books to tell a tale of four former slaves who were the first African American veterans in America. Parting Ways township in Plymouth, founded by these men, was one of the very first African American settlements in North America. Today this small acreage is in the process of being redeveloped into a place of beauty and education. The gravesites of these individuals await your visit. Your support will help bring attention to this little-known but important story.
Black Heritage Trail, New Bedford
The trail commemorates some of the significant landmarks of African American history in New Bedford. This classic Massachusetts fishing village is home to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society-New Bedford Whaling Museum which has revolving historical exhibits.
Ahla Food Tour: Walking Tour of Jewish Cuisine
What is Jewish cuisine? Find out under expert guidance while tasting authentic Jewish food – matzo ball soup, latkes, falafel, kosher wines, noodle kugel ice cream and more. Hear unique anecdotes about the welcoming Brookline purveyors and savor the rich history of Jewish Brookline.
Ahla Food Tour: From Russia with Love
A Walking Tour of Russian Cuisine where you can find the best Russian borsch, pirozhki, and caviar. What is the Russian way to drink tea and vodka? Discover the answers at our culinary adventure while tasting delicious Russian specialties.
The North End
Boston’s Little Italy
The first Chinese immigrants arrived to Boston in the 1880s. They pitched tents in what is today known as “Ping on Alley”. Today, Chinatown in Boston has grown to be the central hub to Chinese families in Massachusetts and all of New England. Located between Downtown Crossing and the South End, Chinatown offers a variety of historical attractions, events, and traditional Chinese cuisine.
Boston Irish Tourism Association
A unique community of cultural, social and genealogy groups, dance studios, academic programs, and annual events that emphasize the Irish-American community of Massachusetts and the state cultural community at-large.
Boston Latino Film Festival (BLIFF),
Our mission is to bring communities together through film by increasing intercultural awareness thereby combating stereotypes. Our goal is to help non-Latino Bostonians to better understand their neighbors, colleagues and friends.
The Boston International Film Festival
The Boston International Film Festival was created to celebrate the art of filmmaking and to honor the filmmakers who make it all possible. This is a festival dedicated to rewarding artists for their individual talents and for their creative expression through the medium of film. The festival strives to bring together in Boston local, national and international filmmakers by promoting the world’s most artistic and creative independent and experimental films.
Roxbury International Film Festival
The Roxbury International Film Festival takes place over 4 days, with workshops and film screenings taking place at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Massachusetts College of Art, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Roxbury Center for the Arts at Hibernian Hall, and other locations throughout Boston.
Boston Jewish Film Festival
New England’s largest Jewish cultural event. This critically acclaimed festival features more than 50 independently produced films, shown in 7 locations and reflects the work of film artists from 16 countries in 18 languages.
Boston Irish Film Festival
The Irish Film Festival Boston (IFFB) was founded in 1999. In 2003, the festival inaugurated the annual IFFB Awards, offering filmmakers awards in four categories: Best Film, Best Documentary, Best Short Fiction/Animation, and Director’s Choice. The IFFB Awards also include the annual Excellence Award, which honors those filmmakers whose work brings the very best of Ireland and the Irish to audiences around the world.
Berkshire International Film Festival
The Triplex Cinema
70 Railroad Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230
A world-class festival celebrating independent, feature, documentary and short films
Old Sturbridge Village
Uplifting Stories Highlight Black History Weekend at Old Sturbridge Village June 21-22
The legacy of “Juneteenth”
Stories of an “Amistad” captive and a slave-turned-dressmaker
African oral traditions – storytelling and folklore
Abolitionists Abby Kelly Foster and William Lloyd Garrison
History of the first black public school
Irish & Celtic events in Massachusetts