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Black History Month


There are many interesting and educational things to do across the state during “Black History Month” Just click on the links below for more information.

COASTAL MASSACHUSETTS | GREATER BOSTON NORTH OF BOSTON SOUTH OF BOSTON CAPE COD & THE ISLANDS CENTRAL MASSACHUSETTS WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS

COASTAL MASSACHUSETTS

Black History in Massachusetts: Maritime Tradition and Opportunity
One of the lesser known stories in Black History is the connection between African Americans and the coastline of New England. The Massachusetts maritime narrative was built on faith, opportunity, and freedom found in the sea-faring trades, particularly whaling. Here we focus on four distinct Massachusetts communities that continue to celebrate this rich trade-time tradition today: Salem, New Bedford, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard.

GREATER BOSTON

Museum of African American History – 46 Joy street. Daily {except Sundays} 11am-3pm hourly
National Park Service Ranger-led tours allow visitors to walk in the footsteps of Frederick Douglas, William Lloyd Garrison, Maria Stewart and all of the abolitionist leaders who helped bring slavery to an end in this country. The meeting house is an Historic Landmark, recently restored to its 1855 appearance. In recognition of Black History Month, the Red Sox and Red Sox Foundation are partnering with the Museum of African American History in Boston to provide free admission and tours for all visitors from February 18 to 23, coinciding with school vacation week in the city.

Boston African American NHS

African American Patriots Tour – Tales of intrigue and bravery, poetry and defiance by Black Bostonians will unfold during the 90 minute African-American Patriots walking tour offered by the Freedom Trail Foundation. Visit the sites of key important to both the revolution and the Abolitionist movement that led to the Civil War. Led by costumed guides, visitors view history through the eyes of revolutionaries such as Crispus Attucks, Phillis Wheatley, Peter Salem, Prince Hall and others.The Freedom Trail.

Wellesley College – February 22 – Join a student guide for a drop-in tour celebrating Black History Month. Tours will focus on the arts of Africa and the African Diaspora in the Davis Museum permanent collections.

 


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NORTH OF BOSTON

Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House– (Concord)
Long known for her classic literary works, Louisa May Alcott was also a member of a fiercely abolitionist family. In commemoration of Black History Month, special guided tours throughout the month of February will highlight the Alcott’s commitment to antislavery and social justice, as evidenced by Miss Alcott’s own service as a Civil War nurse, among many other reform activities. The winter hours for guided tours of Alcott’s house are Monday-Friday 11:00 a.m.- 3:00 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. Groups of ten or more must call in advance. Tours are available at a cost of $9 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, $5 for youths, and free for children under seven. Family packages are available.

Walking Tour: African American Heritage Site North of Boston Site 1: Hamilton Hall – 9 Chestnut Street: Hamilton Hall was designed by the famous architect Samuel McIntire and built in 1805. In the early nineteenth century, Hamilton Hall was the center of the catering business of John Remond, an immigrant from the Caribbean Island of Curacao.

Site 2: Harmony Grove Cemetery – 30 Grove Street – Harmony Grove Cemetery was consecrated in 1840 and is a beautiful example of “rural garden” cemetery, with landscaped trees and winding paths. This cemetery holds the burial plots of many members of the Remond family. Charles Lenox Remond shares a common marker with many of his family. He was one of the first African Americans to be paid to lecture on the abolitionist circuit.

Site 3: Salem Lyceum – 43 Church Street – The Salem Lyceum opened in 1831, and its rows of banked seats quickly filled with residents of Salem eager to watch demonstrations, lectures, and concerts. Many activists in the abolitionist movement came to the Lyceum. The hall was also used for meetings and lectures by the Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society, whose members included the noted African American abolitionists Charlotte Forten and Sarah Parker Remond.

Site 4: African American Sailors – Pond Street – In the 1830s and 40s, Pond Street was home to an ethnically diverse population and included many of Salem’s sailors. Between 1842 and 1846, approximately 46% of African American males with an occupation listed in the Salem City Directories were sailors.

Site 5: Charles A. Benson, Sailor – Rice Street – Charles Benson was an outstanding sailor who lived on both Pond Street and Rice Street. He sailed for twenty years, and because of his skill he earned more than the able bodied seamen in his crew.

Site 6: Cedar Street – Like Pond Street, Cedar Street was home to several African American families. During the Civil War, several residents of the street served in the Union Army.

Site 7: Cemetery Howard Street – Howard Street – When the Howard Street Cemetery was established in 1801, a portion was dedicated to Salem’s African American population. Many prominent members of the African American community are buried in the cemetery.


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SOUTH OF BOSTON

New Bedford Black History Trail

New Bedford Historical Society  Black History month events.

Parting Ways Cemetery
Plympton Street, Plymouth
Four young men, African-Americans from Plymouth, served in the American Revolution. Cato Howe was a freeman who had probably never been enslaved.
Plato Turner and Prince Goodwin were former slaves. Quamany Quash, who fought for liberty for his country, was himself enslaved and not emancipated until after his military service. Following the war, the Town of Plymouth granted these men acreage near the Kingston border, in an area known as Parting Ways. Howe, Turner, Goodwin and Quash – with their families – established a settlement there known as the New Guinea Settlement. These four American Patriots are buried at Parting Ways and their gravesites marked with American flags. Archaeological excavations have been conducted at Parting Ways and many ties to the African roots of Quash, Turner, Goodwin and Howe have been documented. Artifacts, architecture and food remains attest to their African cultural heritage.


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CAPE COD & THE ISLANDS

African American Heritage Trail – Martha’s Vineyard

Museum of African American History – Nantucket

Zion Union Heritage Museum Special events every weekend in February – Hyannis


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WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS

The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum

Sojourner Truth Memorial African-American Heritage Trail
A self-guided tour that explores the Florence of Sojourner Truth, David Ruggles, and Basil Dorsey. Notable sites include Sojourner Truth’s house, the Nonotuck Silk Mill Dam, the site of David Ruggles’ home and Northampton water cure, and the Park Street Cemetery.

Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem – Smith College Museum of Art – January 17-April 20 – Comprised of nearly 100 works in many media, Black Refractions: Highlights from The Studio Museum in Harlem surveys close to a century of creative achievement by artists of African descent, including Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Maren Hassinger, Norman Lewis, Kerry James Marshall, Faith Ringgold, Lorna Simpson, James VanDerZee, and Kehinde Wiley. Founded in 1968, The Studio Museum in Harlem has built an incomparable collection and become a model for how museums can be sites for exchanging ideas about art and society. The Smith College Museum of Art is the only venue in the Northeast that is presenting this landmark exhibition.

We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Featuring Damien Sneed – Fine Arts Center Concert Hall, Amherst – January 28 – We Shall Overcome is a celebration of African-American music and the civil rights activists who have been inspired and electrified by the tradition. Interspersed with the spoken words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the evening brings together gospel and spirituals with jazz and Broadway tunes. The production is led by Damien Sneed, a conductor and composer whose unique understanding of these genres allows him to fluidly cover much musical ground. From Nina Simone to The Wiz, Stevie Wonder to traditional spirituals, it’s an evening of music that shows the lineage of these Civil Rights visionaries is still with us today.

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