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The African-American community has proud roots in the Bay State, stretching back to the early days of the colony. In the 19th century, Massachusetts was noted for its abolitionist zeal and was part of the famous Underground Railroad route that rescued slaves fleeing from the South. In the 20th century, the local African-American community was at the forefront of civil rights activism that led to ground-breaking Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Here are some ways to celebrate Black History Month in Massachusetts.
Bunker Hill Community College
Known for thought provoking news coverage and exceptional storytelling, ABC-News Nightline co-anchor Byron Pitts speaks about his 2009 memoir, Step Out of Nothing.
Frederick Douglass Community Read-A-Thon
First Unitarian Church New Bedford
The annual read-a-thon celebrations his connection to the city where Douglass and his wife Anna lived for five years, after arriving here through the Underground Railroad in 1838.
Picturing Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass, the most famous Black man in America, was also the most photographed American of the 19th century, as author John Stauffer relates.
Black History Month Celebration
Great Falls Discovery Center, Turners Falls
Spoken-word poet Bob McNeil presents, From Africa to Hip Hop, a celebration of African music through essays, poems, stories and quotes.
Also, check out these Black Heritage Trails in Massachusetts any time of year.
Boston’s Black Heritage Trail
National Park Service
New Bedford Black History Trail
New Bedford Historical Society
Oaks Bluff, Martha’s Vineyard
Sojourner Truth African-American Heritage Trail