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Charles Street Meeting House



Boston, MA

Site of the Boston Massacre

DESCRIPTION: On 5 March 1770 Crispus Attucks, was the first to die for his country when British troops opened fire on a protest gathering here; that massacre is widely recognized as the beginning of the American Revolution; Congress Street side of the Old State House

ADDRESS: 206 Washington Street  MAP

Old South Meeting House
DESCRIPTION: Built in 1729, it is the second oldest church in Boston, the place where the Boson Tea Party was planned and a National Historic Monument; today it’s a museum housing many artifacts of our nation’s history; including an exhibit about the life and poems of Phyllis Wheatley (1753-1784); Phyllis arrived in Boston on a slave ship, then was sold to Suzannah Wheatley in 1761; recognizing the special talent of this young girl, Suzannah mentored and encouraged her; Phyllis’ book of poems was published 1773 to international acclaim; unfortunately she was not able to translate that fame to wealth before she died at age 30

ADMISSION: small fee

DAYS & HOURS: daily

ADDRESS: 310 Washington Street  MAP

PHONE: 617-482-6439

Middleton-Glapion House
DESCRIPTION: Built in 1797, this oldest standing clapboard-style house on Boston's Beacon Hill was built by African Americans and its original owners were George Middleton and Louis Glapion; they were members of the African Lodge of Masons; it is commonly believed and supported by historian William C Neill that George Middleton led the Black company called the "Bucks of America", in the American Revolution
; not open to public

ADDRESS: 5-7 Pinckney Street  MAP

Smith Court Residences
DESCRIPTION: A series of houses which are typical of the homes that African Americans lived in beginning in 1825; William C. Nell, the first published African American historian, abolitionist and close friend of William Lloyd Garrison, lived here from 1851 to 1856 -- he also led the crusade to integrate Boston's public schools; later when James Scott, an African American clothier purchased 3 Smith Court, it was also used as a station for the Underground Railroad; no tours inside

ADDRESS: 3-10 Smith Court  MAP

Abiel Smith School
DESCRIPTION: In 1787 Prince Hall petitioned the Massachusetts legislature for African American access to the public school system; after numerous petitions were denied, the 1st public school for African Americans opened in Prince Hall's home on the northeast corner of West Cedar and Revere Streets; in 1808 the grammar school was moved to larger quarters on the 1st floor of the African Meeting House; the school was named after a white businessman who left an endowment for the education of Black children; that endowment was used to build this school in 1834; now a National Historic Landmark recently renovated

ADDRESS: 46 Joy Street  MAP

Phillips School
DESCRIPTION: In 1855 when slavery was abolished by legislative act in Massachusetts, this became the 1st integrated school in Boston; the school was moved to its present location in 1861

ADDRESS: Anderson and Pinckney Streets  MAP

Dillaway-Thomas House
DESCRIPTION: Named for Charles Dillaway, an educator who lived in the house for most of the 19th century; today the house serves as a heritage center providing historical and cultural events, special exhibits and a unique oral history project called "The Griots of Roxbury", which is conducted by a youth group

DAYS & HOURS: Tours Tue-Sun

ADDRESS: 183 Roxbury Street  MAP

PHONE: 617-445-3399

Lewis Hayden House
DESCRIPTION: Hayden, after an escaping slavery, moved to this house with his wife Harriet in 1849; funded by his clothing store on Cambridge Street, their home became a major stop on the Underground Railroad; an abolitionist friend, Francis Jackson, purchased the house to help secure its use for that purpose; reputedly, the Haydens kept kegs of gunpowder under their front stoop -- they greeted slave bounty hunters with lit candles and threatened to blow up the bounty hunters along with the house, rather than surrender escaped slaves; in 1865 the Jackson estate sold the house to the Haydens, who were also recruiting agents for the 54th Regiment during the Civil War
; not open to public

ADDRESS: 66 Phillips Street  MAP

Tent City
DESCRIPTION: When affluent Copley Square office and shopping complex was built next door, planners had authorized slum replacement for many adjacent properties; but African American activists stood up or more accurately, pitched tent to protest the destruction of housing when so many were homeless; at the end of the day mixed moderate and lower income apartments and row houses were built and this remarkable red-brick community kept the name Tent City

ADDRESS: Dartmouth Street between Stuart Street & Columbus Ave  MAP

Malcolm X Residence
DESCRIPTION: Malcolm Little (before his first name change) lived here with his half-sister, Ella Little-Collins from 1941-1946; his time in Boston is covered in his autobiography and at; the 2 1/2-story house was declared a Boston historical landmark in 1998 and is owned by Malcolm X's nephew, Rodnell P. Collins; the house, in need of restoration, is not open to public

ADDRESS: 72 Dale Street next to Malcolm X Park MAP

Prince Hall Masonic Temple
DESCRIPTION: In 1787 Prince Hall founded the 1st African Lodge of Masons in the US; this lodge (#459) is one of the few to still possess its original Royal Charter; Hall was also a notable Methodist minister, Revolutionary War soldier and abolitionist; his grave is at Copp's Hill Burying Ground in Boston's North End

ADDRESS: 18 Washington Street  MAP

PHONE: 617-445-1145

William Monroe Trotter House
DESCRIPTION: Trotter (1872-1934) founded and published the Boston Guardian newspaper which championed civil rights issues for African Americans; he founded the Boston Equal Rights League in 1901, which was the predecessor to the NAACP; built in 1893, this house is now a National Historic Landmark (closed to public)

ADDRESS: 97 Sawyer Street  MAP

Cambridge, MA

W.E.B. Du Bois Residence

DESCRIPTION: This simple, historic site was the former home of one the great minds of the 20th century, Dr. W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963); among his many accomplishments, Du Bois was the first African American to earn a doctorate from Harvard University, taught and strengthened the curricula at Atlanta University and co-founded the NAACP; Du Bois is honored for framing a widely recognized scholarly examination on the effects of American racism from a Black perspective via several books, including "The Souls of Black Folk" and "The Philadelphia Negro"; he is also remembered for a staunchly opposite view to the approach taken by Booker T Washington on how best to advance the interests of Colored People

ADDRESS: 20 Flagg Street  MAP

Reginald Lewis International Law Center
DESCRIPTION: Dedicated to law school alum Reginald F Lewis; Lewis earned fame for the largest single gift to Harvard by an individual ($3 million); Lewis was the former owner of TLC Beatrice International, the largest company owned by an African American in the 1990s (over $1.6 billion revenue); a firebrand and Wall Street wiz who mastered the art of the Leveraged Buy Out, Lewis is perhaps best remembered for his autobiography titled Why Should White Guys Have All the Fun?, published shortly after his untimely death in January 1993

ADDRESS: Harvard Law School Complex  MAP

William Wells Brown House
DESCRIPTION: Former home of nation’s first African American novelist; private residence, no visitors

ADDRESS: 15 Webster Street  MAP

Nantucket, MA

African Meeting House

DESCRIPTION: Only public structure central to the history of the African American community remaining on the island; the building dates from 1827, when it served as a church, school for African children, and meeting house; on Nantucket Island there are more than 800 structures that predate the Civil War; open July and August

DAYS & HOURS: Tue-Sat 11a-3p, Sun 1-3p

ADDRESS: 29 York Street  MAP

PHONE: 617-228-9833

Newport, RI

Colonial Cemetery

DESCRIPTION: Has burial markers that date back to the 17th century when Newport was a New England center of the American slave trade; ironically, Newport was settled under the principles of religious freedom; reportedly the city also hosts the first African American composer, first American Army Regiment (1st Rhode Island Regiment - 1778) and first free African American self-help association (Free African Benevolent Society)



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