The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) has compiled a list of Black History Month resources, including walking tours and heritage trails. They showcase the lives and work of important figures in the African American community and how their efforts have shaped the Commonwealth and the country. Sites around Massachusetts include:
- African American Heritage Trail — Florence, Northampton — Learn about the life and work of Sojourner Truth, a former slave who became a fierce supporter of equal rights. If you’re an educator, you can schedule a tour of the Northampton village she called home for your class. You can also download a map of the African American Heritage Trail in Florence and explore on your own. If you can’t make it to Florence, you can even take a virtual tour of the trail.
- African American Heritage Trail — Martha’s Vineyard — The African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard has 27 sites where you can learn about the contributions that African Americans have made to the island.
- African American Heritage Trail — Upper Housatonic Valley — Covering 29 towns in Massachusetts and Connecticut, the Upper Housatonic Valley African American Heritage Trail isn’t necessarily walkable, but it is rich in history. For an educational day trip, print out a heritage trail map, pack up the car, and visit historic sites — including the boyhood home of W.E.B. Du Bois — in Pittsfield, Lenox, Stockbridge, and more.
- Underground Railroad Tour — New Bedford — Download an Underground Railroad Walking Tour Guide to discover some of the historic sites in New Bedford — once home to former slave, author, and abolitionist Frederick Douglass — that played a role in the Underground Railroad.
- African American Patriots Tour — Freedom Trail, Boston — Throughout February, you can take a special Freedom Trail tour that celebrates African American patriots who contributed to the American Revolution. The tour runs on Saturdays and Sundays during Black History Month.
- Black History Trail — Boston and Nantucket — Overseen by the Museum of African American History (MAAH), the Black History Trail in Boston and the Black History Trail in Nantucket include churches, meeting houses, and other sites that have been pillars of the African American community for generations.
Whether you take a guided tour or head out on your own with map in hand, set aside some time this Black History Month to learn more about the impact African Americans have had on the course of Massachusetts’ and America’s history.
Comment below or tweet us @MassGov to share your plans for Black History Month.
Tags: african american heritage, african american history, black heritage trails, Black History, Black History Month, Frederick Douglass, Freedom Trail, Sojourner Truth, underground railroad, W.E.B. Du Bois
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