Each year, the month of February is recognized as a time to honor the successes and sacrifices of African Americans.
There are many ways to celebrate Black History Month in the Commonwealth. The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism (MOTT) provides information on the state’s historical and educational events, trails, tours, and museums. Here is a small selection of significant sites across the state. Be sure to call the museums and attractions to confirm their hours of operation before visiting.
Greater Boston Area
- Walk the footsteps of famous 19th- and 20th-century civil rights activists along the Black Heritage Trail and discover Boston’s African American history. The 1.6-mile trail winds through Beacon Hill with stops including the African Meeting House, the oldest African American church building in the United States and one of the nation’s most important African American landmarks. The meeting house is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Learn about 18th-century African American patriots like Crispus Attucks on the African American Patriots Tour. This 90-minute walking tour is offered regularly during Black History Month on Saturday and Sunday, leaving the Boston Common at 12:45 p.m.
North of Boston
Visit the home of Louisa May Alcott, the famous abolitionist writer known for the novel “Little Women.” Alcott’s Orchard House is located in Concord and will run special guided tours highlighting her dedication to the anti-slavery movement throughout the month of February. Winter hours for guided tours are Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 4:30 p.m.
South of Boston
New Bedford was home to many 19th-century abolitionists, such as Frederick Douglass. Walk the Black History Trail, which includes stops on the Underground Railroad, as well as the Frederick Douglass monument. For more information on Black History Month events in New Bedford, contact the New Bedford Historical Society.
The Gallery of African Art, located in Clinton, has a collection of more than 400 works of African art, including masks, figures, religious icons, musical instruments, and more. Contact the gallery about free tours led by musician and ethnomusicology expert Zach Combs of Crocodile River Music.
Take a tour of the Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum, home to 19th-century social reformer Susan B. Anthony, in Adams. During February, the museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Friday, and Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The museum celebrates Anthony’s 195th birthday on Feb. 15 with a free event.
Cape Cod and the Islands
- Take a walk along the African American Heritage Trail located on Martha’s Vineyard. The trail consists of 21 sites that tell the stories of African American people on the Vineyard and highlights their contributions to its history. Three types of tours are offered, ranging from one-and-a-half to four hours.
- The Museum of African American History located on Nantucket is home to the African Meeting House, dating to 1827, when it was used as a church, school, and meeting house. The museum offers events and an online exhibit on the history of African Americans on Nantucket.
During February, people all across the country come together to celebrate Black History Month, including the African American leaders and political pioneers who have influenced and helped shape our country for the better. Join Massachusetts as we remember and honor the trailblazing men and women who have sacrificed to enhance the lives of future generations.
How will you be celebrating Black History Month? Share below or tweet us @MassGov.
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