Tracing Boston’s Black History

So today wasn’t just like any of the other meetings we have had, yesterday was more like a meeting to see how we’re doing and coping with this coronavirus outbreak. But today we had a guest in our call and she was a fellow ranger for the Black Heritage trail located in Beacon Hill. We started off today with greeting each other and again checking in with one another to see if everyones doing fine, and then that led into an activity that Kristina came up with. She asked all of us to go around and talk about what color are we feeling today, and it seemed kind of silly at first but we went around and said the colors we felt like the majority of us were in a grayish kind of mood, while Kristina and Jen were in a purplish kind of mood. 

That led to us to finally getting to meet Amelia, and she introduced herself and then began with her presentation of our virtual tour of the Black Heritage Trail. Amelia began to discuss the first stop of the Black Heritage trail and showed us maps on this website called This site showed us the downtown Boston area and Beacon hill during whatever year you wanted to look at. The year we focused on mostly was 1852 and we examined the map and saw that there were a few changes in the street names but the most important thing that was there was the Holmes’ alleyway where Jen filmed her video that we watched yesterday. It broke out a discussion of if we were bounty hunters or slave catchers would we want to go down the alleyway everyone answered the same way, “No”. There wasn’t enough space for the horses and an angry mob could’ve been waiting on the other side to bash your head in. 

Before we did that activity we went onto google maps and analysed two important schools during the 1850s one being for only white people and the other one was the only school that let black people attend, they had a racist white principal and only one book in their library. We saw that the school for the white individuals was better taken care of than the school for black people and it was much larger. Then we saw pictures of individuals who escaped to freedom and were hospitalizing over hundreds of free slaves in their house in Beacon Hill. There was one kid they couldn help who was 9 but later on I believe he became a freeman. 

After that activity we finally made our own broadsides but as a team we made it on the COVID-19 because it is such a large topic nationally and it affected everywhere. As a team we discussed what we were going to do and decided that we were all going to have roles since the broadside was going to be due in 10 minutes, the finished product was great. We all gave some contribution when we had to present our broadside, after that we gave feedback to Amelia. Amelia taught us all of the important things some of us didn even know, and showed us that we need to help preserve these spaces because there is always history that is needed to be taught. Into the future we have to make sure those individuals take good care of everything so that one day they could teach others the importance of the Heritage Freedom Trail.

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