Brookline Interactive Group

History Café – Local History and the Black Experience in Slavery and Freedom

How do we bring the stories of both enslaved and free Black residents to the forefront of local history, and what can one city’s experiences teach Cantabrigians about uncovering these stories within our own communities?

In our quest to do “history without borders,” we spoke with Dr. Barbara Brown of Hidden Brookline, an organization dedicated to bringing to light the history of slavery and freedom in Brookline. Dr. Brown discussed the group’s founding and the challenges and successes they have encountered. She also shared the story of teacher, writer and activist Florida Ruffin Ridley, whose life and work intersected closely with that of Cambridge’s own Maria Baldwin.

This program was moderated by Dr. Tatiana Cruz, Professor of History and Interdisciplinary Program Director of Africana Studies at Simmons University and History Cambridge board member. A native of Brookline, Dr. Cruz holds both a personal and professional interest in issues of race, public history, and memory in these two cities, and helped us to explore the importance of regional histories and the lessons that Cambridge can learn from the work of Hidden Brookline.

This program is part of History Cambridge’s Tory Row Anti-Racism Coalition (TRAC) efforts. You can read more here: https://historycambridge.org/tory-row…

During the event attendees shared a variety of resources in the zoom chat, which you can find here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1r…

This event was free and open to the public, but donations to History Cambridge are welcome: https://historycambridge.org/donate/

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