By Paula Tarnapol Whitacre Harriet Jacobs, author of Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, lived in Cambridge in the 1870s. As historians have documented (including during a recent History Café presentation), the boarding houses she ran provided a home for Harvard students and faculty, as well as a sense of community for her daughter Louisa and friends. Less … Read More
Explore these online resources that explore Black history in Cambridge. More programs and events about Cambridge’s Black history are planned for 2022. To be notified, sign up for our monthly enewsletter at historycambridge.org. Articles A story of enslavement; a Juneteenth reflection Quiet courage: Groundbreaking Maria Baldwin and the racial politics of education in Cambridge Pauline Hopkins’ proto-science-fiction took off from … Read More
Cambridge has certainly changed over time, and our 1986 trivia hunt shows just how true that is. It serves as a kind of time capsule of our city. Take a trip back in time with this self-guided tour to see how many of these sites are still around. Which ones do you recognize? Which ones do you remember? What are … Read More
This spring, thanks to the generous support of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati and a grant from the Bridge Street Fund, a special initiative of Mass Humanities, History Cambridge was able to host two History Cafés exploring the rich history of the city’s Black community. Graduate intern Eshe Sherley created our Early Black Cambridge History Hub, a compilation of … Read More
Each year, the Cambridge Historical Society chooses a theme for our programs, which we phrase in the form of a question to invite Cantabrigians to come along with us as we explore our collective past. This year we are asking, “How Does Cambridge Mend?” We chose the word “mend” rather than “heal” because, whereas healing often leaves little trace of … Read More
In our last installment, we examined the role of nurses as essential workers in Cambridge and beyond, exploring the ways in which gendered notions of caregiving and self-sacrifice both elevated nurses in the public opinion and limited their ability to advocate for better pay and working conditions. In this, our final installment, we look at the current COVID-19 pandemic and … Read More
In our last installment, we examined the role of Cambridge teachers as essential workers during the twentieth century. As it involved nurturing young children, teaching was viewed by many as a natural outgrowth of women’s caregiving responsibilities within the family, and education, especially at the elementary level, was considered a profession to which women devoted themselves for noble and selfless … Read More
On Sunday, December 13, drop by Cambridge Historical Society to write down the things you wish to leave behind from 2020. Your thoughts will be run through a shredder and recycled. Then write down your hopes, dreams, and wishes on a piece of seeded paper – all that you have learned and gained from 2020 that you want to take with you into 2021. Take home your fresh perspective and plant it.