Melvin Downes is a descendant of Barbadian immigrants. His great-grandfather came to Cambridge from Barbados in 1915. Raised in both the Port and West Cambridge neighborhoods, he attended Cambridge public schools, graduating from Cambridge High and Latin. Though he lived away from Cambridge for over 45 years, he remained connected to the city through family and friends. After retiring from a career in medical sales, he returned to his childhood home. His involvement with the CBHP has allowed him to connect to his strong Cambridge roots and research and explore the Black Cantabrigian experience.