Walking Tour

African American Women in 19th-century Cambridge, Massachusetts

This walking tour is a partnership between a History Department course at Harvard College and the Cambridge Black History Project to provide an opportunity to visit and interact with the spaces that influential Black women in Cambridge inhabited during the 19th century. These historical figures include Harriet Jacobs, Charlotte Hawkins Brown, Alberta V. Scott, Pauline Hopkins, Maria Baldwin, and Mary Walker.

Cambridge has historically been an ever-changing city, serving as the common ground on which many of the women featured in this tour lived their lives, some even at overlapping moments in time. Communal institutions like churches, schools, community centers, and green spaces served as meeting places for people and ideas. The history of women in Cambridge begins with Indigenous women of the Massachusett, Nipmuc, and Wampanoag nations; as you embark on our walking tour, remember that the Indigenous history of the land and its people is foundational to the stories of every individual who later lived here.

We are grateful to the members of the Cambridge Black History Project, our collaborator on this tour for their affirmation of this work:

“This work is an important complement to the mission of the Cambridge Black History Project to illuminate the contributions of Black citizens to the history of Cambridge, and to make that history more inclusive and accessible to all.”