In addition to our own anti-racism work, beginning in 2021 the Cambridge Historical Society is embarking on a learning journey about and with all of Brattle Street. Tory Row, famous for its stately mansions, has historic ties to slavery and enslaved people. What can we all do—together, as a street—to reconcile our past and become anti-racist?

Notes from the April 7, 2021 meeting are here.

What Will TRAC Do?

The project is equal parts education and remembering. To educate ourselves, we will hear from speakers about the history of the Brattle Street area, such as researchers currently working in this sphere and colleagues doing anti-racism work in other parts of Cambridge. We will also provide resources and information for those curious about the history of their own homes to facilitate their own personal research.

To remember, we will plan one outdoor, street-long event a year to take place in the spring. These events could range from temporary public art by a BIPOC artist, a walking tour of major sites on the street, a parade, or any such event that educates all Cantabrigians on the importance and contributions of all people associated with this place.

What Does Participation Entail?

We envision meeting virtually (over Zoom) around three to four times a year. The goal of the meetings would be to hear from speakers about the history of Brattle Street and the surrounding area to educate ourselves on the history of enslaved people and other marginalized groups. 

Participants would also be encouraged to suggest possibilities for the annual remembrance and have the opportunity to serve on the smaller working group to plan these meetings and events.

We welcome you as a part of TRAC however you want to define it; join and participate as you are able.

What’s The Annual Time Commitment?

The 3 or 4 virtual meetings a year would last about 1-1.5 hours each, depending on the speaker and discussion amongst us participants.

Who is Invited? 

All who wish to join the group are welcome. We specifically invite people on or just off Brattle Street.

What’s the Group Vibe?

TRAC is interesting, fun, and meaningful, as well as a great opportunity to better get to know our neighbors. We hope you’ll consider joining us!

Working Group

Jan Ferrara, Brattle Street resident
Emily Levine, Longfellow House-Washington’s Headquarters National Historic Site
Barbara Piette, Brattle Street resident
Tom Randall, Brattle Street resident
Marieke Van Damme, Cambridge Historical Society

For more information

Please join us! To learn more and get on the email list, contact Marieke Van Damme, Executive Director, at mvandamme@cambridgehistory.org or 617-547-4252.


Past events

Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Tory Row Anti-Racism Coalition (TRAC) meeting + “The Sugar Planters of Brattle Street” with Caitlin DeAngelis Hopkins
Click here for meeting notes