The mission of the Alliance is to illuminate the unique history and vital contributions of African Americans in Cambridge through the creation and dissemination of an historic trail, educational materials, and programs for residents and visitors.
Cambridge, Massachusetts, is home to one of the oldest African American communities in the nation and has long attracted African Americans of national prominence and influence. In 1990, then Vice-Mayor Kenneth Reeves sponsored a City Council resolution asking all the organizations that had been gathering and maintaining African American history to collaborate in the creation of an African American history trail. In response, over twenty representatives from local community organizations came together in early 1991 to form the Cambridge African American History Committee.
With the participation of Cambridge Discovery, then the city’s tourist and resident information service, and the Cambridge Historical Commission, the city’s preservation agency, the committee initiated an intensive search for materials on individuals and sites relating to the African American experience in Cambridge. The committee oversaw several researchers and curriculum development specialists. The project historian, Reverend Jeffrey Brown, and the staff of the Historical Commission worked together to refine the research and write the texts for twenty historical markers.
The Cambridge African American Heritage Trail Committee, which grew out of the History Committee, meets monthly to carry out its mission. With the assistance of Cambridge Discovery and the Cambridge Historical Commission, the committee has met monthly for the past16 years. In 2006, the committee voted to change the name to the Cambridge African American Heritage Alliance and developed by-laws.
Alliance members are residents of the city and other interested individuals and represent numerous public and private institutions and professions that are supportive of its efforts.
The Cambridge African American Heritage Alliance
P.O. Box 390327
Cambridge, MA 02139
Heritage Trail guide books are available for $2.00 plus shipping and handling. It is available to order through the CHS Online Bookstore or stop by the offices of the Cambridge Historical Society or the Cambridge Historical Commission.