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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., effected profound change that moved our country and the world. But recent years have shed a harsh light on the truth that America has a long way to go before all of its citizens are treated equally. Dr. King said, "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." With that in mind, we have begun to face our own contributions to white washing history.

Earlier this year, we pledged to step up our anti-racism work. Part of that effort was researching the historyand by association, the Society's history—relating to enslaved people here at our headquarters, the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House. Today, I'm sharing with you the result of our research
Unfortunately, as we note in the report, there is so much we don't know about the enslaved people associated with this house. Because of centuries of white supremacy, the historical record for enslaved people is not as well documented as it is for white people. Despite these challenges, over the next several months we will be exploring ways we can honor the enslaved people associated with this place: Cesar, Prince, Woman (name unknown), Caesar, and Mark Lee (or Lewis). I welcome your thoughts on how we can do that well.

One of the newest facets of our anti-racism work is made possible by a grant from the Massachusetts Society of Cincinnati. We are working toward hiring a paid intern who will research the history of enslaved people in Cambridge during the years leading up to and immediately following the American Revolution. This is the type of work we see as critical to bringing equality and honesty to history.

We know that our anti-racism work will always be on-going, and that nothing we do will be "one and done." However, we are committed to this work. The Society's Governing Council continues to discuss progress on our Anti-Racism Action Plan at every meeting, and, in the spirit of transparency, we are updating progress on our Anti-Racism Action Plan on our website every quarter. Again, I welcome your ideas on how we can continue to do better. 
It's the mission of the Society to explore how the past influences the present in order to shape a better future. Thank you to you allour friends, members, neighbors, and supportersfor being stewards of Cambridge's history with us.

Marieke Van Damme
Executive Director, Cambridge Historical Society
The Cambridge Historical Society | Hooper-Lee-Nichols House 
159 Brattle Street | Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138