Friday, July 19, 2024

An image of year’s worth of Black Trailblazers Bookmarks. (Image: The Cambridge Black History Project)

The Cambridge Black History Project has launched its third series of Black Trailblazers Bookmarks in anticipation of February’s Black History Month.

This initiative aims to shed light on the lives and accomplishments of Black Cantabrigians. The new set, like its predecessors, feature illustrated bookmarks distributed for free to schools, libraries, churches and community organizations throughout Cambridge as showcases for the stories of eight people – among them Charles Lenox, who built his fortune by lending money to Harvard professors, students, and local merchants; and Emory Clark, who established the first Black-owned pharmacy in Cambridge.

“It is critically important that our young people, as well as the general public, learn about the local and national contributions made by our own Black community. This is vital in a world where that work is, in some circles, still being denied,” aid Jim Spencer, president of the project, a nonprofit organization of citizen historians.

The group researches, documents, preserves and illuminates the journeys, accomplishments and challenges of Black Cantabrigians, rather than focusing on the “same important national figures” often highlighted during Black History Month, members said in a press release.

In addition to Lenox and Clark, this year’s bookmarks commemorate:

Edward Collymore, track star and mentor

William Lewis Hazelwood Jr., award-winning television producer-director

Dorothy Fowler Richardson, celebrated contralto and choral director

Takako Grace Sato Salvi, trailblazing Black nurse and family advocate

Rowena Easterling Taylor, pioneering attorney and community service leader

Dr. Mary Crutchfield Wright Thompson, community dentist and health equity advocate