We are documenting and sharing the African-Caribbean collective oral and material histories anchored by St. Augustine’s and drawing in new resources and funds to nurture the social justice mission of this historic Black church.
Disinvestment in Black community spaces through gentrification leads to the marginalization of Black collective memory, and the erasure of the historic Black presence in neighborhoods. In Cambridgeport, disinvestment also exacerbates the silencing and the loss of stories, experiences, foodways, and cultural practices that Black communities have cultivated over generations.
We are committed to research and reinvestment into Cambridgeport’s Black cultural experience, and we do this by unearthing, archiving, and interpreting the African-Caribbean legacy of Black Cambridgeport, anchored by St. Augustine’s.
Our specific activities include recording oral histories with knowledge-keepers of Black Cambridgeport, especially elders in the community. In addition, we are inventorying and curating the historical documents and artifacts associated with St. Augustine’s African Orthodox Church. We are creating a walking tour, accompanied by a digital map, of key cultural sites in the history of Black Cambridgeport. Through this, we are also tracing the diaspora of Black families with historical roots in Cambridgeport, helping us visualize the effects of gentrification and the patterns of Black resilience. We also share our research work with the community through podcasts, public history talks, and online documentation.
Historical research creates avenues for reinvestment, both in terms of the investment of public attention, but also the investment of material resources. We need your help in continuing our work to document and interpret the history of Black Cambridgeport, and to share these stories with the public. Currently, our public education costs amount to $25,000 per year. These funds allow us to hire a research assistant to continue the work on oral history collection, digital curation, and public outreach. We need your help in building an endowment to make this work sustainable over the long term.
Invest in our work! 100% of your donation goes towards our mission of community-based reparation, the fight against Black displacement caused by gentrification, and the creation of the new Space for Black Exuberance at St. Augustine’s.
Donations are tax deductable; BHAC’s tax ID/EIN is 85-2043123.