A Legacy Remembered: The African American Community of West Medford
West Medford, Massachusetts has been home to a thriving African American community, where families have lived for generations since the end of the Civil War. The stories of its residents have been fading as elders die and families move away. Most of the history of this neighborhood resides within the memories of these few remaining elders. The discovery of over one hundred funeral programs, saved and collected by residents since the mid-twentieth century, tell the stories of residents who have passed on but made countless contributions to the community. These funeral programs, along with supplemental interviews, illustrate how past residents developed community resources and used ingenuity to help create a strong neighborhood of their own. Within these pages are stories of personal perseverance and tenacity, humor and resiliency. Through portraits of individuals, West Medfords African-American neighborhood of the past is documented, through the sharing of the lives of men and women, and how they interfaced to create a solid community, despite societal and economic obstacles.
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The Tisch Citizenship and Public Service Scholars Program
The Printed Program at the AfricanAmerican Funeral Ceremony
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372nd Infantry active member African American African American community Alpha Kappa Alpha Anita attended became a member Bertha Board Booker born in Boston Cambridge Cecil Charles choir Church of West Citizenship and Public City of Medford Club Committee daughter Dorothy Dugger Edgar Edward Elizabeth Estelle Evans Flossie friends funeral programs Furey Furr graduated from Medford grandchildren Harriet husband James Jeffers Jerome Street Johnson Kelley Kenneth Kountze Kristen Kristen Johnson Lassiter Lawrence loved Mabel Madeline Malden Marjorie married Mary Massachusetts Medford Community Center Medford High School Medford public schools Mildred Mystic Mystic River NAACP neighborhood Norma Parham Parris Phillips Phyllis Portia resident of Medford resident of West retired Robert served Sherwood Shiloh Baptist Church South Postal Annex Stephen stories Thelma Thompson Tisch Scholars Tufts University Tyler U.S. Army volunteer Warren West Medford Community wife William woman women Women’s Federation World War II