This Week @MHS

Here’s a look at what is going on at the MHS this week:

On Tuesday, 9 April, at 5:15 PM: “The Dream is the Process:” Environmental Racism & Community Development in Boston, 1955-1980 with Michael Brennan, University of Maine, and comment by Daniel Faber, Northeastern University. When environmental justice became a widely understood framework for action in the 1990s, the core tenets of owning land, developing the built environment, and sustaining existing social institutions had long been a practice for Boston’s minorities. To this end, members of Roxbury’s Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI) worked to create an urban village in Dudley Square. The story of the DSNI demonstrates the utility of examining a topic in both a social and environmental sense. This is part of the Boston Seminar on Environmental History series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 10 April, at 12:00 PM: “Our Fellow Creatures”: Discourses About Black People in Early American Scientific Societies with Andrea Nero, University of Buffalo. Although not officially recognized as scientific practitioners, scholarly societies, including the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, depended upon black people as sources of observation and subjects for inquiry in the eighteenth-century. While their discussions about them were littered with racism from a modern-day standpoint, a close examination of their discourse reveals a complicated relationship with race. This talk on a dissertation chapter in progress seeks to navigate this rocky terrain, where, for example, black people are depicted as both victims of white superiority and as ugly in their blackness. This is part of the Brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Saturday, 13 April, from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM: The Great Boston Molasses Flood of 1919, a teacher workshop. On 15 January 1919, Boston suffered one of history’s most unusual disasters: a devastating flood of molasses. The “Great Molasses Flood” tore through the city’s North End at upwards of 35 miles per hour, killing 21 and injuring 150 while causing horrendous property damage. With historian and author Stephen Puleo, we will explore how the flood is more than a bizarre moment in Boston history: it offers a lens into Boston and World War I, Prohibition, the anarchist movement, immigration, and the expanding role of big business in society. This program is open to all K-12 educators. Teachers can earn 22.5 Professional Development Points or 1 graduate credit (for an additional fee). There is a $25 per person registration fee. Please note that this workshop is now full. If you would like to join the waiting list, please contact Kate Melchior at or 617-646-0588.

The MHS is closed on Monday, 15 April.