Black History Month

There are many books, journal articles, newspaper stories, and other primary sources available on African Americans’ contributions to the United States. For 2023, we encourage residents and curious minds to explore Nantucket Island’s African American history. Here are some suggestions to get you started:


A Line in The Sand 

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Nantucket Island’s Black residents and their allies greatly impacted education in the commonwealth and country. Learn more in Barbara Ann White’s book A Line in the Sand: The Battle to Integrate Nantucket Public Schools, ­1825 – 1847.

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Black Bostonians

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The Museum of African American History, Boston & Nantucket owns and operates two historic meetinghouses, the African Meeting House in Boston (46 Joy Street, built circa 1806) and the African Meeting House on Nantucket (29 York Street, built circa 1820). Learn more about Nantucket’s African Meeting House sister site in Black BostoniansFamily Life and Community Struggle in the Antebellum North by James Oliver Horton and Lois E. Horton.

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the Other Islanders

Interested in Nantucket Island’s Black history? Learn more about the neighborhoods settled by Black residents on Nantucket such as New Guinea or Codfish Park and also about street names of significance such as Cato Lane in Dr. Frances Karttunen’s book The Other Islanders: People who Pulled Nantucket’s Oars.

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Black Jacks
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Did you know African Americans greatly contributed to the United States’ maritime history as leaders aboard whaling ships and other vessels? Learn more about Nantucket native and Black Whaling Captain Absalom Boston and other sailors-of-color in W. Jeffery Bolster’s book Black JacksAfrican American Seamen in the Age of Sail.